While there haven’t been too many new smartphones at CTIA this week, a few smaller companies, such as Kyocera, are making waves at the show.
Kyocera announced two Android phones this week, the Kyocera Rise and the Kyocera Hydro. These phones aren’t earth-shattering in terms of specs. Both have 3.5-inch displays, a 1GHz processor, and 3.2-megapixel cameras.
In my quick hands-on of both the Hydro and the Rise, I found the displays to be fairly low resolution, while performance wasn’t as snappy as I’ve come to be used to on dual-core phones. One highlight is that they will both run Android 4.0--with no overlay or skin. Yes indeed, Android 4.0 phones without manufacture-added skins do exist. They have some added software, including the Eco Mode battery monitoring app.
Both are CDMA phones, but Kyocera has not yet announced any carrier partners. The company expects the phones to be fairly inexpensive and appropriate for both prepaid and contract carriers.
The main draw of the Hydro is that it is a waterproof phone. According to Kyocera, it is certified waterproof for IPX5 (protection against water jets) and IPX7 (protection against water immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter or 3.28 feet). It weighs 4.2 ounces.
This isn’t Kyocera’s first rodeo with a waterproof handset; the company has released a total of 17 waterproof phones. Most of those have been in Japan, however.
Smartphones with full-QWERTY keyboards might be a dying breed, but the Kyocera Rise keeps them from going extinct. The Rise has sturdy keyboard, which slides out with a nice springiness. The keys felt comfortable and easy to type on, as well.
The Rise is a little heavier than the Hydro, weighing 5.54 ounces.
Both phones are due out this summer, but pricing and exact availability have not yet been announced.