First Read

A first take on enterprise IT technology news and events.

Kyocera's New Torque G02 Smartphone Is Beach-Ready, Seawater-Resistant

The bad news, however, is that the Torque G02 is only for sale in Japan. Come on, Kyocera, American beach-lovers will want this phone. Bring it here.

Download the authoritative guide:

Kyocera, smartphones, seawater-resistant, ruggedized

Having a smartphone that can put up with many of the physical hazards that life can dole out is important. Drop protection, water resistance, dust protection and even shock protection are all nice and available in some phones, particularly in ruggedized devices.

But until now, I have not heard of a smartphone that is seawater-resistant. That changed when I received an announcement about the new Kyocera Torque G02 smartphone, which—get this—can be operated in seawater. Yes, salty, corrosive, harsh seawater.

As a person who loves to spend time on New Jersey's beaches, I got pretty interested in this news as I read it. Never again, I imagined, might I have to worry about protecting my smartphone in my zippered, sheltered backpack pocket while on the beach, keeping it out of the surf, the salty mist and, of course, the sand, if only I had one of these phones.

But quickly, all the excitement burst out of my discovery.

The Torque G02, sadly, is only being offered for sale in Japan at the present time, the company said in the announcement. The new device is being made for the KDDI Corp., a telecommunications company in Japan, which will offer it for sale to customers of the Okinawa Cellular Telephone Co.

That's great for them, but that's not good for other users around the globe who could very well have a hankering for one of these phones. Imagine if you love the beach or are a boat enthusiast, a surfer, a rafter, an ocean kayaker or other ocean sports lover. Here is a smartphone that you can carry and not worry about while you are doing your thing on the waves. You could attach a flotation device and not lose it if it accidentally falls into the sea. Try that with your iPhone or any other smartphone. Not only will the water cause problems, but the salinity of the seawater will render it likely unrecoverable, no matter how much uncooked rice you smother it in.

The rest of the specifications for the Torque G02 were also intriguing. It is certified to the U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD-810G) for ruggedness in 19 categories, and the phone's camera can be used underwater.

The phone's 4.7-inch HD IGZO display is covered with Dragontrail X high-strength glass, and it includes 2GB of memory, 16GB of internal storage (expandable up to 128GB through a memory slot), a 2,910mAh battery, a 13-megapixel CMOS main camera and a 5-megapixel CMOS front camera. The phone runs on Android 5.1. It also includes two front-facing speakers and a large, easy-to-press button on the side that can be used for receiving calls, starting frequently used applications or changing widgets on the start screen. The handsets, which have a cool, futuristic look, are available in green, red or black. No price was announced.

Now this is a cool phone. Maybe, if we start a Facebook campaign, we can convince Kyocera to bring it to the United States. Who's with me?