by Randohn Cornell -- August 21st 2012 -- Manassas, VA
I'm going to do my best to enlighten the general public on why this is a great phone.
For years Kyocera has been a "bargain brand". With the introduction of the hydro this is no longer the case.
In the world of smart phones everything is compared to the Iphone. This phone blows the Iphone 4 away. It's more ergonomically sensible, it has and OPEN SOURCE OS that you can do whatever you please with, there's no silly glass screen and glass back to break, and it is not so slippery without a case that you are constantly dropping it.
Where the Iphone is made to be broken and pump up sales volume, this phone is actually MADE to last. The construction is rugged and the phone is rated to be submersed in 3 meters (or roughly 9 feet) of water for thirty minutes. If you were to drop the hydro in an average swimming pool you would have time to change into swim attire before retrieving it, all with confidence it would still place a call as soon as you got it back.
The 1ghz processor puts this phone on par with the great smart phones available in the market today. THis phone is built to be cost effective and thus does not include stupid features that could be replaced by the blue ray player and digital camera that everyone in 2012 already owns. So there's no mini hdmi out port. Who cares? Most people with hdmi compatible phones never use that feature or simply don't carry around the special cord that is needed to capitilize on being able to play a shaky "high definition" video of their bar crawl antics from the night before on a flat screen tv at their friend's house. Guess you'll have to upload a less than HD video to your social network of choice where it won't take five minutes to load because of the massive file size.
Some may argue that the transition between apps is not instant but you may notice this is also the caae on the iphone. The only difference is that apple does this fade from screen to screen that gives it an appearance of seamlessness. This is just wasted code.
The camera on the Hydro is 3.2 megapixels which is not at the top of smart hpones comparisons but this phones is also available for a whopping $150...without a contract. The newest ice cream sandwich Android OS is loaded from the factory and has an awesome camera feature.
Ever see something passsing by that absolutely requires you to capture a picture of it? You pull your Iphone 4 out of your pocket,which can be a job all by itself with the clunky case on it, unlock the screen, open your camera, and by the time it's ready to actually TAKE a picture, the amazing thing is gone. That is not the case with the Hydro. Whip your phone out and hit the screen unlock button. You are given the choice between unlocking it to the phone or flicking the camera icon to immediately start the camera. Hit the "capture" button and the phone auomatically asseses weather or not a flash is needed and snaps a picture. All of this transcribes in seconds. it can take a full minute for the Iphone 4 to go from pocket to actually capturing an image. This is not an exageration. The picture may be limited to 3.2 mp but it takes a picture on the run. Isn't that the point of a camera phone?
Replacing the SD card is a joy. There is a slotted knob at the bottome of the battery cover which can be turned with a dime or finger nail. Then simply use a finger nail or like object to pop the cover off using the convenient catch slot at the bottom of the battery cover. When you remove the battery cover you'll notice that there is a small rubber o-ring that runs around the entirety of the battery cover which is just part of this phones waterproof build. The battery comes with a pull tab to lift it out so you aren't destroying it with a pocket knife when it comes time to be removed. Underneath the battery id the SD card. it looks impossible to remove at first. The removable storage is neatly nestled in such a way that allows no movement and thus no oportunity for the pins to lose contact. Slide the cover tab toward the top of the phone about 1mm and the spring loaded SD card tray pops up, allowing you to slide it out. Genius!
On some micro USB charger phones the connection feels flimsy and often the phones stops charging due to bad connection long before the phone's hardware gives up the ghost. Not with the Hydro. This thing's charger port is solid and the charger feels welded on once it is attached. I won't try it with my phone but i bet you could swing the phone aroud by the charger. What's more is the water proof cover serves to protect the delicate internals from all that dirt and dust in your pocket and roaming about the world. my samsung still has dirt in it from Korea, New York, Georgia, and the Mojave desert.
The call quality on this phone is not comparable to say a bose product. It is however loud and filled with bass. THis is perfect for me because i have hearing loss. The first hearing to be degraded in average people is the mid and high tones. For this reason i could barely hear my samsung whereas my Kyocera Hydro sounds like a loudspeaker by comparison. This is the first of my 12 cell phones that i did not need maximum volume. Also consider that the sound is pretty great considering it is a completely sealed unit.
With the phone being sealed one of my first concerns was heat. Even after an hour of chatting with my fiance it did not get hot. With my samsung smart phone my face would sweat on one side and phone got noticeably hot, as with most phones I've owned.
The phone is eqipped with just shy of 1GB of internal memory for apps and OS. That does not include its more than sufficient 512mb of ram. Neither of those figures includes the sd card which is supported up to 32GB for music and media files. A 2GB card is included. I used the sd card from my old phones to load all my contacts and pictures, then transfer to my new phone with minumum transitional stress. This is another reason I hate Iphone. You pay twice as much for a phone with more memory when it costs apples pennies on the dollar more to make a 32GB phone as opposed to an 8GB phone. It's consumer robbery.
In short, the kyocera hydro is a stunnig value for the price. Unless you need a do-it-all that fits in your pocket as you travel the world, then it would be silly to buy another smart phone. This thing rocks. BTW I ran my phone under hot water just for giggles. No problems. Can you do that with an Iphone, Evo, or a Galaxy? Didn't think so. Surf's up.