Kyocera Hydro Vibe Waterproof Smartphone Review

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of high-end heavyweight phones on the market today. There is also a big market for phones with lesser specs and much lower price tags that provide a good bang-for-the-buck value. The Kyocera Hydro Vibe is in this bang-for-the-buck category.

There are two key features that make the Hydro Vibe stand out from other affordable smartphones: the fact that this phone is waterproof and also its Smart Sonic Receiver technology. The Hydro Vibe is certified to satisfy IPX5 and IPX7 standards for waterproofing. In other words, the phone can survive being submerged in up to 3.28 feet of water for up to 30 minutes (provided the back cover is secured). Further, in terms of its audio capabilities, during our tests, the Smart Sonic Receiver technology made it very easy to hear during a call even with very heavy background noise.

Although the Hydro Vibe struggled in many of our benchmark tests, real-world usage of the phone was much better. In fact, the phone didn’t feel sluggish at all. Granted, it wasn’t as lightning fast as today’s high-end smartphones, but we didn’t find ourselves getting frustrated with screen lag or load times, either.

The Hydro Vibe may not have the power of today’s latest super phones, but at only $30 on contract, it is a great phone for people who need a device that can survive life’s everyday mishaps and perform key phone functionality in the field where things can get noisy.  These are rarely areas where device manufacturers are focusing these days but there are specific users and use cases that a device like the Hydro Vibe will serve well.  Whether you’re a first-time smartphone user, parent, hard working type on a job site, or teen looking for a phone that won’t break the bank but can still withstand a few accidents, the Hydro Vibe is a worthy consideration.


  • Waterproof
  • Smart Sonic Receiver technology works great
  • Affordable
  • Nimble enough despite its specs
  • Storage space is lean
  • Camera is mediocre
  • More powerful options out there

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