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Phones

Huge, rugged Kyocera DuraForce XD striding over to AT&T

The 5.7-inch tough phone will feature Android and a thick, durable design that meets military specifications.

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AT&T will be the first carrier to offer the Kyocera Duraforce XD. AT&T

AT&T is planning to toughen up its portfolio of phones by adding the Kyocera Duraforce XD, a plus-sized smartphone meant to survive harsh weather and working conditions, the company announced on Monday.

Kyocera, which was once a much more prominent phone maker, has carved a niche out of making rugged devices that contrast popular phones made of premium-but-breakable materials such as glass and aluminum. Although individuals can buy the phones, part of Kyocera's sales also depend on bulk orders from businesses, especially those with workers who spend time in rougher outdoor environments.

The 5.7-inch Kyocera Duraforce XD, which will run on Android, is built to handle drops, dunks, dust, vibrations and water, which is what its IP68 and Military Standard 810G certifications represent. It is also designed to handle high altitudes, low pressure and humidity, and supports Enhanced Push to Talk, a walkie-talkie like feature that's often used on job sites. A highly sensitive screen responds to touch from gloves, even while wet. Dual speakers promise to cut through noise in loud spaces, say a construction zone.

Aside from the bigger-than-average removable 3,700mAh battery, AT&T did not reveal much about the upcoming phone's internal hardware, and neither did Kyocera's website.

Based on similar products with AT&T, we expect the Duraforce XD to prioritize rough-and-tumble design over performance -- we'll know more, like pricing and release date, in the coming weeks.