Conclusion: The Kyocera Torque isn’t the fastest Android smartphone around and probably won’t appeal to those who want a top-of-the-line iPhone or Galaxy S4. However, the rugged aspect combined with long battery life and good call quality makes it a great phone for the target audience. The free (with contract) price also helps. If you can ignore some of the clunkier design elements, the Torque is a great companion for that treasure hunt you’re planning.
Pros: Highly rugged (waterproof), Bright screen, Not full of bloatware, Clear and loud call quality, Long battery life
Cons: Too many buttons that get in the way, Low-res screen, Unimpressive performance
Conclusion: There are two ways of looking at the Kyocera Torque. The first is from the perspective of a Nextel subscriber, someone who’s always been forced into specialized, out-of-date mobile hardware by virtue of the need for Nextel’s special flavor of push-to-talk communication. These customers won’t find the Torque perfect, but coming from truly disappointing iDEN devices like the Motorola i1 , they’ll probably find a lot to like in its reassuringly beefy construction, smooth...
Pros: Excellent build quality with extensive durability certifications, Solid Direct Connect call quality, Outstanding speakerphone, Very good battery life
Cons: Serious lag in keyboard makes text input very difficult, Fuzzy phone call quality, Direct Connect doesn’t function in LTE mode, Low-res, washed-out display with poor viewing angles, Old Android version with uncertain upgrade future
Conclusion: Despite being a mid-range Android device running an OS that is well over a year old, the Kyocera Torque is an amazingly advanced device. It is well designed, and passed our torture tests with flying colors. The Smart Sonic Receiver technology is nothing short of amazing, and we are still a bit in awe of the lack of a speaker. Call quality, battery life and OS performance are all very good.
Pros: Sturdy, durable design, Smart Sonic Receiver technology and HD voice make for great call quality in any situation, Hefty 2500mAh battery can give days of use
Cons: Direct Connect not available in conjunction with LTE
Conclusion: Cars and trucks perform the same basic function, but they have wildly different methods and use cases. The same is true for rugged smartphones. While an iPhone or Galaxy S III may get you from Point A to Point B, you may need the utility offered by a different vehicle. The Kyocera Torque is the pick-up truck of smartphones because it's designed for working in tougher conditions. There's no need to be delicate or put a case on the phone; the phone itself is a case.
Conclusion: In the end, while the Torque probably won’t win any awards in the looks department, it certainly gets props for being an extremely rugged smartphone. There’s definitely some things that could be better if it wants to compete with the flagship devices currently on the market, so you’ll definitely have to make some sacrifices in the performance department if you’re wanting something rugged.
Summary: With its battle-ready, armorlike chassis and impressive battery life, the Kyocera Torque is a beastly smartphone that can handle almost anything you can throw at it. But beyond its durability, the Torque is a solid smartphone, too. If you are in search of a rugged smartphone, the Torque is well worth the investment. Samsung's Galaxy Rugby Pro for AT&T offers LTE in more cities and faster performance, but the Torque offers a far brighter display and better call quality.