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Japan now has a soap-proof, washable phone for germaphobic bath lovers

Japan now has a soap-proof, washable phone for germaphobic bath lovers

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Waterproof phones are beyond old news in Japan; practically every phone released by a domestic manufacturer has been toilet-droppable for several years. But until now, that waterproofing didn't protect phones from the kind of rigorous scrubbing needed to actually clean the thing and kill bacteria. To address this deficit, Kyocera's new Digno Rafre is pitched as the world's first soap-proof phone.

The Rafre is designed to be used in all kinds of environments without fear of getting dirty, since it can be cleaned off easily with hand soap. Kyocera says it's ideal for use in the kitchen, outdoors, or even the bath — the phone has an integrated 1seg TV tuner and, brilliantly, there's a rubber duck-shaped stand to prop it up.

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The Rafre is said to have a touch panel that works even when wet; it's not clear if this just means the screen is resistive. In keeping with the concept of a phone that stays pristine, the Rafre also has a "scratch-healing" finish that sounds like what LG's been doing on some of its phones over the past couple of years. Another addition that may have helped the Rafre's durable nature is Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver, the bone-conducting technology that provides audio without a speaker.

And, as you can see in this brilliantly acted commercial, the Rafre is also being marketed towards parents with kids that are prone to dropping their phones in their dinner.

The Rafre runs Android 5.1 and has a 5-inch 720p display, a 13-megapixel camera, and a 3,000mAh battery inside a 10.1mm-thick frame. It'll be released next Friday in Japan through carrier KDDI for ¥57,420, or about $465.

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