Kyocera announces rugged Torque, its first phone for Europe

Available this spring, the waterproof and durable Kyocera Torque will launch first in Germany and France.

The Torque is Kyocera's first European phone. Kyocera

Japan-based mobile manufacturer Kyocera announced Tuesday that it is entering the European phone market with its latest Torque handset. The GSM device will initially launch for the business-to-business (B2B) platform in Germany and France, starting in the spring. Though the company didn't release exact pricing and timeline information, it estimates that the unlocked Torque will come at a midrange price level.

The rugged smartphone bears the same name as the one offered by US carrier Sprint in 2013 ; however, this European-bound handset is more similar to Verizon's Kyocera Brigadier . Though it doesn't have a sapphire crystal display, the Torque does feature a 4.5-inch HD display with a 1,280x720-pixel resolution. The touchscreen can be operated by someone with gloves on as well.

Inside you'll find a 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, and a nonremovable 3,100mAh battery with wireless charging capabilities. For your photo needs, the handset has an 8-megapixel camera and on the front is a 2-megapixel shooter.

Like other rugged Kyocera handsets, the device satisfies IPX5 and IPX8 waterproofing standards, meaning it can be sprayed with water, and can survive in up to 30 minutes of water that is 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) deep. It is dust- and shockproof, and can withstand extreme temperatures (from -5.8 to 122 degrees F, or -21 to 50 degrees C) for 3 hours.

In addition, the Torque runs Android 4.4. KitKat and features Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver Technology. In lieu of a visible front-facing in-ear speaker, the phone will have a ceramic transducer inside, which transmits sound waves through the cartilage of the user's ear, with the aim of improving audio quality of media and phone calls.

Kyocera confirmed that the phone will be showcased at the 2015 Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain. So check back with CNET for hands-on analysis, as we'll be attending the show in March.

Featured Video