NEW ORLEANS –
The first two Android 4.0 phones from Kyocera include the Hydro, which is the company’s first water-resistant smartphone for the U.S. market.
The second Android 4.0 phone, the Rise, is a touchscreen phone with slide-from-the side QWERTY keyboard.
Both phones are 3G CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A phones with 1GHz processor.
The company also came to the CTIA conventions with a demonstration of a new technology that turns the whole front face of a phone into a speaker to eliminate a traditional speaker. The technology is said to dramatically increase the clarity and intelligibility of incoming calls in noisy environments by translating an incoming voice into vibrations that are conducted to the ear when the phone is held against the ear.
The Hydro, expected to launch in the second half, will be the company’s first water-resistant smartphone but not its first water-resistant phone. The Hydro can withstand full immersion into up to 1 meter of water for a half hour, more than enough time to pull it out of a toilet. Up to 82.5 million cellphones have been ruined by water damage in the U.S. to date, Kyocera said in citing a January TNS Global Research report. A Wireless Lounge survey from last September shows that 70 percent of people said water resistance would be an important feature to consider in their next phone, Kyocera said.
The Hydro’s features include 3.5-inch HVGA 480 by 320 IPS LCD display, 2GB ROM, 512MB RAM, included 2GB MicroSD card, 1500 mAh battery, 3.2-megapixel rear camera with 30 fps WVGA video capture, LED flash, no front camera, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, USB 2.0, three-axis accelerometer, digital compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, Swype touchscreen text entry and GPS.
In the postpaid market, the Hydro will be positioned as a midtier phone offering a “blend of affordability and pragmatic technology,” a spokesman said.
The keyboard-equipped Rise slider, also launching sometime in the second half, is targeted to consumers who prefer to use a keyboard to reduce typos. The Rise has all of the same features as the Hydro except for the water-resistance feature.