Kyocera kitted us out with toques, touch-sensitive gloves and giant black faux-fur coats -- well, Brad chose white -- and led us all into a bar made entirely of ice to launch its new handsets here at CTIA. Kyocera, playing off the tough-guy thing, had the Hydro Xtrm and Edge laid out on slabs of ice in a pretty frosty environment for us to handle with our gloved hands. Both handsets will be priced toward the lower end of the spectrum, with the Hydro Edge being the least expensive and most modestly specced of the two. Both devices are decent as far as material choices go, though the Edge was perhaps our favorite even if the Xtrm beats it out in the display department somehow. There weren't any water tanks to test out both sets IPX5 / IPX7 specs so we'll simply have to take Kyocera's word for it.
The Edge and Xtrm build on the previously launched Hydro specs but with upgrades across the board. The Edge sports a dual-core 1Ghz CPU, tempered glass (instead of acrylic), 5-megapixel camera, 4-inch WVGA (480 X 800) 233-ppi display and Android Jelly Bean. The Xtrm adds LTE to the connectivity list also touts a 5-megapixel shooter, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, the same display as the Edge, and Bluetooth 4. The Xtrm launches on US Cellular May 24th for $29.99 after instant rebate with the Edge joining the fun on Boost Mobile and Sprint during "Summer 2013." Check out the cool blue-hued pics in the gallery below. %Gallery-188927%
Myriam Joire and Brad Molen contributed to this report.
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Splish Splash! Kyocera Expands Hydro Series with Next Wave of Waterproof Android Smartphones
- Hydro XTRM and Hydro Edge Offer Choices in Protection for Prepaid and Postpaid Customers; Also Include Kyocera's Award-Winning Smart Sonic Receiver Technology -
LAS VEGAS – May 21, 2013 – Rainstorms, toilets, sprinklers, pools, spilled drinks, bathtubs, lakes, sweat, sinks. Liquid and electronics don't like each other and there's an endless list of everyday hazards waiting to wreak havoc on mobile phones. Estimates say close to 100 million cell phones have been destroyed by liquids in the U.S. alone. But there is a solution. Kyocera today expanded its Hydro Series of waterproof smartphones with the introduction of the Hydro XTRM and Hydro Edge, two new Android smartphones built for a world that's 70 percent covered by water.
Just in time for summer, the new Hydro Series smartphones carry IP57 dust-proofing and waterproofing certifications, meaning they're designed to survive dust, sprayed water – like a rainstorm or sprinklers – or total submersion in up to 3.28 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The phones also include Kyocera's award-winning, proprietary Smart Sonic Receiver. This technology replaces the phone's speaker with a ceramic actuator, which turns sounds into vibrations that travel through the body directly to the eardrum, making the phone audible even in loud environments.
Hydro XTRM is a durable 4G LTE Android smartphone that not only is waterproof, but also meets 810G Military Standard for protection from shock (e.g., being dropped). U.S. Cellular launches Hydro XTRM online today and in retail stores on May 24 for just $29.99 after an instant rebate.1 Hydro Edge is an affordable, waterproof 3G Android smartphone that will launch this summer at Sprint and Boost Mobile. The carriers will announce pricing and exact timing as the launches approach.
"With 30 waterproof phones introduced globally since 2008, Kyocera has unparalleled expertise in designing devices to survive the elements," said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications Inc. "This new generation of Hydro phones is built from the ground up to keep the liquid out, yet doesn't compromise sleek styling, affordability or performance."
With its growing portfolio of devices designed to survive the elements and the everyday, Kyocera continues its relationship with Bear Grylls – Everest mountaineer, former British Special Forces, star of television's "Man vs. Wild," and the father of three active boys. Grylls will be featured prominently in materials supporting the new Hydro Series devices as they reach the market, which will join other ￼￼materials from Grylls on Kyocera's YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/kyoceramobilephones) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/kyoceramobilephones).
Along with its 810G and IP57 waterproof and durability certifications and Smart Sonic Receiver technology, other notable features on the Hydro XTRM include:
1.2 GHz dual-core processor
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Bright 4-inch impact-resistant IPS touchscreen display
5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera with camcorder; 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
Boost Mobile, a prepaid brand of Sprint, launched the first-generation Kyocera Hydro in August 2012 and it has been a top-seller ever since. Building on that success, the Hydro Edge will launch this summer at both Boost Mobile and Sprint, giving consumers the flexibility of purchasing the phone with prepaid or post-paid service plans. Hydro Edge is waterproof and dust-proof with IP57 certification and includes Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver technology. Other features include:
1 GHz dual-core processor
Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Bright 4-inch impact-resistant touchscreen display
5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera
For more information about Hydro XTRM and Hydro Edge, please visit kyocerasmartphones.com/hydro-family.