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Beach Fight: Kyocera's $80 waterproof phone vs. a waterproof phone bag

Beach Fight: Kyocera's $80 waterproof phone vs. a waterproof phone bag

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Every time people have asked me if I want to go to the beach this summer, I have one response: "Sure, for like half an hour." I mean, I don't mind the trek. And I like looking at the ocean and walking in the sand for about five seconds. It's also cool to take off my shirt and suck in my gut for a while to pretend like I did any beach bod prep at all this year.

But the beach is fraught with dangers. As soon as you go into the water, or lay down for five seconds, or basically even think about leaving the boardwalk, there's sand everywhere. Oh, and don't forget to put on sunscreen or you'll actually die. Don't fall asleep! Don't forget your polarized sunglasses! And especially don't make use of any of your electronic devices to document your cool beach life, or risk being out like $699.

Maybe a waterproof phone could help. Kyocera loves making these things, and it's built a real minimum-effort object for Walmart: the Kyocera HYDRO Shore. The $79.99 phone runs Android Lollipop, works on AT&T's prepaid GoPhone service, and can survive 30 minutes of immersion in up to a meter of water. The phone also has "Wet Touchscreen Operation," so you can still use your phone while it's wet, which sounds interesting.

Is this the right solution? I searched for "waterproof phone" on, and it came back at me with roughly 1,000 of these waterproof phone bags. My favorite one is made by Gomadic, because this company is responsible for this vision of (green screened?) beach mom bliss:

A Gomadic case is like $25, which is a bit high as far as these phone bags go. But it's "Made of powerful TPU material which is 10 times stronger than cheaper vinyl versions," and is waterproof up 20 meters (about 65 feet), so that's exciting.

You know what? I think writing all this out has convinced me that I just won't go to the beach ever again. But if you're feeling dangerous this summer, which one would you choose?


Pick your poison

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    A phone bag
    (700 votes)
  • 41%
    An $80 phone
    (480 votes)
1180 votes total