Data protection & security

Kyocera adds to its waterproof smartphone offerings

Kyocera adds to its waterproof smartphone offerings


The summer can be a difficult time for smartphones. Since these gadgets tend to go wherever their owners go, vacation season is often trying. While people might want to take their phones poolside to capture their good time for posterity (and for Facebook, naturally), this isn't exactly a great strategy for keeping technology safe. 

It's no wonder, then, that many companies are latching onto the idea of waterproof phones. One such manufacturer is Kyocera, which revealed some exciting new additions to its Hydro line at the recent CTIA 2013 convention.

On the edge
According to CNET, one of the new offerings is the Hydro Edge, which will be available through both Sprint and Boost Mobile sometime this summer. It will run on the companies' 3G networks and will feature a matte-gray construction, a 5-megapixel camera and a 4-inch IPS touchscreen display. It operates on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and comes with 1GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM and an expandable storage capacity of up to 32GB.

But, of course, what sets the Edge apart is its durability. The gadget is both dustproof and waterproof, and the source specified that it can be submerged in a meter of water for as long as 30 minutes. A price is yet to be announced, but CNET reported that according to a Kyocera representative, it's likely to run about $129.99, the same as its predecessor, the Hydro.

Go extreme
For those looking for an option that's even hardier, Kyocera also introduced the Hydro XTRM, CNET noted. This model is a bit less streamlined that the Edge, but that's because it's meant to withstand accidents to an even higher degree. In fact, in addition to being waterproof like the Edge, it's also shockproof. The source pointed out that the XTRM is resistant to as many as 26 drops from as high as four feet. 

This model also runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a dual-core Snapdragon 1.2GHz processor and a 2,000-milliamp-hour battery, which CNET reported gives the device a talk time of 12.4 hours. The same as the Edge, it has 1GB of RAM, 4GB or ROM and 32GB of expandable storage.

The XTRM is available now for $29.99 with a mail-in rebate and signing a two-year contract with U.S. Cellular. It will run on the provider's 4G LTE networks.

What's the fuss?
Having a phone that's practically indestructible is a good start when it comes to preventing unnecessary damage, but it isn't always the most practical solution. Even with Kyocera's options, while they might be excellent for taking to the pool, the real world is always a bit more complicated than any manufacturer can really plan for. For instance, what happens if a waterproof phone goes under for longer than 30 minutes? There's no promise it will work once it's fished out.

Think of it this way - people depend on their phones as a lifeline nowadays. Those gadgets act as keys to contacts lists, photographs, videos, work files and more. It's not worth risking that a simple mistake will put all that data out of commission. By getting a plan like ProtectCELL's that goes beyond your standard mobile insurance, people can be sure that even when the unexpected happens, they'll be ready. That way, they can worry about having fun this summer, not their phones. 

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