Kyocera DuraSport 5G rugged smartphone review
If there was a beauty pageant for rugged smartphones, the Kyocera DuraSport 5G would probably win it, but looks aren’t everything and while the device has a lot to offer, there’s also a sore spot that makes us wince. Let’s start with the good; it is the most compact rugged smartphone we have tested to date; at 155 x 71 x 10 mm, this is roughly the size of the iPhone XR, only a little thicker.
As for the less good ones, there’s only 64GB of on-board storage, which is simply unacceptable on a mainstream handset, especially in this price range and given the number of preloaded, non-Google apps we have. we met (24 in all). Other than that, the DuraSport 5G is a very nice device and we can’t wait to see what a rugged slate version of it would look like. A successor to Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet maybe?
Pricing and availability
the Kyocera DuraSport 5G smartphone is currently available on Verizon Wireless 5G Ultra Wideband and can be purchased on Amazon for $ 579.99 (approx. £ 435, AU $ 810) plus a nominal activation fee. You can also get it on a two-year contract for $ 24.16 per month (around £ 18, AU $ 33) directly from Verizon.
Let’s start with the obvious. It is one of the most attractive, best designed rugged smartphones in the market and is particularly well suited to those looking for a small, more portable outdoor handset that can withstand the challenges of outdoor adventures (hence the name DuraSport).
Up front is an 8-megapixel selfie camera near the top of the 6.1-inch FHD + IPS display (one coated with a layer of Corning Gorilla 6) and next to an indicator light. A 48-megapixel and another 16-megapixel photo sensor are located on the back, not far from the fingerprint sensor.
On the left is the SIM tray which only takes one SIM and one Micro SD card; there is no option for a second SIM card which is a bit of a letdown. Just below is a customizable button with a wide border that makes it more visible. This is especially interesting when using gloves, as pressing them produces a clear audible click.
On the opposite side are the volume rocker buttons and the power button. A Type-C connector sits on the bottom edge of the phone and is not protected by a rubber flap as is usually the case. So make sure it is dry when you plug it in to charge it.
As expected, the DuraSport 5G is MIL-STD-810G / IP68 tested and certified, which means you’ll be able to rinse it off without a hitch. Its rubbery finish (Elastomer Grip says the marketing literature) adds to the impression of durability without making it sticky.
Point of note, Kyocera also sent a protective case for the DuraSport 5G despite being a rugged smartphone. Perhaps a sign that he needs a little more protection than he expected. At just 185g, it’s by far the lightest rugged smartphone we’ve tested to date. The next lighter is the Motorola Defy which weighs 50g (or almost 25%) more.
The Kyocera DuraSport 5G comes with the following hardware:
CPU: Snapdragon 480
GPU: Adreno 619
Storage: 64 GB
Screen size: 6.1 inch
Dimensions: 155 x 71 x 9.9 mm
Rear camera: 48MP, 16MP
Front camera: 8MP
Operating system : Android 11
The DuraSport 5G is powered by a Snapdragon 480, the processor that sits inside the Nokia xr20 and comes with just 4 GB of on-board storage 64 GB of on-board storage (which can be increased with a microSD card). It’s on par with the amount of storage / memory we’d expect from an entry-level Android smartphone costing a tenth the price.
A positive point though is that it has a USB 3.1 Type-C connector, a rare feature worth mentioning. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1 LE, NFC as well as Qi wireless charging. The fact that it’s so light is why there’s a 4.5 Ah battery (with Quick Charge 4.0 support), the smallest we’ve ever seen on a normal smartphone. The phone is also backed by a two year warranty with the added benefit of being able to receive your replacement before you return the old device.
Use and performance
The presence of a slightly modified version of Android 11 comes as no surprise, nor does the inclusion of Verizon apps. You’ll get Android 12 in 2022 and quarterly security updates throughout 2023. You can take videos and photos using the front and rear cameras at the same time in multi-camera mode.
Here’s how the Kyocera DuraSport 5G performed in our series of benchmark tests:
PCMark (Work 2.0): 7004
Passmark CPU: 2373
Androbench (sequential): 464 (sequential read); 439 (sequential write)
Androbench (random): 166 (random play); 138 (random write)
3DMark Wild Life Vulkan: 976
Although aimed at a more laid back audience, the Kyocera DuraSport 5G is also a great choice for business users thanks to its support for PTT (Push to Talk), Dual Band GPS (L1 / L5) (ideal for tracking assets), enterprise grade Wi-Fi, 802.11mc for precise indoor positioning, a FIPS 140-2 compliant cryptographic module, and zero-touch deployment for mass deployment of devices.
Considering the processor that powers it, we didn’t have high expectations for performance which is roughly on par with the XR20. It will offer below average gaming performance, but if it’s a commercial purchase it matters.
Although we could live with a heavily customized Android user interface, the number of apps already installed on the smartphone was just too large for our liking. Including Verizon apps, there were 24 other apps, including the likes of Apple Music, IMDB and Disney +.
Should I buy the Kyocera DuraSport 5G?
Buy it if:
You want a sturdy and stylish smartphone with full business credentials. The DuraSport 5G may not be the fastest device in town, but its two-year warranty and commitment to providing security updates for the foreseeable future will make it a favorite with small businesses and consumers alike. companies.
Do not buy it if:
You want something a little more solid. Being the thinnest rugged smartphone we’ve tested to date, Kyocera sells a bloated and ruggedized version of the DuraSport 5G called the DuraForce 5G. It has a pretty steep price tag at just under $ 900.
We have also rounded the best rugged smartphones and best rugged tablets