Kyocera Hydro Vibe Waterproof Smartphone Review

Introduction and Specifications

Life is full of accidents and mishaps. Unfortunately, our favorite electronic devices often pay the price for our clumsiness. If you’ve ever jumped in the pool, forgetting your smartphone was in your pocket or accidentally dropped your phone in the toilet, you know all too well the feeling of frustration and disappointment that comes when you realize you’ve destroyed your coveted smartphone.

Of course, there are a number of options to help protect your phone from water damage. Insurance that covers water damage and theft is a good option for some but it can get expensive and you’ll still be faced with downtime while waiting for a replacement. Cases can also provide protection from drops and spills but they add extra weight and bulk to the phone. A final option is to consider a waterproof or resistant smartphone, like Samsung's Galaxy S4 Active or the Galaxy S 5, which is again, what we’re looking at today. Recently, Kyocera and Sprint teamed up to offer the new Hydro Vibe waterproof smartphone.

Kyocera’s Hydro Series of waterproof Android smartphones are designed to survive being completely submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. As the newest member of the Kyocera Hydro family, the Hydro Vibe also features Kyocera’s award-winning Smart Sonic Receiver audio technology which is designed to make it easier to hear conversations clearly in noisy environments.

If you look at the spec sheet below, you’ll quickly see that the Hydro Vibe isn’t designed to compete with today’s super phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S 5 or the HTC One M8. Instead, it’s meant to be an affordable smartphone that has some extra features you won’t find elsewhere. Budget-conscious users will appreciate the fact that you can pick up the Hydro Vibe for $30 on contract.  Before we dive into the full hands-on review, let’s take a look at the full specifications of the Kyocera Hydro Vibe from Sprint:

Kyocera Hydro Vibe
Specifications & Features
4.5-inch qHD (960 x 540 pixels), IPS, impact-resistant, capacitive touchscreen
1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon CPU with Qualcomm MSM8926 chipset
microSD memory card slot (supports up to 32GB)
Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
8MP camera and camcorder with digital zoom, LED flash, auto-focus; includes panoramic, HDR, multi-shot, effects and smile-shutter modes
2MP front-facing camera for video chat and self-portraits
Shoot video in 1080p HD
Sprint Spark LTE Capable
Stereo Bluetooth (4.0 + LE/EDR) wireless technology support
3.5 mm stereo headphone jack
microUSB port
3-axis accelerometer
proximity sensor
ambient light sensor
digital compass
FM radio receiver
5.02 x 2.50 x 0.43 inches
4.9 ounces
2000mAh Lithium ion
Talk Time: Up to 14 hours
Standby Time: Up to 193 hours
Additional Features:
Certified dust resistant and waterproof for IP57
Kyocera Smart Sonic Receiver technology
Eco Mode with MaxiMZR
Wireless charging with optional charging-pad accessory
MagniFont Mode
NFC sharing
Sprint: $149.99 without contract
Virgin Mobile: $149.99
The Hydro Vibe comes with a Get Started guide, battery information pamphlet, wall charger, USB cord, and recycling bag.

Related content