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Meet the world's toughest, most waterproof 5G smartphone

Need a truly rugged smartphone? The Kyocera DuraForce Ultra 5G has it all -- it's scratchproof, waterproof, shock resistant, and explosion resistant.
adrian-kingsley-hughes.jpg
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

A lot of Hardware 2.0 readers take their gear to places that push the limits. Along with people who work outdoors, those readers include a lot of military and law enforcement personnel, as well as first responders -- people who live and work on the limits.

Most of the time when we want a rugged smartphone, we take a fragile sandwich of glass and delicate electronics and put them into a "rugged" case and hope for the best.

But for those times when you want a smartphone that combines rugged durability with high performance, you need the Kyocera DuraForce Ultra 5G.

What I like about this smartphone is that while a lot of manufacturers are now calling their smartphones water-resistant, Kyocera is calling the DuraForce Ultra 5G waterproof.

That's right. Waterproof.

Must read: Apple will finally give iPhone and iPad users an important choice to make

Kyocera has put the DuraForce Ultra 5G through testing and certifies it to be dust proof and waterproof to IP6X, IPX5/X8, as well as passing the MIL-STD 810H drop tests onto concrete from 1.5 meters.

It's also explosion-proof, or, more accurately, non-incendive (rated Class I Div 2, Group A, B, C, D; T4, if you want to be super precise), which means it won't ignite explosive gasses.

The DuraForce Ultra 5G features a 5.45-in IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that's clad in Sapphire Shield, with the rest of the smartphone wrapped in tough plastic and rubber.

It's a huge handful of a phone, but with good reason.

Kyocera DuraForce Ultra 5G

Powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 765G -- the chip inside the Google Pixel 5, Vivo V20 Pro, and Motorola Moto Edge -- and paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, it's a got a lot of pro features under its belt.

128GB not enough space for you? Then you can augment it with a microSD card, up to 1TB.

It even has 5G.

It has twin rear cameras -- 24MP and 16MP ultrawide -- along with a time-of-flight sensor used for autofocus and depth mapping.

It's also got a big 4,500mAh battery, biometric sensors, chunky speakers, FIPS 140-2-certified crypto module, noise cancelation mics, Qi wireless charging, an SOS button when things go bad, and much more.

Probably the biggest negative is the fact that it is on Android 10, but that's a perfectly workable platform for this smartphone. 

At $899, it's certainly not cheap, but compared to the latest iPhone and a rugged case, that's a good price for a handset that has been designed not to let you down.

How rugged is it? I'll let Zack Nelson for JerryRigEverything take you through a testing and teardown of the DuraForce Ultra 5G.

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