Kyocera “in discussions” about bringing rugged line to UK

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Torque S701 is the first European release from Japanese smartphone manufacturer

Rugged handset manufacturer, Kyocera, says it is “in discussions” with UK distributors about bringing its first European rugged device to the country.

The manufacturer was showcasing the ultra-rugged Torque S701 handset at Mobile World Congress. The Android device conforms to the Military Standard 810G specification meaning it can withstand drops from 1.2m, is dustproof and waterproof up to 1.5m for 30 mins.

It has a 4.5-inch HD display, 4G connectivity, 8MP rear-camera, 2MP front-facing, 3100mAh battery and 1.4GHz processor.

It is the first device that the Japanese company, which has been making smartphones for around six years, has produced that is compatible with Europe’s GSM networks although it is the number five smartphone in the US.

“The phone is currently only available in France and Germany but it has been field-tested for the UK,” said Kyocera European communications manager Judah Reynolds. “We are in talks with UK distributors about getting it into the UK and we are definitely targeting that market.”

Reynolds says that the company realises that its brand is not well recognised in Europe and will use the Torque as a testbed for bringing other handsets to the market.

He added: “The ideal goal would be having it through a carrier provider but as it’s our first time coming to the EU market, we’re starting off slow. We realise our brand recognition for mobile phones is not extremely high. We’ll start slowly and try to work that up in the B2B market through distributors.”

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