Going to be in the market for a new Direct Connect device soon, but the current offerings seem so... drab? Enter the Kyocera Torque, the latest Sprint smartphone featuring the network's CDMA-based Push-to-Talk service. The phone, which should be available sometime in early March, brings with it LTE connectivity, (mostly) stock Android 4.0, a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, HD Voice, 4-inch WVGA display, 4GB internal storage and a 2,500mAh battery. As you'd come to expect on a Direct Connect device, it's also certified mil-spec 810G and IP67 and is water-resistant (it can be in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes). It's also the first on this side of the Pacific to utilize Kyocera's Smart Sonic Receiver tissue-conduction tech, a system that foregoes the traditional earpiece and transmits audio to your ear via vibration.
The Torque packs a lot of average features that would likely put it somewhere in the mid-range (we haven't been given pricing yet), but it's definitely not going to win any beauty awards -- it's still a Direct Connect device, after all. Its outer layer is dressed with Dura-Grip and the phone is plenty bulky as a result; however, it's also much more durable than your standard piece of electronics. We threw the phone at the wall, slammed it repeatedly on the table, dunked it in water and even let it sit in ice for at least 20 minutes, all without incident.
On the software side, the Torque uses a version of stock Android 4.0 with only a small amount of tweaking. Essentially, the only major change added in by Sprint and Kyocera is Eco Mode, a power management system on the Torque that blocks background data connections for nonessential apps. We've put together a gallery of pics for you below. Follow us past the break for a full spec listing and our hands-on video.