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The low cost waterproof smartphone joins a growing roster of devices capable of making phone calls over Wi-Fi.

kyocera-hydro-vibe-0137-008.jpgA software update gives the water lovin' Hydro Vibe new powers. Josh Miller/CNET

Sprint's waterproof budget smartphone, the Kyocera Hydro Vibe, has become the carrier's latest handset to make calls over Wi-Fi connection.

A software update rolling out over the next few weeks will give the handset the ability to make unlimited calls and messaging over Wi-Fi. Domestic calls and text messages transmitted over Wi-Fi are free, although most customers already have unlimited minutes and messages.

It's the latest smartphone to get Wi-Fi calling, a feature that has grown in popularity and awareness since Apple pointed it out as a key addition to the iPhone 6. Rival T-Mobile held a press conference a day after the iPhone 6 was unveiled to tout the benefits of Wi-Fi calling.

First introduced in May, the entry-level phone features a 4.5-inch qHD display, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and 8 gigabytes of internal storage. And, while powered by a slightly outdated Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system, it's enough to get the job done for less-demanding users. The main draw, however, is its waterproof and impact-resistant chassis.

The software update puts the Kyocera Hydro Vibe in a growing group of Sprint phones able to harness the power of Wi-Fi networks. Other notable models include various versions of the HTC One M8, LG G3, and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Scott Webster has spent the better part of his adult life playing with cell phones and gadgets. When not looking for the latest Android news and rumors, he relaxes with his wife and son. Scott also is the senior editor for AndroidGuys. E-mail Scott.

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