When we last left Kyocera, the company was still trying to convince us that more screens are more better. Today at CTIA, the company best known for creating the company printer you kick at least once a week in the office announced two new phones that are decidedly less gimmicky: the Kyocera Hydro and the Kyocera Rise of the Machines.


First off, the Kyocera Hydro, which is designed to be water resistant, and billed as a device that can "withstand the spills and drops of everyday life." Which is handy because, as a device with a single-core 1GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM, there is a very real chance you'll want to throw this device in a lake on more than one occasion.


Then there's the Kyocera Rise of the Planet of the Apes. A four-row QWERTY slider with similar specs to the Hydro, minus the water resistance. Same single core processor and 512MB of RAM. Both devices also have a 480x320 IPS LCD display. 2GB of on-board storage means that this one, as well as the Hydro, may be looking for some relief in the micro SD card department, which thankfully is supported. Without adding an SD card, though, you may find yourself hitting that universally-despised "You have run out of space" warning.

Kyocera is quick to remind us that people want hardware keyboards (probably true!), yet few manufacturers offer viable options for sliders. Most manufacturers, instead, force users to choose between the latest, top of the line device with no hardware keyboard, or a mid-to-low range device with outdated specs that does have a hardware keyboard. It's nice to see that Kyocera is doing something different.

Here's the full list of shared specs between the two devices:

  • 1GHz Snapdragon processor (MSM8655)
  • 512MB RAM
  • 3.5" HVGA 480x320 IPS LCD display
  • 2GB ROM
  • micro SD card support
  • 3.2 megapixel camera w/ LED flash
  • EV-DO Rev A and 1X Advanced
  • WiFi (b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth (2.1 + EDR)
  • Android 4.0

No word on pricing or availability yet. However, if Kyocera pushes the Hydro and the Rise of the Lycans as powerhouse phones and tries to hit the $199 price point, it's difficult to imagine these phones having any measurable success.

Here's the full press release:

Kyocera Introduces Hydro and Rise, Android Smartphones Designed to Meet the Demands of Real Life

Fully Immersible Hydro Combines Water-Resistant Durability with Sleek Style, While Underserved QWERTY Lovers ‘Rise Up’ for Convenient QWERTY Keypad


NEW ORLEANS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kyocera Communications Inc., a San Diego-based provider of Kyocera-branded wireless phones in the Americas, today announced at the CTIA Wireless 2012 trade show two new Android™ 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) smartphones designed to meet the everyday needs of real life: the waterproofKyocera Hydro and QWERTY-plus-touchscreen Kyocera Rise.

Leveraging technology from Kyocera’s ruggedized Dura Series and more than four years of experience building water-resistant mobile phones, Kyocera Hydro carries IPx5- and IPx7-level water resistance. Whether caught in a rainstorm or dropped in a sink, Hydro is certified as waterproof against sprayed water (e.g., rain) and immersion in water up to one meter deep for up to 30 minutes. It is Kyocera’s first mass-market water-resistant smartphone for the North American market. According to a January study by TNS Global Research, more than 82.5 million handsets in the U.S. have been destroyed by water or moisture.† Additionally, in a recent Wireless Lounge survey 70 percent of consumers indicated they consider water resistance an important feature in their next phones.*

“Kyocera has been making water-resistant devices globally since 2008, ranging from handsets for children to full Mil Spec, ultra-ruggedized devices, and Hydro is our seventeenth so far,” said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing at Kyocera Communications. “Wireless devices have become so crucial to our everyday lives; their durability must support our lifestyles. Kyocera Hydro combines a sleek, touchscreen design with water resistance to ensure it can withstand the spills and drops of everyday life.”

Kyocera Rise offers the best of both worlds for diehard QWERTY users and feature-phone users looking to move up to a smartphone: an easy-to-use slide-out keypad and a high-resolution touchscreen in an Android 4.0 device. A survey by Yankee Group earlier this year revealed that 69 percent of consumers called a QWERTY keypad a “must have” or “nice to have” feature on their devices.+

“For some people, keys ARE the key feature, yet there are very few QWERTY smartphones on the market to meet this demand,” said Anderson. “Kyocera Rise is the ideal device for those underserved consumers for whom a touchscreen isn’t enough and who demand the familiar tactile feedback of a keypad. With both Hydro and Rise, people have spoken loud and clear about what they want, and we’ve listened.”

Both Hydro and Rise feature 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive 480x320 IPS LCD touchscreen displays and Swype for rapid text entry. They have MSM8655 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon® processors, 2GB ROM, 512MB RAM memory and support microSD™ memory cards up to 32GB. Each has a 3.2 megapixel camera with an LED flash and a 30 frame-per-second camcorder. On the network side, Hydro and Rise support EV-DO Rev A and 1X Advanced and are enabled with Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Stereo Bluetooth® (2.1 + EDR) wireless technology support and high-speed USB 2.0. They include 3-axis accelerometers, digital compasses, proximity sensors, ambient light sensors and Kyocera’s “Eco Mode” software to monitor and conserve battery power.

Despite its water resistance, Hydro is a trim 4.53 x 2.44 x 0.50 in. and weighs only 4.16 ounces. Rise, with its slide-out QWERTY keypad, measures 4.44 x 2.38 x 0.56 in. (in closed position) and weighs 5.54 oz. Both phones will be available nationally in the second half of 2012.

Images of Kyocera Hydro and Rise can be found at http://toolkit.kyocera-wireless.com.

Source: BusinessWire