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344 of 361 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of a One-Trick Pony...but What a Trick!
First of all, let's get the "negative" points of this smartphone out of the way, front-and-center:

- The Hydro lacks 4G capability.

- The screen is relatively small (by contemporary standards), and of moderate resolution.

- You get "only" a 1gHz, single-core processor. Heavy gamers won't be pleased.

- The 3.2MP camera...
Published on August 19, 2012 by Barrett Benton

versus
44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it's okay.......
my business is working outdoors. I'm always on the phone with my customers and guys, just talk and emails. no videos or gaming for me. I work in all types of weather. So I need a good phone. but at the same time I don't want a phone to cost lot because it just doesn't pay to replace it when it get wet or falls out of my pocket. The fact that it's water resistant is what I...
Published 22 months ago by Justin in CT


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344 of 361 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of a One-Trick Pony...but What a Trick!, August 19, 2012
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
First of all, let's get the "negative" points of this smartphone out of the way, front-and-center:

- The Hydro lacks 4G capability.

- The screen is relatively small (by contemporary standards), and of moderate resolution.

- You get "only" a 1gHz, single-core processor. Heavy gamers won't be pleased.

- The 3.2MP camera (rear-facing-only) isn't much to write home about.

Now, on to the meat of the matter: as a freelance IT person, I've set up scores of iPhones (from the first version up to the 4S), and any number of Android phones for clients needing help getting their heads wrapped around their new, pocketable devices. Me? I hardly felt the need for that much mobile firepower: as a long-retired gamer, I wasn't terribly seduced by large, high-res screens (that's what laptops and tablets are for, right?), and I hardly get off on the idea of watching a feature-length movie on a 4.3-inch screen, high-def or not. I was more than happy with a BlackBerry Curve for my needs ("needs" being defined in my case as: e-mail, texting, IM, Web/data...and, usually, just placing and taking calls wherever I happen to be...yes, a phone!). "A tool, not a toy" has long been my mantra.

That changed a bit when I discovered that the BlackBerry platform doesn't play well with IMAP-based e-mail. I discovered this when I moved to a Gmail account and wanted to take advantage of IMAP's features. (I won't delve into the niceties of IMAP here, so at the risk of sounding rude, Just Bleeping Google It.) The long and short of it is that RIM was of no help to me, and the problem was beyond the realm of my cellular carrier (Boost Mobile). I wanted to stick with my carrier, but what was I going to do?

I'd taken a glance at various Android phones for the better part of a year. Found nothing compelling, and all the phones seemed to cost at least a bit more than I was willing to shell out at a given time. I didn't care a lot about having the biggest screen or the highest resolution; nice as those are, I'd just be paying for stuff that didn't matter much in the main. I *did* care a bunch about e-mail, and it made sense that since Google was responsible for both the Android OS *and* Gmail, it was a no-brainer that the two would meld quite well. But I decided to sit on the fence and suffer quietly with my Curve. (Someone told me "Hey, you can just access Gmail from your 'Berry's browser, right?" Right, except that, if you know anything about the BlackBerry, you also know that doing this totally negates the main reason for sticking with the platform in the first place.)

Along comes the Hydro. The "killer app" for me in this phone's specs wasn't an app at all: this phone was spec'd as watertight, at least down to a meter in water. I've killed at least one phone by drowning, and I'm generally a LOT more careful handling my phones than most people I've observed. This feature alone could overshadow shortcomings such as a lack of 4G or a humongous, max-res screen. It means I can whip the thing out in a driving thunderstorm (or, less dramatically, in the middle of taking a shower), and not fear subjecting the phone to a premature death. It simply makes the phone *useful* in more situations, and under more (and more adverse) conditions than other smartphones...in this case more than almost *any* other smartphone you can name.

Meanwhile: The Hydro is pleasantly light, by way of casing that's entirely plastic. It doesn't have the "sexy" heft or look as a phone with metal wrapping around it, but I'll take light weight (with some structural integrity) over "sexy" (which is subjective, anyway) any day of the week. I will say the Hydro is anything but an eyesore: the worst you might say about it is that it looks somewhat ordinary. Hardly a sin in my mind.

The screen is of decent size, and moderate in resolution, yet quite legible; Web pages come up with reasonable contrast and color, and page downloading, while not lightning-quick, is certainly fast enough for general purposes. Brightness is adjusted automatically based on ambient lighting conditions.

The touch-screen interface is pleasant to use. Note that the Hydro does have off-screen touch-controls at the phone's bottom, even though the latest iterations of the Android OS have largely done away with the need for such ancillary controls. They seem to work well.

And, speaking of the OS: the Hydro comes loaded with Android 4.0.4 (code-named Ice Cream Sandwich...I rather like that name). My exposure to previous iterations of Android have been somewhat limited, but I can say that the overall "feel" of the OS is pleasantly smooth and responsive, and the downloading, launching and moving-around of apps exposed nothing in the way of untoward behavior thus far.

And, those apps...well over half a million so far. Still a fair count behind the iPhone, but as something of an Apple fanboy myself I can tell you that the Android platform has moved well past the "just a contender among many" stage and swinging it's weight just fine, thank you.

As I said, no 4G here...but there's 3G, which does the job rather well (this in spite of Sprint's somewhat-spotty rep in terms of 3G network performance), and wi-fi, and Bluetooth, as well as wi-fi hotspot capability. BT pairing with my Motorola HX-1 headset was painless, although getting the phone to play nice with my Apple AirPort Extreme took a little doing. (Hint: If you haven't done it in a while, check your wireless router for software/firmware updates, and download/install them when available. If not, simply restart the router...that often does the trick.) Overall reception was somewhat better than my BlackBerry Curve 8530, but as the saying goes, YMMV.)

(9/29/12 Addendum): I recently purchased a BlueAnt T1 Bluetooth headset to try out with the Hydro: so far, so good, although one problem I discovered with both headsets is that the voice-dial command voice from the phone - the voice that says "speak now", among other things - is rather low in volume, with no means of adjustment by the user. I've contacted Kyocera about this, since it appears to be an issue with the Voice-Dial app, not the phone itself, and I've been told a fix is in the works. Hardly a deal-breaker IMO, but the fix will make an already pretty-solid phone superb.

Then there's the price: almost silly-cheap. If you're already using a BlackBerry on Boost, you're in for a treat: normally, buying the phone in-person entails an extra charge for set-up and such; In my case, they simply sold me the phone, transferred my account and had me set up in minutes, no extra charge. Couldn't be happier.

(9/29/12 Addendum): One other "bonus" to not having stuff like 4G or a large, max-res screen is battery life: I've typically gone for over seven hours, utilizing the phone's various functions, and managed to run the battery down to about 25% or so of remaining capacity - rather good stats, compared to most razzle-dazzle phones out out there. Kyocera's included Eco app helps out here.

Proverbial Bottom Line: if you value function over sheer entertainment value, I can safely say Kyocera's Hydro packs quite a bit of value for the bucks. Don't let the "entry-level" remarks of upcoming reviews scare you off: unless you *have* to have big-screen bling or that sexy silver band to wrap your anxious hands around, I'd say this phone rocks hard enough in its own quiet way. And when you and your friends are stuck in the rain and someone needs to call a car service to save the day, *you* get to play DareDevil without worry.

(UPDATE 02/04/13 - Six Months Out): So far, no major surprises...there have been a few app-related glitches here and there, but nothing especially aggravating. Kyocera just released a firmware/software upgrade which I installed today; So far, the most I can detect is a mild kick in speed, similar to when I've performed firmware upgrades in computers and such. It's taken some rain, some snow, and a few drops to the floor - in and out of the case I bought for it - and it's hanging tough.

(UPDATE 07/27/13) - Goodness, nearly a year out, practically a lifetime in cellular terms. Here's what's happened since my last update:

- App Madness: My Hydro went a little nuts for the better part of a week, without much explanation, at least at first - slug-slow response, frequent restarts...the usual stuff a number of people have slagged the phone for before. After some sleuthing, it turned out that an update for one app, plus the addition of another app had done the phone in: removing said apps brought things back to normal. Moral: whatever phone you buy, if it starts going buggy after a few months, check your apps before blaming the phone itself.

- Bent Reception: Shortly after this little misadventure, I had a week where my phone reception at home became close to nonexistent - calls and text messages were getting through sporadically at best. Since this is my main phone, I couldn't have that. A quick call to Boost cleared up the mystery: a Sprint cellular tower in my area had apparently collapsed, screwing up service for a lot of people, but they were on top of things and would have service restored quickly. Which they did.

- Right this moment, I'm holding the new Hydro EDGE, the Hydro's apparent replacement. All I'll say for now is that, save for 4G LTE (nope, still doesn't have it, but I can deal), it appears to be, on paper, a sizable upgrade all-around: dual-core processor, slightly bigger screen (now behind "impact-resistant" glass), upgraded camera (5MP with autofocus, plus 720p hi-def video), Kyocera's unique Smart Sonic Receiver, essentially a form of bone-conduction technology that allows you to hear your caller's voice under quite noisy conditions, et cetera, et cetera. Is it any good? Stay tuned...and beware of reviews from people who've owned theirs for less than a week. :-)
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the money, September 24, 2012
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I researched pre-paid phones for about 2 months before I bit the bullet and made my purchase. I knew I wanted an android and I was torn between the Kyocera Rise and Hydro. I went with the Hydro purely because of Boost's shrinking monthly plans. After having the phone for 2 1/2 weeks I feel ready to share my opinion on how excited this phone makes me.

My biggest complaint about the Hydro is battery life purely because I'm always on the go, HOWEVER you must realize that any smartphone is always "thinking" checking your email, facebook, and everything else you have directly linked to it. So my solution was to keep a charger in my bag and I charge it when I'm at work and in the car.

It is surprisingly fast even on the network. The processor works quicker than I expected. The reviews on cnet said it was slow for the processor it had.

I haven't tested the water resistance yet purely because if it does happen I don't have proper insurance to back it up. I did get a 1 year best buy protection plan on it though for just in case.

All in all I have a great inexpensive phone that does everything I need without the hassle of a contract. I would gladly recommend this to any person.

****Editing to note******

I have tested the water resistant feature. It is water resistant. I dropped in the foot bath while I was getting a pedicure, the lady was driving me crazy telling me to be careful, so I dropped it to shut her up. I've put it in a pitcher of water to show my co-workers it is water resistant.

The touchscreen is VERY touchy. I do frequently mute calls while I'm talking, solution, use a blue tooth headset.

Certain apps are NOT compatible with this model, so I got over it and didn't download them.

****EDITING AGAIN TO NOTE******

The water resistant feature does work, however, if the speaker gets saturated you have to wait for it to dry out or you can't hear your phone calls for approximately 24 hours. It doesn't effect the working order of the phone the speaker just needs time to dry out before you can hear or it sounds really muffled. Again, if you use a blue tooth headset this doesn't apply to you.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First smart phone and I LOVE it!, March 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I was using the crappy Motorola Theory before (Yuk!) I'm a nursing student and my instructors post important documents/announcements on the school website and texting us when we have to meet at the hospital so when I started searching for a phone I knew I NEEDED one that I could forward my school email to, access the school's websites (the full page, not the terrible mobile version,) plus I was in the market for a recorder to record lectures. After doing EXTENSIVE research on multiple sites I bought the Kyocera Hydro on December 8, 2012. It is now 3/18/2013 and I'm still quite happy with my Hydro!

BODY: The body of the phone itself is sleek, black, with a rough texture on the back cover. It is also (like every other cell phone) SLIPPERY so buy a cover/case! I will never understand all the reviews I read before buying that complained about the way the phone LOOKS. Who gives a flying crap when the majority of the original phone will be covered?! I bought a nice bright rubbery green cover and the phone is well protected. The Screen is a nice size, bright and colorful. I can see plenty when visiting websites and it is always responsive.

STURDINESS: The phone is very sturdy. The plastic doesn't feel flimsy or cheap. The back cover locks securely, has never come undone on it's own or anything like that and it doesn't feel too light or fragile (not too heavy either) I've dropped it a few times and it has weathered all my clumsiness with good cheer. Yes I have experimentally dunked it in water (a few times!) after being OCD about making sure the back cover and usb port were covered, and the phone is perfectly fine. It amazed my friends, though at first they thought I had lost my mind. I have also used it in the rain while walking across campus and I use it in the shower everyday to listen to music. Yay!

CALLS/SPEAKER QUALITY: I have never had a problem with anyone hearing me during calls and I always hear them loud and clear. The speaker phone is lovely and no one has complained or even seemed to notice if I switch between normal and speaker (On an old phone I had, the speaker phone sounded staticky.) During calls the screen and white buttons on the front cycle through lighting up and turning off, saving battery life yet still allowing access to the dial pad/speakerphone buttons onscreen and the other apps/features on the phone. Since this is my first smart phone I was uneasy the 1st time I tried ending a call by closing the app only to realize I could still hear the other person. Yes you can just hit "End call" but I prefer a physical button. (I mean, what if I want to talk badly about them as soon as I hang up?) Just kidding! This was easily remedied by going into System Settings/Accessibility/ and choosing "Power button ends calls."

Music plays loud and clear through both headphones and speaker phone and I think it's nice that if I'm listening to music through headphones and they accidentally pull out of the jack, the music will not continue to play out loud. Might not seem like a big deal but it saves you some embarrassment when listening in the library or before a test in a quiet class room. I have no real complaints about the Google Play Music App that comes with the phone except sometimes it'll start to play a song and it sounds all fuzzy. I just press back and then forward to restart the song and it plays fine. Weird, but doesn't happen often.

TEXT MESSAGING/MAIL: I was worried to hear that companies are shifting away from physical keyboards since I didn't have a great experience with my last touch screen phone (Samsung Solstice.) I'm a woman and even with my small hands everything ended up misspelled but the Hydro squashed all those fears.

I love the SWYPE keyboard that comes with the phone, very neat. Doesn't take long to get used to (look for demo vids on Youtube.) I DO hate the way messaging displays the message I'm composing: I send long texts and no matter how long it is, your message is scrunched into this tiny box at the bottom (with the rest of the conversation shown above) and isn't fully displayed at "real size" until you send it (WTF?) so you have to scroll back through and carefully proofread before sending. It does improve when turning the phone on it's side to type, you see the whole thing.

CAMERA: I've used the camera to take quick shots to post on facebook. It could be user error but I dislike how every pic seems to come out looking dull and dark, and flash seems to make no difference at least when it's displayed on the phone. When you first take a pic it looks fine but once it moves to the "Gallery" it seems to go dull and dark. BUT!: I might need to play with it more because the pics I posted on facebook look fine and true to their original colors(?)

MISC: The alarm is great, easy to set up and I haven't run into a limit for how many you can have. I have 5 right now.

You can press the little microphone icon to enter text or search terms by speaking into the phone and I AM IMPRESSED. I have even searched for complex medical terms while doing homework and it has "heard" me accurately every time!

WIFI: I'm able to pick up a signal everywhere so far and I've had data and calls (clear) go through even with only the tiniest bar showing (of course it's slower.) I don't like that if I turn off the WIFI manually in Settings the phone will "restart," turning off and turning back on again. That might just be how these phones work and it only takes a few seconds but it's annoying. Happens rarely though; I only turn it off when the phone is determined to use the weak WIFI signal nearby and I tire of waiting for it to give up and switch to the Boost network.

BATTERY LIFE: Smart phones usually eat batteries for breakfast. The Hydro isn't bad though; it comes with an Eco Mode app which is helpful and you can search for lots of other power-saving apps. I can go about 1 full day without charging it if I don't use the phone AT ALL. With normal use (music, checking email, surf a little internet) I charge it once a day. I can record a 5 hour lecture and it doesn't use much battery. I have gotten to school an hour before lecture, with only 25% battery, hooked it up to my laptop (the usb cord comes with the phone) and managed to get it up to around 40-50% charged in 20-30 minutes. Biggest tip: Turn off Facebook's auto updating/ sync. It's a battery killer! The phone shows you in Settings which apps have been using the most battery in the past, what's running now etc.

Sorry it's so long but these were some of the concerns I had and couldn't find the answers to when I was searching.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars it's okay......., October 13, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
my business is working outdoors. I'm always on the phone with my customers and guys, just talk and emails. no videos or gaming for me. I work in all types of weather. So I need a good phone. but at the same time I don't want a phone to cost lot because it just doesn't pay to replace it when it get wet or falls out of my pocket. The fact that it's water resistant is what I needed.

This is a good phone for the money but the Battery SUCKS I need to plug it in after just 5 hours of just talking and checking emails.

The ECO feature is cool and it is easy to navigate. overall its a okay phone....
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible phone, do not buy!, October 26, 2012
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I bought this phone and figured with a quality name brand it would be good. I was wrong! This constantly dropped calls and froze up! I had bought one for my wife and one for myself and both dropped calls and froze up consistently. It was frustrating. I do not recommend this phone to anyone! Since then, I purchased the Samsung Galaxy Rush and LG Venice and those work great. In summary, buy the hydro if you want unreliability, frustration and dropped calls!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why not?, August 27, 2012
By 
Benjamin Thompson (Lancaster, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I agree with everything the first two reviewers mentioned. I got it just yesterday, but my first impressions are encouraging. I'm 31 now and realize I don't need a phone that I can play games on, don't need 4G, ect. This is a great little phone that does what I need it to: take calls, sent text messages, manage my email, and occasionally visit the web. Easy, simple, and best thing is the device is extremely inexpensive. And waterproof..?.. Forget about it, done deal. So far so good. Hope y'all enjoy it too...
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Phone, March 22, 2013
By 
Gary Parlato (new port richey, Florida) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Length:: 8:02 Mins

First the negatives. Could use a bigger battery pack. It is not 4G it is 3G. Could use a 5 meg camera. You can have these things if you want to spend a lot more money on another phone. After using this phone for sometime now i have retired my other android phone and it cost a lot more than this phone did (over twice as much). I can't think of much this phone won't do. They say it is water proof but i haven't tested it ( such as dropping it in a glass of water, and don't think i will do that either) out but did get caught outside in a downpour in my power chair on the way back from the store and it got wet sitting in the pouch on my chair. No problem so far. The speech recognition is excellent on this phone. Here is something i really liked. I was going fishing but i am new to where i live now so i just asked the navigation system to tell me where all the bait stores were close to me. It listed them all and then when i chose one it setup the route to follow to get there and it worked like a charm.It would be impossible to tell you everything this phone will do. I downloaded a manual off the net and it is 175 pages long on what you can do with this phone. The boost manual only shows you the basics and their website has a on hands tutorial but believe me it is only a small part of all the things this phone can do.

Update 5/9/2013. People listen up! I bought this phone March 22nd 2013. Company says the phone is water resistance not water proof. Well April 2nd i was out fishing in my power chair. We have a SALT water river that runs though our property where i live. I was right at the edge of the bank and the water is about two feet deep there. I was talking on this phone and when i was though i went to put it back in my pouch on my power chair but fumbled and dropped the phone. As Murfeys law would have it, it fell on the arm rest and bounce off of it, and YES fell in the salt water. I could see it but it is a concrete bank six feet above the water. I had to drive my power chair back to my apartment get my long fishing net to try to retrieve it. I retrieve it and took it to my apartment. Since i thought i couldn't do it any harm i figure i would just put it in a sink full of fresh water. When it fell in the water it was still turned on but i shut if off after i retrieved it. I dried the phone off as well as i could and took the battery out to dry it. Much to my surprise there was no water in the battery compartment. I dried off the outside of the phone the best i could and let it sit overnight without using it. The next day i turned it on and to my amazement it came on. I have been using it since April 3rd (over a month) and it is still working fine. HYDRO FOREVER! I wish i could give it 10 stars.
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waterproof Smartphone!, August 29, 2012
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
Recieved mine 2 days ago and I am totally jazzed.

Its got more than what Id expect in a $129 phone: ICS, 1ghz, and the screen reads well in daylight. Its light, travels easy in the pocket & does the web well.

Now the waterproof thing is really cool. Drop it in water, dunk it, leave it. It totally works & goes against all my mental training over the past 10 years on how to treat a phone. The touchscreen is suprisingly responsive when wet (not perfect) but I can see myself trying underwater video this weekend. And Im stoked I dont have to have a big bulky phone to get waterproofed as Ive seen before.

Well done.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Phone got mines today, August 28, 2012
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
The great thing about this phone, it's waterproof . And yes, you can toss it into the beach and it works fine afterwards! it has Ice cream sandwich out the box! very cool the touch is really good and the colors aren't bad at all. I exchanged my Blackberry 9310 for it. The Blackberries app store is just limited no bank of america, amazon, or ebay it's crazy plus the letters on the blackberry were to small to read. This Hydro is awesome! I love it Back home with Android where I belong:).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the price this is hard to beat, December 15, 2012
By 
JJP (Nolensville, TN) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kyocera Hydro Prepaid Android Phone (Boost Mobile) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I have a Droid Razr Maxx and this is defiantly not comparable, but a Razor Maxx would cost you $700 so my review is a relative value to the price.
It is not perfect, if it were it would not be $50. But here are a few points so far:
- Even as just an Android 4.0 Media player this is a good value, which is my primary purpose of this phone
- Wifi download maintains good speed. I have run netflix movies and youtube videos with no issue
- Game such as temple run work very well
- Video quality on Netflix is good
- Even though it is plastic, it feels well built
- Google play and wifi work without activation on boost

I have not been able to evaluate battery life yet. I have not made a call. When you consider that a 2gb Ipod shuffle costs $40 with a fraction of the functionality of this phone I think this is a real value.

Update: I have added Goove IP along with google voice to make this a free VOIP phone with its own phone number. It works very well. I have also added many apps and loaded it with music. This makes and exceptional MP3 player with good audio quality (the speaker on it is amazingly loud). I have tried at least a dozen games and all of them work very well. I combined it with the "Kyocera Hydro C5170 Boost Mobile Hybrid Double Layer Skin Case, Perforated Armor (Black / Red)" from Amazon which cost $4.75 shipped. This makes this phone feel indestructable.

Update: 1/28 - My son loves this thing. He plays games and music on it every day. The battery life seems very good, but it runs in airplane mode with wifi only, so I do not know what it would be like on a cellular network. When he goes out with me I turn on the wifi on my cell so he can connect and have his VOIP phone. He has loaded it up with music (I put in a 16GB microSD card) and he has put over a dozen games on it as well. No regrets on this purchase.

Update 4/29 - Power button broke. You need to hit the power button to wake up the phone. It is supposed to have a 1 yr warranty. My son is going to try customer service today. Up until now he has loved this phone and loaded many more programs on it. I will report what customer service says.

Update 5/17 - Sent us a brand new phone. Took a couple weeks, but happy with the replacement.
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