Kyocera Torque.

We're on the ground at Pepcom's MobileFocus Global, where we've just had the chance to get some hands-on time with Sprint and Kycera's latest smartphone, the Torque. Announced in late January and coming to market on Mar. 8, the Torque is the Japanese company's first ruggedized Android phone.

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

It runs a 1GHz CPU, a WVGA screen and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, pretty run of the mill stuff for a low-priced smartphone. But what's unique about the Torque, aside from its water resistance and toughened shell, is the system it's employing for audio playback.

Instead of using a traditional speaker, the Torque is fitted with skin a ceramic-based solution that vibrates the shell of the handset. That means it can be heard through skin and bone conduction, as well as through hardcore construction ear-protection gear. The effect works pretty well, and it's easy to see how this kind of feature could be useful to anyone working in a noisy environment.

Check out our hands-on video and gallery after the break. The Sprint Kyocera Torque launches on Mar. 8 for $99 on-contract.

 
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Kyocera Torque hands-on

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This is a big phone for Sprint, a ton of government/enterprise/business customers looking for a smartphone with Sprint/Nextel Direct Connect, LTE and rugged MIL specs/durability.