Sony appears to be looking at protection to water as a standard feature for its high-end smartphones nowadays, Samsung has the Galaxy S4 Active and Kyocera… well, they had waterproof gadgets in the US way before they were cool, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’re increasing their efforts now.
The latest Kyocera phone to see daylight in America is called Hydro Elite and will start selling exclusively with Verizon contracts tomorrow (i.e. August 29). The Elite is not exactly cheap, at $100 with two-year pacts after rebates, but as the name suggests, it’s a very solid device, with premium specs and looks.
Okay, maybe “premium” specs is me going a little overboard, since a 4.3-inch HD screen, 8 MP rear cam and dual-core 1.5 GHz processor don’t exactly make this a Galaxy S4 killer. But they’re not low-end material either.
As far as design goes, the newest Kyocera handheld is probably the most elegant you’ve seen on the Western hemisphere from the company, weighing in at 4.51 ounces and just breathing sturdiness through its every pore.
The bad news is, unlike the Torque or other recently unveiled Kyocera rugged devices, the Hydro Elite is much more fragile in extreme conditions, knowing only how to swim and boasting an “impact-resistant screen”.