Kyocera: Torque among yourselves on our unbreakable ruggedmobe

Drown me, bash me, I will enter your marketplace nonetheless

Works with gloves

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.

The new Torque, not to be confused with the Android app of the same name, will be available this spring starting in Germany and France with the UK to follow.

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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