Kyocera Enters European Smartphone Market With Ruggedised ‘Torque’ Handset

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Waterproof, dustrpoof, shockproof Kyocera Torque designed for challenging conditions

Japanese manufacturer Kyocera is entering the European smartphone market for the first time with the Torque, a ruggedised smartphone with LTE connectivity targeted at the enterprise.

The company has released 50 waterproof devices in Japan and North America since 2008 and says the Torque is intended for challenging environments such as the construction, utilities, transportation and public safety industries.

The device can be immersed in 1.5 metres of water for up to 30 minutes, is dust resistant for up to six straight hours, can be dropped from up to 1.2 metres and can withstand temperatures of between -21 and 50 degrees while in use. In total, the Torque claims to be military standard in 11 categories.

Kyocera Torque

Kyocera Torque 1Underneath this physical protection is encryption to protect data and the Torque supports most Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms.

The Torque’s 4.5-inch display works with non-specialised gloves, even when the screen is wet, and can detect when gloves are being used. A widget with large screen icons is then presented for easy navigation.

To make it easier to hear conversations in noisy environments, Kyocera’s ‘Smart Sonic Receiver’ uses both sound and vibrations to transmit voice. A traditional speaker is replaced with technology that uses the whole display to convey voice. Further connectivity options are provided through Push to Talk (PTT) apps and 4G compatibility.

Underneath is a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Android 4.4 KitKat, while the phone also boasts an eight megapixel rear camera, two megapixel front facing camera and support for Qi wireless 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, general manager of Kyocera’s Communications Equipment Sales Group. “We believe durability is a value for all business people.”

The Torque will initially be available in France and Germany and can be purchased on a SIM free basis.

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