Forget iPhone SE: this alcohol-proof flip phone is the perfect pandemic mobile

Your smartphone is probably dirtier than a toilet seat, and while that's an unpleasant thought at the best of times, during the COVID-19 pandemic it's positively life-threatening. While advice on how to clean a phone varies, even IP-rated waterproofing probably isn't going to hold up to things like alcohol disinfectant. That is, unless you're willing to consider Kyocera's newest handset.

Let's get a few things out of the way. The Kyocera DuraXV Extreme may be a foldable phone, but it's not going to take on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or Motorola Razr any time soon. We're talking old-school foldable, or flip phone, here.

Neither is it going to rival an iPhone 11 Pro or Pixel 4 on functionality. You get Push to Talk Plus (PTT+) on Verizon's network as well as over WiFi, together with WiFi and cellular calling with HD Voice, but this is no smartphone. Instead it runs a proprietary version of open-source Android with apps like a basic browser, navigation, email, and messaging.

Still, that's not to say it doesn't have some features your regular smartphone lacks. There's a removable battery for a start – Kyocera says it'll last over 18 days in standby, too – while it's crazy-loud as well. 100dB+ from its front-facing speakers, in fact, while dual microphones use noise cancellation to make sure you're heard above even loud work sites.

What's most appealing, though, is the ruggedization. The DuraXV Extreme is rated to MIL-SPEC 810G for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity, freeze-thaw, and icing/freezing rain. You can drop it from heights of up to five feet onto concrete without issue, and it's IP68 dust and water rated for submersion at up to 6.5 feet for up to 30 minutes.

Best of all, you can wash it without problem. Kyocera says that can be done in mild soap, cleaning wipes, or with up to 70-percent ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Considering the CDC says that you want to be using 70-percent alcohol to be sure of killing off COVID-19, that's a good thing.

The reality is, of course, that Kyocera and Verizon aren't targeting the DuraXV Extreme at regular folk. Instead, it's a tough little flip-phone intended for those looking for something that can stand up to unforgiving locations like job sites. Still, at $240 retail, it might be worth dropping in your bag or pocket as a readily-cleaned option during these infectious times.