Dec 08, 2015 07:17 AM EST
“Japan, Superior,” they always say. And a new washable phone straight from the heart of Japan’s mobile phone industry proves it again. Enter the Digno Rafre from Kyocera: A smartphone you can wash. Yes, you read that right. Kyocera’s Digno Rafre is a washable Android smartphone.
It was in August 2012 when LiveScience issued a report that smartphones are actually ten times more filthy than a toilet seat. This was close on the heels of an incident in which a Ugandan thief contracted Ebola after stealing a mobile phone, from, of all places, an isolation ward. Since then, the factoid echoed and re-echoed throughout the Internet.
The LiveScience report on smartphones being dirtier than a toilet seat in 2012: http://www.livescience.com/22822-cell-phones-germs.html
The case of the Ebola virus contracted by a Ugandan phone thief: http://main.aol.com/2012/08/27/ebola-phone-theft-steals-infected-patient_n_1836133.html
The report on smartphones being dirtier that toilet seats, re-reported by ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Health/story?id=2273311
This rationale may either be the inspiration for Kyocera’s Digno Rafre (stylized as “DIGNO rafre” by the company) or not, but the function is certainly useful. Neat freaks who are also techies may find the ability to wash their devices a handy function, especially when the phone starts to feel gunky and slimy. It’s also a handy function for mothers who have children with a penchant for dunking their devices into the water.
According to The Verge, waterproof phones aren’t new in Japan. Apparently, smartphone users drop their phones into the toilet too often that Japanese smartphone makers thought that the best solution would be to make waterproofing a standard feature. But the Digno Rafre stands out by withstanding water temperatures for up to 43°C. As a result, it was given an IP58 rating for its resistance to temperatures slightly above fever pitch.
Aside from the capacity to withstand water at higher temperatures, the Digno Rafre’s unique feature is that it’s soap-proof. However, bar soaps aren’t advisable, and Kyocera recommends using only foam soap for the device. Still, the fact remains that this is possibly the first phone which can stand a 43°C hot water bath with foam soap.
Oddly enough, the Digno Rafre also comes with a quirky accessory: A rubber duckie dock. This seems to imply that Kyocera is encouraging its users to bring the Digno Rafre to the tub with them. Parents who want some peace can let their children watch their favorite cartoons on YouTube as they soak in the tub—what a way to get clean and have fun at the same time! With the Digno Rafre, parents can do their household chores while their kids splash around in the tub with it.
A soap-proof, water-proof phone already sounds awesome, but Kyocera didn’t stop there. It also equipped the phone with Dragontrail X glass, as well as a “dynamic plastic cover” that has “scratch-healing properties.” Furthermore, it is shockproof certified under the MIL-SSTD-810G standards. The MIL-SSTD-810G is a series of grueling tests on a device standardized and maintained by the USAF, the US Army and the US Navy. So a prospective Digno Rafre owner can rest easy that they’ll own a scratch-healing, military-grade shockproof device.
For around USD $460 to $465, the Digno Rafre have these specs:
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Internal Storage: 16GB
Connectivity: 4G LTE, WiMAX, VoLTE
Expandable Storage: Yes
Display: 5-inch, 720p, protected with Dragontrail X glass
Cameras: Primary: 13MP; Secondary: 2MP
Battery: 3,000 mAh
Goodies: An integrated 1seg TV tuner, rubber duckie stand, scratch-healing finish via the "dynamic plastic back cover"
Color Options: Navy Blue, Cashmere White, Coral Pink
The Digno Rafre’s specs and features are certainly exciting. However, there is one catch: Kyocera has no intentions of releasing the Digno Rafre outside of Japan, as of this writing. Hopefully, Kyocera may do a double-take and open sales of the Digno Rafre globally in the future.
The Official DIGNO rafre webpage: http://www.kyocera.co.jp/prdct/telecom/consumer/kyv36/
Reports on the Digno Rafre elsewhere:
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