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Kyocera DuraPlus to bolster Sprint's rugged phone lineup

Joining the ranks of Sprint's rugged handset roster, the Kyocera DuraPlus is built to military toughness specs and even sports an LED flashlight.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett

For those who work or play in places delicate smartphones fear to tread, Kyocera's new DuraPlus rugged handset is for you.

Designed to meet the U.S. military's brutal 810G survivability guidelines, Kyocera claims the candybar-style DuraPlus can withstand exposure to dust storms, shocks and vibrations, drenching rains, plus extreme swings of temperature. The phone is even billed to take a dunk in 3 feet deep water for up to 30 minutes.

Targeted straight at construction workers, factory foremen, hunters, or anyone who spends time in unpredictable environments, the DuraPlus also features push-to-talk walkie-talkie capabilities combined with a big speakerphone made to cut through the din of noise-filled locations.

My personal favorite, though, is the handset's LED flashlight. Sure, smartphones can use a flashlight app in a pinch but often they rely on the display to produce light, which isn't ideal or fire up the LED flash, which may reduce its life span.

Want to pick up a Kyocera DuraPlus for yourself? Unfortunately you're in for a bit of a wait since Sprint is a bit  vague about the phone's availability. The carrier says the device is expected to ship sometime in the first half of this year and no price has been announced either.