Kyocera’s got new washable smartphones but you probably can’t buy them

If having a waterproof phone is just oh-so-2016, then take a peek at Kyocera’s new washable phone going on sale in Japan.

This isn’t the company’s first foray into washable devices, and like its predecessor, the ‘Rafre KYV40’ is able to withstand a vigorous scrubbing in soapy hot water, and the company says the touchscreen has been specially designed to remain operational when completely wet. So, if you like to take a bath with your phone, the Rafre could well be the handset you want, but only if you live in Japan.

One of the most interesting parts of how it achieves this total ingress protection is to avoid having an earpiece speaker on the front of the phone by using its ‘Smart Sonic Receiver’ to transmit sound vibrations through the screen to your ear.

More run of the mill specs include a 13-megapixel front-facing camera, 3,000mAh battery pack and a 5-inch HD display. It’ll also arrive running Android 7.0 (Nougat) out of the box. The company says there’s also a dedicated cooking app that has a number of different gesture controls built in.

If you do happen to be living in Japan, and a customer of the KDDI network, you can pick up the KYV40 in Pale Pink, Clear White and Light Blue but pricing hasn’t been announced.

While you’ll probably never get to buy this particular handset, it would be nice to see a few devices go on sale in the UK and Europe with a similar setup to that Smart Sonic Receiver.

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