Kyocera Hydro Elite Makes Android Accessible

If there is one overwhelming “complaint” about Android phones, it’s that they are too complicated with too many settings. For some of us, that’s a bonus, but for others, it’s just plain confusing. When I received the Kyocera Hydro Elite phone as a member of the Verizon Wireless Insider team, I was excited to tell you all about its waterproof capabilities. They are, after all, very cool. But it has another feature that I think is just as exciting: Starter Mode.

Switching from an older cell phone to a smart phone can be a big adjustment. There are a lot of features, a lot of icons, and a lot of settings. Kyocera aims to make the transition easier with their Starter Mode user interface. When you first turn the phone on, you can elect to run in Starter Mode and you can change this at any time from the Settings (it’s called “Phone Mode”). With Starter Mode on, users will see a simplified one-page menu with larger icons and fewer choices. Here are screenshots for comparison:

Starter Mode
Standard Mode















As you can see, Starter Mode has a simplified interface without a lot of choices right off the bat. You can still access all of your apps through the Menu icon. Standard Mode allows for more customization, multiple pages for keeping often-used apps, and widgets (like the weather widget). New users can begin in Starter Mode and graduate to Standard as they get more comfortable and need more features.

I think this is a great option for those who are less tech-savvy and/or have vision impairment. What do you think?


Disclosure: As a member of the Verizon Wireless Insider team, I received this product for review and may receive other perks like travel. There is no additional compensation and I am a regular paying customer with Verizon Wireless.

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