Kyocera Hydro Vibe Waterproof Smartphone Review

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Design and Build Quality

The Hydro Vibe is noticeably narrower and thicker than many of the superphones we’ve been accustomed to holding lately. Measuring 5.02 x 2.50 x 0.43 inches and weighing 4.9 ounces, this phone reminds us of a thick version of the iPhone 5s. In fact, when we held the iPhone 5s and the Hydro Vibe side-by-side, the footprint of each phone was very similar.

The Hydro Vibe is certified dust resistant and waterproof for IP57 which means that it can protect against dust and water immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to 3.28 feet of water. Although the phone is waterproof, the exterior casing of the Hydro Vibe doesn’t have a look that screams “I’m waterproof.” In fact, the Hydro Vibe has a removable back cover, removable battery, and an uncovered microUSB port.


On the left edge of the Hydro Vibe, you’ll find the volume rocker. The right edge houses a dedicated camera button. At the base of the phone, you’ll find a microUSB port and the primary microphone. The power key and headset jack are located on the top edge of the phone.

The Hydro Vibe has a narrow bezel on the left and right edges of the screen. Above the impact resistant display you’ll notice the Kyocera logo as well as the front-facing 2 megapixel camera. Below the display, you’ll find flush, touch-sensitive Back, Home, and Recent Applications keys. These keys are backlit.

The back of the phone has a soft rubber feel that makes it very easy to grip the phone with confidence. The 8 megapixel rear-facing camera is located near the top in the center. Below the camera, you’ll find a speaker, camera flash, and a secondary microphone.

The Hydro Vibe supports the PMA (Power Matters Alliance) standard for wireless charging via an optional charge pad. The wireless charging area is located on the lower half of the phone on the back side.

If you remove the back cover, you’ll find a user-replaceable battery, SIM card slot, and a microSD card slot. When the cover is removed, you’ll notice the cover has a rubber seal that surrounds the battery. This cover is thin and flexible and felt like it could withstand greater pressure and flexing before cracking than many of today’s plastic back covers.

More on the cover and what it can do, next... 

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