Kyocera is continuing with its mission to make tough (often affordable) phones. The company's latest rugged device is the Torque G02, which Kyocera claims is the first sea water-resistant smartphone.
Like the original Torque and other predecessors including the Kyocera Brigadier, the G02 is rated to meet military toughness standards in categories including resistance to water, dust and shocks, but with the added ability to not only withstand a brief dip in the ocean, but to also operate and take photos in salt water. The phone's camera software even includes an underwater mode to keep colors vivid when snapping shots of sea life.
In addition to withstanding submersion, dust storms and drops, this phone has also been tested for resistance to humidity, extreme temperatures, low pressure, and even ice and freeze-thaw cycles. The company envisions the phone being ideal for surfers, hikers, climbers, runners and campers among others and it comes with pre-loaded apps for tracking weather and water conditions, offline maps and an exercise tracker.
The 4.7-inch HD display uses an IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) material sometimes used in larger LCD flat-panel displays with something called "Dragontrail X" glass designed to be responsive to touch even when competing with drops on the surface.
The G02 also gets Kyocera's "Smart Sonic Receiver" tech designed to make for better sound sent and received in calls, as well as dual front-facing speakers that are louder than most smartphone speakers, one of the more delightful hidden features in earlier Kyocera phones.
Like most other devices in Kyocera's rugged line, the G02 seems to make up for the clear expense of being tougher than most phones by sporting decidedly mid-level specs. The company has not even confirmed what type of chipset will be powering the phone's underwater adventures, but it's reportedly a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC (the same series found in Android Wear watches) with a quad-core CPU at 1.4GHz and an Adreno 305 GPU.
There's a standard 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage that can be expanded via a microSD slot. Everything else is pretty standard – Android Lollipop 5.1, 4G LTE and cameras shooting 13 MP in back and 5 MP in front.
Like many other Kyocera products, this phone also looks as though it were designed for use in an action movie trailer rather than real life; sleek and subtle it is not.
No pricing information is available yet, but past devices in the line have been comparable with other mid-level or flagship Android phones, and much cheaper than rugged phones designed for the corporate market from companies like Arbor.
For now, the G02 is only available in Japan via carriers KDDI and Okinawa Cellular. No word yet on other markets or carriers like Verizon, which has had an exclusive on the last few Kyocera rugged phones in the United States.