We all know that buying phones and tablets is quite expensive, and it always stings a little bit when you start realizing that your old phone is dying and you need to shell out a few hundred dollars to get a replacement.
Sure, I love the idea of getting a new phone, but I would certainly prefer if they were a little less expensive. Now, with most budget smartphones you have to settle for complete junk.
You receive a plastic phone, with limited functionality and a very short lifespan, making it virtually useless in the first place.
We outlined the best cheap Android phones in an earlier post, and some of them have more features than others, but one really stands out in terms of price and functionality.
Yes, there is a cheaper option on that list, but that phone is really just a phone you would buy once and get rid of quickly if you were in a bind.
The cheapest Android phone that still works like a standard phone is the Kyocera Hydro. Now, Kyocera is known for making cheap phones that offer prepaid and even contract options.
The phone I am reviewing today is a prepaid phone, but there are providers like MetroPCS who give you the chance to sign a contract and not worry about making payments all the time.
Let’s take an in-depth look at what makes this cheap phone so desirable and see if it’s worth the $25.
The Kyocera Hydro has a smaller, but effective screen, measuring in at 3.5 inches. The touch is actually quite nice, and the durability is my favorite part, since it fits nicely in your hand and you shouldn’t have to worry about breaking it with small drops.
The 1GHz Snapdragon 2 processor holds up so you can do a little multitasking on the budget Android phone and the phone is completely waterproof, so you can submerge it for up to 30 minutes in three feet of water. This is rather nice compared to other phones that can only get splashed with water or not touched with water at all.
The headphone jack, speaker and every port on the phone is waterproof. This is pretty remarkable, considering there aren’t any covers for these ports and it’s such as cheap phone.
You only get about 980MB of storage available as the user, making it difficult to store all your media like photos and videos. The design is made from plastic, and although it’s not super durable, I wouldn’t be too worried about a small drop.
Some of the buttons are difficult to push, but some users debate online a bit, so it seems like this is personal preference. The camera is reasonable, but there is a clear difference in quality compared to higher quality phones. If you want the best in terms of photos, this is not your phone.
The Bottom Line
This is your top choice as a budget Android phone since you don’t have to worry about getting it wet, and the interface is fairly simple to use. I did notice that there is not a front facing camera, so you won’t be able to do any video chatting on the phone. However, the regular camera is fine, so you can get photos with that.
If you need to buy a phone that is cheap and can take some beatings, this is the option for you. Think about how many phones you have ruined in the past. I like to compare this to buying cheap sunglasses. I break my sunglasses all the time, so I might as well buy the cheap ones that work just as well.
Additional Thoughts on Stock Apps and Multitasking
The Kyocera Hydro runs a fairly stock version of Android 4.0 , so you shouldn’t be blown away by this. You will notice that there are a few bloatware apps that come along with the app, so this is just something you have to live with.
I tested the Boost Mobile phone, so these were all Boost apps such as something for battery status, voicemail and an Eco Mode that helps you extend the life of your battery.
The phone has been able to run just about any app that I’ve put on it, but you might see a little lag when you start running maybe five or ten apps.
You also have to remember that although the phone fits nicely in your hand, it has a hard plastic cover, so it seems to slip out of your hand a bit.
The Big Trade-Off: Speed
Since this is an extremely low-price phone the connection speeds are rather horrible compared to something you might see on a regular Android phone like the Galaxy S5.
For some reason when you connect to the 3G network or even WiFi it is significantly slower than a higher quality phone. I’m not quite sure why this happens since you will use the same phone on the same wireless router, but maybe they just cut corners on some of the hardware that processes these signals.
So, just keep in mind that the speeds are fine for a cheap phone. You can get your work done, but if you are downgrading from a different phone you will definitely notice the difference.
That’s it for the cheapest Android phone on the market. Let us know if you have ever used the Kyocera Hydro and how you like it. If you are thinking about buying the Kyocera Hydro, drop any questions you might have below in the comments section.