Ultra-everything phones such as the new Galaxy S III and the LG Optimus LTE 2 sure are nice—apart from the second mortgage you end up taking out—but for many people, an “average” smartphone will git ‘er done nicely. Budget rugged-handset maker Kyocera knows this well, and has announced two new entry-level Android ICS handsets at CTIA Wireless 2012, both of which include water-proofing and respectable spec sheets.
The Kyocera Rise features a four-row QWERTY physical keyboard in a slide-out format a ‘la DROID 4. The Kyocera Hydro is your standard candybar smartphone, sans keyboard, bells, and whistles. Both phones share a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 2GB of internal storage, and 512MB of RAM. If next-to-nothing isn’t your storage style, you are welcome to add a microSD card good for up to 32GB. Both phones feature a 3.2MP camera, and your basic ho-hum assortment of wireless technologies—no NFC or LTE will be found here.
“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.” –Eric Anderson, Kyocera senior VP of global sales and marekting.
Both phones will launch in the US in the second half of this year on undisclosed carriers for an equally unknown price. DROID 4 or Casio G-Shock these phones are not but, assuming the price point is something close to free on-contract, I think there is a market for them. Most of the time when I’m asked for phone recommendations, people don’t want to know the fastest phone on the market, they’re simply looking for a good basic phone, one that is as durable as possible, and one that won’t break the bank. Both of these will likely fit that bill.