The rough and tough Android smartphone niche has never been extremely competitive, but if you like your gadgets to be able to take a beating and have some decent hardware things are looking up.
The Sprint-exclusive Kyocera Torque is the second rugged phone to see daylight in the past week, after Samsung’s Galaxy Xcover 2. Just like Sammy’s tough guy, this bad boy is all muscle on the exterior, but is no pushover on the performance front, having the right features to be called at least a mid-ranger.
Spotted at the FCC less than a couple of weeks back, the Torque is listed by Sprint as “coming soon”, with no additional details on the release and pricing. Still, the launch can’t be far away, especially that the carrier has revealed the 4-incher’s full spec sheet.
The Kyocera Torque has a 480 x 800 pixels resolution display, a dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus CPU beneath the hood, as well as 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of on-board storage. Not too shabby so far and actually a tad better than Sammy’s Xcover 2, which only features a 1 GHz processor.
The rest of the specs and features are all at least on-par with the competition and include a 5 MP rear-facing snapper, a 1.3 MP front-facing cam, 2,500 mAh battery and microSD support. The Torque even comes with all the high-end works on the connectivity front, from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 to NFC and 4G LTE. On the flipside, you might find the software on Kyocera’s phone a little “rigid”, as there’s no Jelly Bean to butter it up (only ICS). Oops!
As far as design is concerned, the Torque is a tad thicker and bulkier than the Xcover 2, but it’s all for a noble purpose. There’s protection against water, dust, shock, vibration, temperature and humidity on Kyocera’s bad boy, whereas Samsung’s fellow is only sheltered from the first two dangers. Now if only Sprint would hit the price spot as well.
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Point of Clarification: The phone “only” has ICS because it supports Sprint’s Direct Connect push-to-talk service, which is based on Qualcomm’s QChat. Currently there is not a version of QChat that supports Jelly Bean. When one becomes available, Kyocera will look at an OS upgrade for Torque.