Curved screens and AR cameras are all well and good, but here’s a phone feature that extends beyond the flashy and gimmick to the potentially useful. I certainly think about running all of my gadgets under the faucet every time I travel on a plane or go a show like CES (finally getting over that cold).
The Rafre is actually the second soap-and-waterproof phone from Kyocera, following another model unveiled toward the end of 2015. This time out, the Android handset has the added bonus resistance to foaming body soap, according to press materials released earlier this week, so you can finally take the thing in the shower with you, if that’s your jam.
And the touchscreen works while wet, for anyone who wants to use it in the tub or just gets frequently caught in unexpected rainstorms.
The biggest caveat for the moment is the fact that the handset will only be available in Japan at launch, leaving the rest of us germaphobes in a bit of a lurch. Clean freaks in that country will be able to pick the Rafre up next month for a price that has yet to be determined.
The handset ships with Nougat, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 3,000mAh battery. Also, for some reason, it ships with a cooking app that users can scroll through with gestures – a strange selling point for one of the few phones that’s specifically designed to be washed off.