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Torque G02 smartphone doesn't mind a saltwater dunk

Torque G02 smartphone doesn't mind a saltwater dunk

The Torque G02 can be used for texting on a surfboard to snorkeling selfies

Kyocera has launched the Torque G02, described as the first smartphone that's resistant to salt water.

Kyocera has launched the Torque G02, described as the first smartphone that's resistant to salt water.

Many smartphones can stand up to a splash or a dip in fresh water, but they don't go too well in seawater due to the corrosive salt.

Now electronics maker Kyocera has launched an Android smartphone in Japan that's at home in shallow seas, allowing users to surf, selfie and text at the same time.

The Torque G02 is a ruggedized outdoor phone that can be dunked in seawater to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. In Kyocera's tests, it also withstood the weight of a 100 kilogram load spread evenly across its surface.

Compared to the previous Torque, the phone was structurally enhanced to make it more airtight. Its design also allows for marine minerals that have entered its crevices to be easily washed off after a day at the beach, a Kyocera spokesman said.

The handset's other features make it appealing to sea enthusiasts. The 13-megapixel camera automatically switches to underwater mode when submerged, producing images with better contrast and saturation.

The 4.7-inch touch-screen features a high-def IGZO display from Sharp and Dragontail glass, and can be operated while wearing gloves. The display also works with a technology Kyocera calls Smart Sonic Receiver, which makes the screen itself vibrate so that when pressed against one's ear, a caller can be heard in noisy environments.

The phone comes with various outdoor activity apps that let users check wave conditions, hiking paths and constellations. A pressure sensor can be used in activity tracking apps.

While the Torque G02 is only slated for release in Japan, it will work on GSM networks and so could be used overseas. It will be launched in early July through mobile carrier KDDI.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

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