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users to choose between the latest, top of the line device with no hardware keyboard, or a mid-to-low range device with outdated specs that does have a hardware keyboard.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

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/fonix232 József Király

    These might be low-end entry level phones, and if they are, I'm relieved that finally there's some quality out, as so far I haven't seen any entry level with proper ARMv7 CPU, and IPS screen. Although for 3.5", 480*320 isn't enough...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      480x320 is the biggest facepalm here. Phones this low-res should not be coming out nowadays.

      • Tyler Chappell

        Bumping the res to 800x480 and maybe a dual-core cpu at 800Mhz would have been a bit better, or keeping the 1GHz single-core and upping the ram to 768.

        • warcaster

          That would be better than a high-end top of the line phone in 2010. What makes you think those kinds of specs should be low-end now? I don't think you know what low-end means. Those specs would make a phone cost $350 right now, unsubsidized. That's not low-end. It's mid-end.

  • Joshua Powers

    Why are tech bloggers so lost on the concept of a budget/prepaid/entry level phone, that's one of the benefits of android is the option of lower price points, screw you, rich people.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Because these aren't just "budget/prepaid/entry level phones," they're budget/pre-paid/entry level phones from two years ago.

      If you want to see a budget phone done right, go look at the LG Lucid.

      • Joshua Powers

        What are you talking about, 1Ghz second gen snapdragon was top of the line two years ago.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          Sure. But a 480x320 display, 2GB of storage, and a 3.2 MP camera was not.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            I tested the camera earlier today. To say it's atrocious would be giving it a compliment. 

        • Joshua Powers

          Also the LG lucid is dual core S3 and $450.00 unlocked, that's not budget or cheap enough for prepaid, those specs are mid range at lowest.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

            $200 for this? C'mon, man. Virgin Mobile just announced the EVO V 4G (basically a re-branded EVO 3D) this morning for $300. It's thrice the phone that the Hydro and Rise are.

            Anything more than $100 unsubsidized for either of these phones is nothing more than a rip-off. 

          • Joshua Powers

            There are $100 no contract phones and their specs are a lot lower than this. 
            http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phones/venture-phone.jsp that is what a $99 smartphone looks like, btw cpu on the venture is arm11 (armv6 instruction set) where the one on this phone is Cortex A8 (armv7)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

          And "top of the line two years ago" is acceptable to release in 2012? The processor in this duo is likely the only saving grace that they have - the RAM, resolution, storage, and everything else is ridiculous, and I feel sorry for anyone who buys this garbage.

          • Joshua Powers

            Yes it is acceptable, budget devices user older components because over time those components drop in price making the cheaper to use. Budget device need to be cheap not powerful, if you want bleeding edge those exist as well. This is a budget device, on a prepaid network it could sell for in the neighborhood of $200 (remember this is unsubsidized) on contract could be around 50 bucks, so for those of us on a budget (not alot of money to throw around) it is very acceptable.

          • Freak4Dell

            The storage and resolution are pretty much the only things that are near unacceptable for this year, but it's still not a huge deal. 512MB RAM is fine in an entry level device, considering "high end" devices are still coming out with 1GB. The 1GHz Snapdragon is fine for an entry level device considering it was a top of the line processor 2 years ago. It will still run Android without issues. Not everybody is gaming on their phone 24/7. I still use a phone with a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM and 2GB storage...I have no complaints at all, other than the fact that Motorola has AndroidBloggerItis and thinks my phone should only serve as a paperweight at this point.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

            $200 for this? C'mon, man. Virgin Mobile just announced the EVO V 4G (basically a re-branded EVO 3D) this morning for $300. It's thrice the phone that the Hydro and Rise are.

            Anything more than $100 unsubsidized for either of these phones is nothing more than a rip-off. 

          • warcaster

            For a budget/cheap phone? Definitely. I'm surprised you'd think otherwise. What would "budget phones have in your opinion? Galaxy S2 specs?

          • Gsanders757

            As "editor" I am embarassed for you.  You should really take a more professional approach when responding to your "customer"  Joshua Powers.  He made some good points and the fact that you referred to these two devices as garbage is very unprofessional.  I attended CTIA and had a chance to see these devices and was quite impressed.  These are obviously not intended to compete with the EPIC or EVO or any other high end android device for that matter.  I'm sure that in order to keep the price low Kyocera couldn't afford to outfit these phones with dual core processors, more memory, a higher res screen and higher res camera.  If they did that then the price would be too close to the high end phones out there and people like you would still be complaining and comparing them to an Epic and most likely would still call these phones "garbage". 

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      This would have been entry level a year ago. Maybe 2, as Eric said. It's just embarrassing now.

      • Joshua Powers

        Two years ago, it was top of the line, 1 year ago it was mid range, now it is budget.

        • doc

          you must be an mvno customer.

  • CeluGeek

    These phones will sell well as cheap prepaid phones.

    And for those complaining about the specs being crappy even for a prepaid handset... May I remind you of the ZTE Avail, Huawei Fusion and Comet, Alcatel Venture, Samsung Gravity Smart... they all have crappier specs and none of them is two years old. Even the LG Optimus Slider has lower specs than the "Rise of whatever you want risen."

    • Joshua Powers

      "THANK YOU!"

      • Franky

         I think Joshua has a point there. The actual case aside, AndroidPolice most often deals with phones that are introduced freshly to the market as top-notch-devices, as they're the most interesting. I mean, you start covering these handsets when their release-dates and exact specs are not even known yet (and you do it very well, I might add).
        So you might just take the hint to occasionally take a breath, step back and mind your perspective when covering a device that's far away from cutting edge technology. Could be the term "average" is conceived to be a bit lower than you imagine?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

      Just because there are worse phones out there doesn't make these "good" by any standards. 

      • Joshua Powers

        Good is subjective, and I'm not sure of your standard of what good is, besides no one said these are iphone killers, these are decent, budget phones, not gaming rigs by any stretch but will handle most casual games like angry birds, words with friends, etc. Spec wise it's on par with my Nexus s, and it comes with ICS. Also most of the cost of this phone is in it's cellular connection, not sure why but this will jack up the cost of anything. (i.e. Wifi iPad = $499, wifi + 3g/4g = $629)

  • http://twitter.com/whoZee Who’s He?

    The "Rise of the" strikeoffs have me ROFLing!

    • fixxmyhead

      haha me too

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/QKIOYBMRNMBTFZ4JAZJGIWECXY Misd

         I recommend this phone! Prices are more reasonable! Better than the other!
        A9220 GSM + WCDMA dual sim 3G smartphone   http://wk.tk/tppfZp

    • http://www.mark717.com Mark Seven

      I know right! LOL

  • Yourmom

    I still own an OG Evo 4G. These phones will probably work better than mine lol

  • warcaster

    Maybe $199 WITHOUT a contract. What makes you think they will push them to be high-end devices/prices?

  • warcaster

    Maybe $199 WITHOUT a contract. What makes you think they will push them to be high-end devices/prices?

  • InvaderDJ

    If they made these high end they would be a lot more interesting. I like the design and stock ICS.

    But a HVGA screen and single core Snapdragon just doesn't work for me.

  • Anamika

    As a person from country where we actually BUY mobiles instead of subsidy these do meet the demands of real life for around $200-$250 ;)

  • poqeteer

    Yeah the processor isn't fast enough and the memory is too small, but I actually think there is a market for a "smaller" tough phone. I have a Epic 4G Touch and I would actually like to have the Note, but I can see those with small hands (and pockets) wanting the small phone. I would guess the 3.5 inch screen (yes I use to have a HTC Touch and Diamond) is about as small as you can go, but there was the Veer which was actually pretty interesting. Having a small "high" res screen would be that bad.

  • Andrea

    Will cases for either one fit both phones?