Hands on: Kyocera Torque is an Android phone you can drop in the toilet

Check out our full review of the Kyocera Torque rugged smart phone.

There aren’t many things to miss about Nextel phones, except for their durability. Many of those phones could take one hell of a beating. They couldn’t do much else, mind you, but there’s something to be said for a phone you can throw across the room, pick up, and take a call on. With the Kyocera Torque, you can, once again, take your rage out on your phone without fear. In fact, even the more sadistic among you won’t be able to harm the Torque. And, honestly, you may not want to. Nextel phones were often so frustrating that we can understand why you’d want to throw them around the room. The Kyocera Torque for Sprint, on the other hand, might just make a friend out of you. 

Kyocera Torque front

Often, if you want a phone that’s durable, you have to sacrifice having a phone that can do everything you want. Or maybe you have to put up with an incredibly bulky frame. We spent some time with the Kyocera Torque at Mobile World Congress and have to say, it doesn’t appear to have many drawbacks. The Torque is engineered to meet U.S. Military-level standards testing and it has an Ingress Protection rating of 67, which means it’s rated to be completely dust proof and can withstand total immersion in water for a short period of time (30 minutes, a Kyocera rep told us). It does all this without being too bulky or looking too ghastly, as well. It’s not the prettiest girl at the dance, but like the end to any good coming-of-age romantic comedy, the Torque is dancing on its own and loving it.


Having a phone that you could use to beat someone senseless and then still call 911 on is great, but what’s impressive is how decent the insides are. Sprint and Kyocera have packed in a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal file storage (also a microSD slot), a 4-inch 800×480 pixel screen, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, Android 4.0, NFC, HD Voice, Push to Talk (if you want it), and an impressive 2,500mAh battery. These aren’t cutting edge hardware specifications (specs) in the least, but they’re good enough that using the Torque isn’t frustrating. 

Sound with no traditional speakers: Did you know that Kyocera stands for Kyoto Ceramics? We didn’t, but it make sense now. The Torque has a unique feature  called a “Smart Sonic Receiver” that uses a durable ceramic actuator to transmit sound as vibrations. You can hear the sound regularly, but it’s designed so that, if you’re in a loud environment, you can press the phone to any part of your face and hear the audio through your head. It’s absolutely nuts, but it works well in practice. In the picture below, DT Mobile writer Andy Boxall is listening to some music through his forehead. Those headphones he’s wearing are sound muffling, but touch the Torque to them and you can hear so clearly it’s like you’re not anyway.

Kyocera Torque Smart Sonic Receiver

For $100 with a 2-year contract, the Kyocera Torque isn’t a bad deal. It shouldn’t give you much trouble as an Android phone, you probably won’t break it, and if you drop it in the toilet, you have a full 30 minutes to gather your courage and pull it out. For the clumsy among you, this is a better solution than buying a durable case. The Torque will be available on Sprint March 8 for $100.


Pocket transforms articles into podcasts with an assist from Amazon

Read-it-later app Pocket is adding an option to turn articles into easily navigable podcasts with its new app redesign for iOS and Android. The feature relies on Amazon's voice-to-text service Polly.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Android Army

With the E5's arrival, Moto's entire E-range lineup unites in the U.S.

Struggling to figure out your E5 from your G6? No, it's not a weird chromatic scale -- it's just Motorola's new roster. But how do you know which is right for you? Find out with our guide to Motorola's 2018 phone lineup.

The Razer Phone 2 brings power, a super-smooth display, and RGB lights

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.

Pixel 3 XL vs. Pixel 2 XL vs. Pixel XL: Which XL is best for you?

A Google Pixel XL is the best phone to get if you want the perfect Android experience on a big screen. However, with the release of the Pixel 3 XL, you have more choices then ever. Which Pixel XL should you buy?

Here’s our guide on how to get ‘Fortnite’ on your Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Save up to $1,000 with the best smartphone deals for October 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $1,000.

Put your iPad Pro to the test with these great games

Did you recently purchase a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, or are you enjoying the 12.9-inch version? If so, we've rounded up a few of the best iPad Pro games currently available on Apple's mobile platform.

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

If you weren't already aware, USB-C is quickly becoming mainstream. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone.

Adobe's "creativity conference" begins October 15. Here's what we hope to see

Each year, Adobe uses its Adobe MAX conference to show off its latest apps, technologies, and tools to help simplify and improve the workflow of creatives the world over. Here's what you should expect from this year's conference.

Here’s how to set up an alternate appearance for Face ID

Would like to add a second face for your iPhone FaceID? Maybe your face looks different at work, or you have a loved one that you want to be able to unlock your phone. Here's how to set up an alternate appearance for Face ID.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.

OnePlus charges into U.K. carrier stores, leaving online-only start in the past

OnePlus's next phone, the OnePlus 6T, will be more widely available than any OnePlus phone before it, as the company has announced major deals with retailers in the U.K. The device launches on October 30.