Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Introduction


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.


Design


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.
The appearance of the Kyocera Hydro Elite is simplistic and minimalistic, with an all-black plastic construction - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review
The appearance of the Kyocera Hydro Elite is simplistic and minimalistic, with an all-black plastic construction - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review
The appearance of the Kyocera Hydro Elite is simplistic and minimalistic, with an all-black plastic construction - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

The appearance of the Kyocera Hydro Elite is simplistic and minimalistic, with an all-black plastic construction


Kyocera Hydro Elite

Kyocera Hydro Elite

Dimensions

4.82 x 2.38 x 0.43 inches

122 x 60 x 11 mm

Weight

4.51 oz (128 g)

Casio G'zOne Commando 4G LTE

Casio G'zOne Commando 4G LTE

Dimensions

5.1 x 2.7 x 0.5 inches

130 x 69 x 13 mm

Weight

6.17 oz (175 g)

Motorola DROID Ultra

Motorola DROID Ultra

Dimensions

5.41 x 2.8 x 0.28 inches

137.5 x 71.2 x 7.18 mm

Weight

4.83 oz (137 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches

136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

Kyocera Hydro Elite

Kyocera Hydro Elite

Dimensions

4.82 x 2.38 x 0.43 inches

122 x 60 x 11 mm

Weight

4.51 oz (128 g)

Casio G'zOne Commando 4G LTE

Casio G'zOne Commando 4G LTE

Dimensions

5.1 x 2.7 x 0.5 inches

130 x 69 x 13 mm

Weight

6.17 oz (175 g)

Motorola DROID Ultra

Motorola DROID Ultra

Dimensions

5.41 x 2.8 x 0.28 inches

137.5 x 71.2 x 7.18 mm

Weight

4.83 oz (137 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Dimensions

5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches

136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



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.

Front - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Front

Front camera - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Front camera

On-screen Android buttons - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

On-screen Android buttons


Kyocera states that the Hydro Elite has waterproof protection from blowing rain (IPX5 certification) and can withstand water immersion up to 1 meter (3.28 feet) for up to 30 minutes (IPX7 certification), though this is limited to fresh water only, and says to avoid salt water and chlorinated water – which means don’t take it in the ocean or the pool. When removing the battery cover, you can clearly see the orange rubber o-ring that surrounds the compartment, but our concern here is that the cover simply flips on and off, instead of being locked securely in-place like on the Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE. Furthermore, both the headset jack and microUSB port do not have sealed plugs, though Kyocera says it is not needed and that they are waterproof. With this in mind, we can see that the Kyocera Hydro Elite is designed more for the occasional “oops” moment, when it may get wet or fall in water – as it’s clearly not up to the same military specs and ruggedness that is the hallmark of the Casio Commando series.

Volume rocker (left) - The sides of the Kyocera Hydro Elite - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Volume rocker (left)

3.5mm jack and power key (top) - The sides of the Kyocera Hydro Elite - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

3.5mm jack and power key (top)

microUSB port (right) - The sides of the Kyocera Hydro Elite - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

microUSB port (right)

Bottom edge - The sides of the Kyocera Hydro Elite - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Bottom edge

The sides of the Kyocera Hydro Elite


Back - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Back

Rear camera - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Rear camera

Battery compartment - Kyocera Hydro Elite Review

Battery compartment




Display


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.

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2 Comments

1. xmusicianguy

Posts: 96; Member since: Jul 13, 2011

Well seeing this. I'm getting the Commando 4g. Plus I see no FM Radio listed like the Commando 4G has.

2. NIK01

Posts: 40; Member since: Apr 29, 2013

I am excited about it. what about its brightness compared to for example the HTC one mini or the Xperia V?
Hydro Elite
  • Display 4.3" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2100 mAh

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