Kyocera Torque 2014
It is pretty hard to deliver something new to the market since there are large numbers of cell phone manufacturers with fantastic devices. Still there is room for improvements and Kyocera Torque represents one mid range smartphone that will not be destroyed so easily.
The Kyocera Torque stands out to begin with, thanks to its ruggedized design including Military Spec 810G and IP 67 certification. What really caught our eye though was what Kyocera is calling Smart Sonic Receiver technology. This eliminates the traditional earpiece, and transmits sound directly into your tissues meaning you should be able to hear clearly in loud environments. Is this new technology enough to make the Kyocera Torque a winner? Read on to find out.
As far as rugged devices go, the Kyocera Torque is relatively small. It comes in at just 14mm thick and feels much more comfortable to use than other rugged devices out there thanks to a significantly smaller bezel. The sides are encased in a durable plastic housing, and the back is texturized with plenty of grip.
The Torque features a 4” IPS 480×800 WVGA display, which isn’t the highest resolution but readability and viewing angles are good. The display is slightly recessed from the bezel to protect it. Below the display are physical navigation buttons integrated into the housing below; though it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Kyocera has changed out the recommended app switcher button for menu. Along the sides you’ll find a large Direct Connect button, as well as a volume rocker and physical camera key. On top the covered 3.5mm headset jack is flanked by the power and speakerphone buttons, and down below is a covered microUSB port.
The Torque meets Military Spec 810G for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog and humidity, and the IP 67 certification ensures it can stand up to water jets and submersion for up to 30 minutes in 1 meter of water. The only physical openings on the phone are the battery door, which has a locking mechanism, the aforementioned covered ports and the large front facing speakers at the bottom.
The Torque performed as advertised, withstanding all of our durability tests. Despite several drops on concrete from increasing heights the Torque refused to stop working, or even show a scratch. We doused it in water, then dunked it in 2 feet of water for half an hour and the Torque came out working just as well as when we put it in.
The Torque runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwitch, but Sprint was quick to point out that they are working on bring Jelly Bean to the device. Currently, the Direct Connect service is not compatible with the newer version of Android, so the technical kinks must be ironed out first but it is good to see the carrier proactively addressing the situation.
As a Sprint ID device the Kyocera Torque runs a mostly vanilla build of Ice Cream Sandwich, just as we saw with the Kyocera Rise. You can of course download more ID packs, although in general the service has proven fairly niche with little actual benefit. Pre-installed apps are light too, with only 5 apps joining the standard Sprint and Google apps on the Torque.
Processor and Memory
Paired with a dual core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of memory the Torque moves along fluidly.
With a 2500mAh battery, the Torque claims up to 18.9 hours of talk time, an unprecedented number in the CDMA world. This is achieved using Kyocera’s Eco Smart mode and MaxiMZR, which turns off non-essential background data. Even if it is able to achieve half of that number it is quite impressive, and should last the average user at least a full day if not more.
Despite being a mid-range Android device running an OS that is well over a year old, the Kyocera Torque is an amazingly advanced device. It is well designed, and passed our torture tests with flying colors. The Smart Sonic Receiver technology is nothing short of amazing, and we are still a bit in awe of the lack of a speaker. Call quality, battery life and OS performance are all very good. The Torque has a few drawbacks, mostly the fact that Direct Connect cannot be used while LTE is turned on, but overall this is a very good phone. For your everyday user looking for something a bit more durable, or for a construction worker who demands a phone that can take a daily beating, the Kyocera Torque is a phone worth looking at.

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