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Would you pay $30 for a waterproof Android smartphone?

John Cox | May 23, 2013
Kyocera unveils waterproof, rugged Android models at CTIA 2013

XTRM also is designed to Military Standard 810G for shock -- being dropped 26 times from 4 feet. 810G is actually a "test method standard." As the official document states: "This standard contains materiel acquisition program planning and engineering direction for considering the influences that environmental stresses have on materiel throughout all phases of its service life. It is important to note that this document does not impose design or test specifications. Rather, it describes the environmental tailoring process that results in realistic materiel designs and test methods based on materiel system performance requirements."

The test methods cover different conditions, among them low pressure for altitude testing, exposure to high and low temperatures, rain, humidity, sand and dust exposure and since it's after all a military standard, gunfire vibrations. Manufacturers can pick and choose among them for a given product and there is no requirement for the vendor to test the products and no independent certification.

XTRM will be available on US Cellular, for $30, with a two year contract.

Hydro Edge is the follow-on to the original Hydro introduced in 2012. Intended as a basic 3G smartphone, the Edge is 4.9 x 2.5 x 0.39 inches, weighing 4.5 ounces; a 4.0-inch diagonal IPS screen, with 800 x 480 pixel resolution. It offers improved performance over the previous model, with a 1 GHz processor, 1 Gbyte RAM, 4 Gbytes ROM, SD card slot (for up to 32 Gbytes), and Android 4.1.

It also has a 5.0 Megapixel camera with flash and video camcorder, and an array of enhanced features such as panorama, High Dynamic Range, facial recognition, smile/blink detection and burst mode settings. The phone is powered by a 1,600 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

Like the XTRM, the Edge is certified to the IP57 standards for dustproofing and waterproofing. But it lacks the ruggedized exterior and interior design of the XTRM.

Hydro Edge will be available under contract on Sprint, and off-contract on Sprint's pre-paid Boost Mobile subsidiary, in summer of 2013. Pricing has not yet been announced. The original Hydro launched on Sprint's Boost Mobile as a pre-paid phone, for under $100 without a contract.


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