Kyocera Hydro Elite Review
Over the years, we’ve seen various rugged and water resistant phones come out of Verizon Wireless. Recently we reviewed the Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE and were quite impressed with its design, but now there’s a new player on the field, the Kyocera Hydro Elite, which comes in at $50 with a 2-year contract. There are actually several other models in the Kyocera Hydro line, which include the Hydro Edge (from Sprint and Boost), and Hydro XTRM (from US Cellular), though they are all variations of the same phone. The Hydro Elite is the newest of these and touts some better specs, including a larger 4.3” 720x1280 display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and an 8MP camera. Let’s take a closer look and see if the Hydro Elite has what it takes.
Included in the retail package is the Kyocera Hydro Elite C6750 smartphone, 2000mAh battery, wall charger, microUSB cable, and user guides.
The appearance of the Kyocera Hydro Elite is simplistic and minimalistic, with an all-black plastic construction throughout. The device is noticeably smaller than the Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE, and is also lighter in weight, which allows it to fit better in the hand and is easier to use for longer periods of time, while the rubberized backing provides for a firm grip.
Located above the display is a 1.3MP camera for self-pics and video chatting, while on the left side is the volume rocker, with the power/lock key and 3.5mm headset jack on top, and the microUSB port on the right side. Around on the back is the 8MP camera with LED flash. Both the SIM card slot and microSD memory card slot is accessible by removing the battery cover.
We are pleased to see that Kyocera has equipped the Hydro Elite with a 4.3” LCD display with 720x1280 pixel resolution, as this is pretty much the norm for mid-range smartphones. Images and text are sharp and clear, thanks to the 342 pixel-per-inch-count, and it is plenty bright to view while outside. Colors are natural and uniform, but only when viewed straight-on, as off-axis viewing does alter the colors and contrast some. Kyocera has also elected to use the standard on-screen Android softkeys along the bottom of the display for back, home and recent apps, instead of using separate capacitive buttons.