BARCENA—Kyocera Sprint are bringing rugged smartphones to the masses with the Kyocera Torque, an ultra-tough smartphone that will be available h 8 for just $99 with a two-year contract.
I got to take a look at the Torque at Mobile rld Congress, it’s a pretty neat device. It’s a rugged phone, so be warned—it’s not a sexy, sleek hset, it’ll definitely take up more room than an ione 5. It’s got a hard, rubberized exterior, a bright, crisp 4-inch touchscreen, three physical buttons (back, home, settings/menu) along the bottom.
The phone is actually built to military stards (MISTD-810G), which means it can take a beating. For example, you can drop it from a height of six feet, toss it into three feet of water for up to a half-hour, you can take it with you into the freezing cold or the scorching desert (the phone can withst temperatures between -22 degrees 140 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s also dust-, vibration-, salt-, fog-, humidity-, solar-radiation-proof, so it should be able to withst even the most extreme adventures.
Of course, at this decently low price point it’s not just for outdoorsy types—if you’re particularly clumsy, or if you’ve got technologically inclined toddlers, this phone might be worth a look.
The Torque also is the first U.S. phone to have special proprietary tissue-conduction technology built into it. The tissue-conduction tech uses a ceramic actuator to turn sound into vibrations. These vibrations can then go straight to your inner ear, which means you can hear sound decently well through headgear, such as a helmet or ear-muffs. This technology also makes it easier to hear sound (or rather, to hear vibrations) in a noisy environment.
The Torque will ship in h with Android 4.0 ICS—at the moment, Android 4.1 lly Bean doesn’t support sh To Talk. However, Kyocera assured me that when (if) lly Bean gets that feature, the Torque will receive an update.
Other specs include a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, a 5Mrear-facing camera.
Overall it’s an interesting device—rugged enough that it can take some abuse, but still small enough that it doesn’t feel like a Galaxy Note II. so, it’s reasonably priced at just $99 with a new two-year contract.