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Hands-On: Kyocera DuraCore & DuraMax for Sprint

Article Comments  7  

Sep 15, 2011, 12:06 AM   by Eric Zeman
updated Sep 15, 2011, 8:24 AM

Both the DuraCore and DuraMax are rugged phones for Sprint. Rather than support Sprint's iDEN network for PTT functions, however, they rely on the new CDMA-based alternative.

Both the DuraMax and the DuraCore are hard-hitting push-to-talk enabled phones for Sprint. They feature mil-spec toughness, water-resistance, and make use of the old favorite flip form factor. Even though holsters are not the hippest way to carry a phone around, they'll be the best way to tote the DuraMax and DuraCore to the job site, as they are just too bulky to fit comfortably in jeans.

The DuraMax is the more fully capable of the two handsets. It has a higher mil-spec rating, a camera, and can withstand longer submersion in water. It is a flip phone and tough through and through. That means it is thick, heavy, brick-ish, but kick-butt when it comes to the ability to withstand a beating. I dropped it several times and slammed it on the display table tonight, and the boys working the Kyocera booth didn't even flinch. The DuraMax took it like a champ.


It is pretty typical for a PTT phone. There is a solid volume toggle on the top-left edge of the phone, with a dedicated PTT button below it. Both had excellent travel and feedback. There are a host of hatches to protect the microUSB port and headset jacks. The ports fit firmly in place, and do what they were designed to do: prevent moisture from entering the body cavities of the DuraMax. There are also two PTT control buttons on top to mute conversations and such.

The keypad is excellent and roomy enough to accommodate gloved thumbs. The d-pad felt sturdy and tough, and the directionals all had a good feel to them.

The battery cover locks into place to prevent moisture ingress, but when removed, it is easy to get at the battery.

The user interface is the exact same old feature phone user interface we've seen from Sprint for years. It is functional, no doubt, but could certainly use some sprucing up. The inner display, while a bit on the small side, was bright and it was easy to see what I was doing.

Take everything I just wrote about the DuraMax and apply it to the DuraCore. The only real differences are that the DuraCore is a wee bit smaller, lacks a camera, and doesn't quite have the same mil-spec rating that the DuraMax does. It too is a solid flip phone for those needed a touch-as-nails telephone at their side.


About the author, Eric Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.


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Sep 15, 2011, 12:21 AM

Seriously?? Kyocera??

If one thing customers like about iden phones besides the DC is the loud speaker and good quality motorola iden phones. I don't know why they don't stick with moto instead of using this garbage company that makes crap phones.
Wow, you really don't know what you are talking about. Kyocera, aka Sanyo, has made quality high rated phones for Sprint for years. We rarely have one of their phones come back defective compared to most other brands. Why are you trashing a good compa...
glinc said:
If one thing customers like about iden phones besides the DC is the loud speaker and good quality motorola iden phones. I don't know why they don't stick with moto instead of using this garbage company that makes crap

Hummm .. must be another "web page only" critic !

I have the TAHO .. best dumb phone I ever owned and it's made for taking a beating and doing lots of good stuff .. high quality and excellent reception in the booni...

Sep 16, 2011, 3:57 PM

2008 Called, They Want Their Phones Back.

The most cheap outdated looking junk out there. Boost Mobile maybe.

Sep 15, 2011, 9:21 AM

When will these phones be available?

I didn't see that info.
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