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Is the Perfect Riding Buddy a Smartphone?

Regardless of how traditional a biker may be, it’s a given that smartphones are an important part of any ride. This leaves the question of which phone to pack for the next road trip?

Answering the question, Kyocera and Verizon think they have the perfect riding buddy in the Kyocera DuraForce PRO. Designed and built to withstand some of the toughest elements, advertising for the durable, military-grade DuraForce Pro even mentions motorcycles by name when declaring it’s the ideal smartphone. Sure any smartphone can be made road-worthy through different cases and gadgets, but the DuraForce PRO promises to be trip-ready out of the box.

Looking at the Achilles heel of smartphones, the display screen, the claim certainly seems to have some merit. The DuraForce PRO, a Verizon LTE Advanced smartphone with push-to-talk capabilities, is built around a durable 5" Sapphire Shield display made of pure sapphire crystal. Sapphire is rated second only to diamonds in mineral hardness, meaning the DuraForce Pro is virtually scratchproof and designed for environments where extreme conditions could spell doom for lesser smartphones.

This brings to mind those moments where sudden showers wash away the grime of the road seemingly collected on every nook and cranny of a biker. The DuraForce Pro is waterproof and submersible in up to 6.5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The phone actually detects when it's immersed in water and automatically switches to Underwater Mode, moving camera controls from the touchscreen to the phone's physical buttons.

iPhones users note, the DuraForce PRO uses the Android operating system - learning curve ahead!

This leads to one of the features that caught the eyes of everyone around the offices of Clutch and Chrome. The DuraForce PRO display can be operated in gloved or wet-touch situations, making it easy to use, no matter where you are or what you're doing.

Many bikers reading the last paragraph will have vivid memories of managing their smartphones while riding through wet weather.

The DuraForce PRO features a full-HD wide-view action camera with a 135-degree field of view that mimics the natural field of the human eye. Integrating the functionality of today's popular stand-alone action cameras, DuraForce PRO promises to be perfect for use on a motorcycle.

Here are the specifications

  • MIL-STD 810G certified for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity, immersion, temperature shock and icing/freezing rain;
  • IPX5/IPX8 certified waterproof up to 6.5ft/2m for up to 30 min; IP6X certified dustproof
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS with Android for Work
  • 32GB internal storage, upgradeable to 128GB with external microSD (sold separately); 3GB RAM
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor with 1.5 GHz x 4/1.2GHz x 4 Octa Core CPU
  • 13MP rear camera; 5MP front camera; 135-degree wide-view HD action camera
  • 3,240 mAh non-removable battery with wireless charging and QuickCharge 2.0

Available accessories include a Griffin Light Runner arm band, shell holster combo, matte silicone cover and tempered glass display protector.

Finally, the sales pitch. The Kyocera DuraForce PRO is available in stores and online from Verizon today on device payment for $17 per month for 24 months; 0% APR ($408 retail price).

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