The Ultra-Rugged Kyocera Torque

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The Ultra-Rugged Kyocera Torque

Sprint is now selling the LTE-enabled Kyocera Torque for $150, but with a $50 mail-in rebate and a new two-year unlimited service plan.

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Military-Spec Rugged Meets Android

One of the greatest things about the Torque is that it's fairly indestructible. It can withstand drops, temperature extremes, sand, dust and salt-fog, and small children. Here, it's sitting at the bottom of a bowl of water. After being dried off, it worked perfectly, though even from under the water, it responded to its buttons being pressed.

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Kyocera Torque's Protective Flaps

On the top of the Torque are two smallish raised buttons—the power button and the DC speaker button—and between them a flap protecting the headphone jack.

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Kyocera Torque's Flaps are Easy Lifts

The flap lifts with surprising ease, particularly for a device that boasts its willingness to take a dip at any time.

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Kyocera Torque's Mini-USB Port

The same goes for the protected mini-USB port on the bottom of the Torque. It's surprisingly easy to open and snap closed.

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Push-to-Talk for the 4G Era

On one side of the Torque is a volume toggle and the push-to-talk button for placing Direct Connect calls to other PTT devices. Picking up or holding the phone, a user can sometimes feel like she's inadvertently pushing buttons. Even when the phone knows not to respond to these pushes, the feeling can be a little disconcerting.

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The Shutter Buttons for the Cameras

On the Torque's other side is a physical shutter button for both cameras: There's a forward-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and a rear-facing 5-megapixel. Neither is much too much brag about, though the shutter speeds are respectable.

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The Torque's Rugged Casing

The Torque's 4-inch display is hugged by an intense, rubberized case that—though the device can withstand falls more than most—makes it easy to hold on to. The textured back surface can be lifted away; it's held in place by a large screw that can be easily turned with a thumb nail or coin—to reveal the battery, SIM card and mini-SD slot.

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Smart Sonic Receiver Technology

The Torque is the first U.S. device to feature Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver, which uses vibrations to transmit sound directly into the user's eardrum, enabling them to hear in even very loud environments. The phone's outside speaker, for DC as well as for alerts, is also shockingly loud. However, call quality on the receiving end of non-DC calls wasn't always great.

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The Full Android 4.0 Experience

The Torque runs Android 4.0, or "Ice Cream Sandwich," and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. One gets the expected Android experience; the focus, here, is on the hardware. It comes pre-loaded with an Eco Mode app that helps extend the life of the battery, which gets nearly 19 hours of talk time.

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