Kyocera Hydro Vibe Waterproof Smartphone Review

Camera and Battery Life

The Hydro Vibe has 8GB of ROM, but only 4.22GB of that space is available to the user out of the box. After installing a few of our standard benchmarking programs and taking about 30 pictures, we received an error stating the phone was out of storage space. Thankfully, there’s a microSD card slot in this phone for expansion should you encounter the same situation and need additional space.

The rear-facing 8 megapixel camera found on the Hydro Vibe features various controls such as flash, white balance, exposure metering modes, contrast, and ISO. Scene modes include Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, and Action. Other Modes include Normal, Color Effect, Continuous Shooting, Panorama, Smile Shutter, HDR, and Quick Shot. 

By default, the camera selects “No Limit” for Auto review. After capturing an image, the camera will display that image until you press the camera icon and return to the camera. You can change this setting to 2 seconds or turn it off entirely. If you’re wanting to take multiple images quickly, you’ll want to turn this feature off. The camera will reset this setting to No Limit once you exit the camera application. We found this to be a nuisance, especially since there are many situations where we’ve opened our camera with the intent of capturing multiple images of a fleeting moment only to be stuck in the menu changing a setting rather than capturing pictures.

Close-up images captured with the rear-facing camera were on par with what we’d expected. Unfortunately, our landscape images weren’t as crisp or clear as we would have liked to see from this camera. Even after tapping the screen to focus, our landscape images were often out of focus and showed lots of noise. Here are a few sample pictures we captured using the Hydro Vibe:




Battery Life

You’ll find a 2000mAh Lithium ion battery inside the Hydro Vibe. Kyocera claims this battery can deliver up to 14 hours of talk time or up to 193 hours of standby time.

In an attempt to quantitatively measure the Hydro Vibe's battery life in a controlled benchmark environment, we ran the AnTuTu Battery Test which is available from the Google Play Store. For this test, we set the Hydro Vibe's display to 50% brightness, which is still plenty bright and easy on the eyes. The Hydro Vibe scored 471, which was lower than most all of our comparison phones.  However, this is a "wost case" test condition that pushes CPU usage to 100% to draw power under heavy load.

During our real-world testing, the Hydro Vibe’s battery echoed the results from AnTuTu’s battery test: it seemed to drain more quickly than we would expect. For example, after listening to Pandora for about an hour and 45 minutes, the phone’s battery level dropped to 87%. After this, we turned off Pandora and let the phone sit in standby mode. It lasted for a little more than a day before turning itself off—significantly less than the quoted 8+ days of standby time. Of course, battery life will vary depending on how the phone is used.

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