updated 01:36 am EDT, Wed May 22, 2013
New rugged budget smartphone
Kyocera is one of several companies to bring new phones to CTIA's spring show in Las Vegas, introducing the Hydro Xtrm. Like most of the company's other handsets the Xtrm is a budget device, however it offers a higher level of ruggedness compared to its predecessor. Electronista had a chance to handle the new phone at a special event following the first show day.
The Xtrm appears to offer a solid build, without requiring the user to slide a physical lock on the battery cover to effectively keep out water--a limitation of the original Hydro. A rubberized finish on the backside provides a comfortable grip and a secure hold.
Specs are decidedly entry-level for an LTE-capable device, including a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a four-inch display with 800x480 resolution, and a 5.0-megapixel primary camera paired with a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shooter. We found the Android 4.1 experience to be decent, without any hiccups when using the browser or flipping through the interface.
As with all budget phones, the big question for many potential buyers comes down to price. Luckily the Xtrm will be sold for $30 starting Thursday at US Cellular, with a new contract.