Kyocera: Torque among yourselves on our unbreakable ruggedmobe
Drown me, bash me, I will enter your marketplace nonetheless
Japanese mobile phone manufacturer Kyocera is looking to re-enter the European mobile phone market with an exceptionally rugged phone called Torque.
It won’t be the first time there have been Kyocera phones on sale in the UK: the company sold GSM devices here 15 years ago with the TG200 and there were dual-mode Iridium/GSM phones from the Kyoto based company also.
The new Torque is an ultra-rugged 4G LTE smartphone running Android KitKat and certified to the United States Military Standard (MIL-STD-810G) in 11 categories. It's also IP68 rated for protection against dust and water immersion for up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5 metres.
The phone’s 4.5” 1280 x 720 touchscreen can be operated when wet or with non-specialized gloves - that is to say it doesn’t need capacitive gloves - up to 3mm thick. Icons are designed to be used with gloves and the phone can detect the difference between gloves, bare fingers and a wet display.
The handset features Kyocera’s proprietary “Smart Sonic Receiver” which uses the whole front glass panel as a speaker and detects both sound and vibrations. The handset also has two high-volume (>100db) speakers at the base of the unit to allow hands-free calling and two push-to-talk (PTT) apps come pre-installed (Voxer and Zello). The handset also supports Qi wireless battery charging.
“Kyocera is committed to building high-quality devices that stand up to real-world scenarios and that allow our customers to be productive at work and on-the-go anywhere, no matter the external environment or harsh conditions they have to face,” said Takashi Nohara, Kyocera sales bigwig, in tinned quotes. “We believe durability is a value for all business people.”
For a rugged phone it’s surprisingly light at 182g and it measures 136 x 68 x 13.5mm. The non-removable 3100mAh battery gives up to 17 hours of talktime in GSM and standby times of 800 hours. The phone is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad-core 1.4 GHz processor. The camera is below par for a new 4G phone at 8MP with video, digital zoom, LED flash and auto-focus. There's a 2MP front-facing camera for video calling and selfies.
It will have to take on the CAT phones, which are established as the go-to tough phones, and the Samsung S5 Active - although it’s rumoured that there won’t be an S6 version of the tough Samsung.
Prices are yet to be announced. ®
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