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Christmas Gift Guide

Sprint's extra-strength Torque

Tough touch-screen phone

5MP rear-facing shooter

Direct Connect for easy talking

Under the locked hood

Not the slimmest handset

Underneath the plate

Excellent audio speakers

Currently available on Sprint for $99.99 after users sign a two-year agreement and send a mail-in rebate, the Kyocera Torque combines full military-spec toughness with Android smartphone capabilities like a 5-megapixel camera and 4G LTE.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The 4-inch WVGA IPS display has a 800X480-pixel resolution and is made out of Corning Gorilla Glass 2.0. It's dust-, shock-, and waterproof. You can dunk it in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the back is a 5-megapixel camera with flash. Some features include six picture modes (including HDR, panorama, and "effects," which has 14 filters of its own), six photo sizes (ranging from 640x480 to 2,592x1,944), digital zoom, a flash, and four focuses.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

On the left are a Sprint Direct Connect button, outlined in yellow, and a small volume rocker. Preloaded is a Direct Connect app, which lets you set up your push-to-talk contacts and settings in an easy and intuitive manner.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Powering the handset is a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor and a 2,500mAh battery, which has a reported talk time of 18 hours.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The phone measures 4.44 inches tall, 2.38 inches wide, 0.56-inch thick, and weighs 5.54 ounces. Surprisingly, it's not much bulkier than an iPhone sporting an Otterbox or LifeProof case (though, admittedly, those cases are removable when need be).

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Below the camera is a lock for the back plate that requires a small coin to unfasten. Once unlocked, you can pry off the plate and access the battery, NFC chip, and microSD card slot that's expandable up to 32GB. Unfortunately, you need to remove the battery first in order to insert or eject the card.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Below the display are two very loud stereo speakers. The Torque is also Kyocera's first U.S. phone to feature its Smart Sonic Receiver Technology, which transmits sound waves from the phone through the cartilage in your ear, boosting audio quality and clarity.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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