San Diego – Kyocera will expand its range of waterproof Hydro cellphones in the U.S. to seven when no-contract provider Boost Mobile on June 17 launches the 4G LTE-equipped Hydro Icon at $149 without contract.
For Sprint’s prepaid Boost brand, the Icon expands Boost’s Hydro selection to three models, but the Icon is Boost’s first Hyrdo with 4G LTE.
The ruggedized drop-proof and dust-proof Icon, like other Hydro phones, can be completely submerged in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes because it adheres to the IP57 rating developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The rating also signifies that the phone is dust proof in that dust does not enter the handset in sufficient quantity to interfere with phone operation.
The Icon also features a Military Standard 810G design to prevent damage from shocks and drops, joining only one other Hyrdo phone, the Xtrm, with that feature.
Kyocera’s other six Hydro phones include three LTE models. They are the Hydro Vibe, Xtrm and Elite.
Like select other Hydro phones, the Icon features Smart Sonic audio technology, which consists of a ceramic actuator that replaces the phone’s speaker so users hear conversations more clearly in noisy environments.
The Icon offers many of the same features as the recently introduced Hydro Vibe, which lacks the Milspec rating. Key Icon features include 5-inch qHD capacitive, impact-resistant touchscreen. Other key features include Android 4.3, Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 8-megapixel rear camera/camcorder with LED flash, 2-megapixel front camera, wireless charging using the PMA format, 2,000 mAh lithium-ion battery, proprietary Eco-Mode and MaxiMZR power-management apps, 8GB of onboard memory and 32GB MicroSD slot.
The Icon also features Sprint Spark tri-band Enhanced-LTE technology, which is available in 24 markets. Sprint’s traditional LTE service reaches more than 225 million people. Spark delivers LTE speeds over three bands (800MHz in the old Nextel band, 1900MHz and 2.5GHz) and 3G cellular and data over the 1900MHz band and, for domestic roaming, over the non-Nextel 800MHz band.
The Icon can be paired with one of Boost’s three new rate plans, all of which offer unlimited talk and text. The $40 features 500MB of high-speed 3G/4G LTE data; the $50 plan offers 2,5GB, and the $60 plan offers 5GB. After the data caps are reached, data speeds slow to 128bps.
In Kyocera’s current Hydro lineup, four models are equipped with LTE devices, and two of those devices, the Vibe and Icon, feature Sprint’s Spark tri-band LTE.