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A Kyocera smartphone for the new year (Part 1)

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If one of your new year's resolutions is to get a new smartphone, I'm here to give you a few ideas- but you must read on.

Kyocera.

Yes, that is my word of the day for you.

Kyocera.

Kyocera, the Japanese multinational conglomerate makes smartphones- and good ones at that.

Their new Hydro line offers something for everyone looking for a durable and rugged smartphone, and even for those who had no intention to look for a water-resistant rugged smartphone.

In this part one of a two-part look at what Kyocera has to offer we look at the Kyrocera Torque, which I reviewed back last year and the new Kyocera Hydro Elite.

Kyocera Torque

Affordable and functional, the Kyocera Torque was one of my underrated smartphones of 2013- and it's still relevant in 2014.

As I said back in my piece back in 2013 about the Torque.

The Torque is great since it has 4G support. It also looks good with a rugged exterior, dual speakers and enough under the hood to run all your Android apps, games and widgets.

The Torque weighs in at 5.75 ounces and that because it is tough for those that work outdoors, near water, or I like to say these rugged smartphones are the perfect first phone for kids since they can take any punishment that is thrown at them.

This phone is so tough, as I stated before it meets military specs.

The phone meets U.S. military spec 810G for dust, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, pelting rain, low pressure, radiation, salt fog, and extremely humid conditions. You can also take it in water. I didn't say "on" water, I said in it.

The Torque meets IP67 for dust and water immersion. Make sure all the ports are snugly closed and you can take it in water for up to 30 minutes.

The Kyocera Torque is available from Sprint on various plans. Check out http://www.sprint.com/landings/kyocera_torque/index.html?ECID=vanity:torque/

Kyocera Hydro Elite

Running on Verizon's network, the Hydro Elite is new and the most feature-packed of Kyocera's Hydro series.

It's a beautiful phone. It's light and loaded with extras.

If you are on Verizon and are looking for a deal, the Kyocera Hydro Elite is currently free with your standard 2-year contract.

The Hydro Elite is a waterproof phone that can take 3.28 feet of water for 30 minutes and not miss a beat. It also includes Kyocera's proprietary Smart Sonic Receiver audio technology which uses tissue conduction to transmit to the inner ear and eardrum, making it easier to hear more clearly in loud environments. Try it with a noise cancelling headphones or earbuds.

The Hydro Elite features a 4.3” 720x1280 display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and an 8MP camera that may surprise you for a waterproof phone. There is also a 1.3 MP self-facing camera.

For playing music and videos, the Hydro Elite is a trooper. The display is sharp and for music playback the Google Play Music app covers all the basics and more.

The battery life was excellent, the phone made it through the whole day and into the night without recharging. That is about all we can ask for with our smartphones today.

I like the Hydro Elite, it's a powerful Android phone that will hold up in the elements and with extras like the Smart Sonic technology, it's something unique and quite fun.

Something cool from Kyocera, and they aren't stopping here.

Part 2 with two more Kyocera phones is coming.

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