Product Launch by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday May 21, 2013.
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The Kyocera Hydro introduced Boost Mobile to a waterproof Android 4.0 device that brought durability on a budget. The soon-to-launch Kyocera Hydro Edge coming to Sprint and Boost do the same, but not much has changed in the power and packaging of the new phone.
Much like the Hydro XTRM, the Hydro Edge has solid durability credentials that make it capable of withstanding sprayed water or being in up to 3.28 feet of water for 30 minutes. It also has a slightly modified version of Android 4.1, Smart Sonic Receiver to greatly improve call volume by conducting sound through vibrations to the eardrum, a 4-inch impact-resistant touchscreen, and a 5 megapixel camera. However, the phone is missing quite a few things that its more powerful kin has, including a downgrade to a 1 GHz dual-core processor and and no front-facing camera. Even more perplexing is that the device is 3G-only and doesn't support 4G LTE. Though Sprint's 4G network is comparatively small but growing, the absence of LTE support is questionable in an age when the carrier is trying so hard to increase coverage and transition to a next generation network.
The Hydro Edge is not much of an upgrade internally, but its design is noticeably improved. The phone has a mixed back that features a hard plastic at the top but a smoother surface on the battery cover. The material is comfortable and has a nice balance of smoothness and grip, which keeps it cool and firm when held. The ridge that separates the two forms of plastic is one of the more appealing aspects of its design.
Price and release dates for the Kyocera Hydro Edge have not been announced. Sprint says that it plans to release the phone on both Boost Mobile and Sprint this summer. In the meantime, here's a Kyocera Hydro Edge hands-on video.
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.