Verizon to launch waterproof Kyocera Hydro Elite on August 29 for $100 (video)

Kyocera handsets in the US typically debut on Sprint or smaller carriers like Boost or Cricket, but that doesn't mean Verizon can't have a go at devices from the Japanese company. First spied a few months ago, the Kyocera Hydro Elite is one such handheld headed for Big Red, and looks to be a waterproof model much like its Hydro predecessor. Indeed, the Hydro Elite can supposedly be immersed in up to 3.28 feet (1 meter) of water for almost half an hour before calling it quits. Like the Torque, the Hydro Elite also boasts a Smart Sonic Receiver technology that promises outstanding audio quality even in the noisiest environments.

The Hydro Elite is not exactly tiny, measuring 4.82 x 2.38 x 0.43 inches and weighing in at 4.51 ounces. Other notable features include -- let's take a deep breath here -- a 4.3-inch HD display, 4G LTE, an 8-megapixel HD cam, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel shooter, Qi wireless charging, NFC, MHL support, DLNA support, a microSD card slot and a 2,100 mAH battery. Phew. If that list of specs sounds scintillating enough to you, you may pick one up at your local Verizon store this Thursday for only $100 after a rebate and a two-year service agreement. For those who need a little more convincing, you can check out a Kyocera-commissioned video after the break starring none other than Man vs. Wild survivalist Bear Grylls.

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Going Waterproof with the Hydro ELITE by Kyocera

New smartphone splashes into device lineup.

When it comes to waterproof smartphones, style and protection are no longer mutually exclusive.
The new waterproof Hydro ELITE by Kyocera is a sleek, global-ready 4G LTE Android smartphone with a 4.3-inch HD display. The device offers protection from blowing rain and immersion in up to 3.28 ft. (1 meter) of water for as long as 30 minutes.
Why opt for a waterproof phone? Analysts say that nearly 100 million smartphones in the United States have been destroyed by liquids to date. The list of everyday hazards waiting to wreak havoc on mobile devices is endless – rainstorms, sinks, puddles, sprinklers and even the dreaded toilet.
The Hydro ELITE, however, isn't just designed to keep water out. It's also optimized to get sound in with Kyocera's award-winning Smart Sonic Receiver technology. This ceramic actuator replaces the phone's speaker and transmits sounds as vibrations, making the phone audible even in the noisiest environments.
Those new to Android or who just crave simplicity can choose to use Kyocera's new optional and easy-to-use "Starter Mode" user interface, with features like a tap-based menu, large fonts, and large intuitive graphics.
Hydro ELITE also features wireless charging, Touch-and-Send NFC sharing, plus Eco Mode with MaxiMZR power-management software to maximize the phone's large 2100 mAh battery. It has an 8-megapixel HD camera plus a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video chats with friends. It supports up to 32 GB of expandable memory for music, photos or videos.
The Hydro ELITE by Kyocera is available online starting Aug 29 for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.
Built to survive the rigors of everyday life, Hydro ELITE is launching with a little help from extreme-survivalist Bear Grylls – star of television's hit new series "Get Out Alive" and the father of three active boys. Watch Grylls showcase the device's unique protective features and Smart Sonic Receiver technology on Kyocera's YouTube channel.