Bear Grylls and Bubbles the sumo wrestler put Verizon Hydro Elite to the test

Just how splash-proof is new Kyocera Hydro Elite that Verizon has picked up? A video (scroll down for it) featuring Bear Grylls and Bubbles the sumo wrestler has been posted on Kyocera’s YouTube channel. So how do you prove the phone can sportingly take a big dive? Strap yourself to a sumo wrestler and jump into a pool along with the handset apparently.

The IPX5 and IPX7 certified smartphone can take a bit of rain, and being submerged under almost 3.2 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It has a display of 4.3 inches nailed across its front and a 1.3MP camera perched above that. There’s an 8MP lens on the rear panel, a 2100mAh battery under the hood and 32GB of expandable memory. But these features are not the most interesting things about the Hydro Elite.

Kyocera’s really cool audio technology

There is no receiver speaker on the 4G LTE device. The screen is an actuator display which uses vibration and sound waves to transmit audio. In other words, any part of the Elite can be placed over the ear and the fact that it’s the whole panel which transmits sound means ambient noise may not be a bother. It’s an awesome bit of technology Kyocera has been working away at. Just today, the company announced Smart Sonic Sound, an incredibly flat piezo film speaker for 180° audio quality.

Verizon Kyocera Hydro Elite

Sounds interesting? You can grab it starting from today. It costs $99.99 with a 2-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate. The Torque and Hydro XTRM are the other Kyocera devices with Smart Sonic audio.

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