Sprint today introduced a new handset that's headed for its stable of push-to-talk Direct Connect devices. Dubbed the Kyocera DuraPlus, this rugged phone is built to meet Military Standard 810G, meaning it can withstand dust, shock vibration, temperature extremes, humidity, blowing rain and water immersion. Other specs include an LED flashlight, 1,650mAh battery for 9.5 hours of talk time (with optional 2,300mAh extended battery available), Group Connect, TeamDC, NextMail, Guaranteed Talk Permit and One-Touch Direct Connect. Unfortunately for those of you that immediately know what those last few features are and are interested in picking up the DuraPlus, Sprint only said that the phone will be available sometime in the first half of the year, with more exact availability and pricing details coming as we get closer to launch.
The Kyocera DuraPlus may not look like the most exciting handset ever, but it should make for a nice addition to the Sprint Direct Connect handset lineup, especially considering that Kyocera's other two recent additions to said lineup — the DuraMax and DuraCore — are both of the clamshell persuasion. Choice is always a good thing, especially when it comes to cell phone form factors! We've got the full press release from Sprint ready and waiting for you down below.
Kyocera DuraPlus, Exclusively from Sprint, Offers Industry-Leading Push-to-Talk Capabilities in Extreme Conditions on Sprint Direct Connect
Kyocera DuraPlus boasts military-grade durability and an embedded LED flashlight in a rugged candy-bar form factor
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & SAN DIEGO (BUSINESS WIRE), January 31, 2012 - Sprint (NYSE: S) and Kyocera Communications Inc. today announced the upcoming availability of Kyocera DuraPlus, an ultra-rugged device with military-grade durability, a long-lasting battery and a powerful built-in flashlight.
As the newest Sprint® Direct Connect® device, Kyocera DuraPlus offers a candy-bar form factor with a flat, stable bottom, ideal for convenient accessibility in vehicle mounts and freestanding operation. Kyocera DuraPlus will be available in the first half of the year. Pricing and exact availability will be announced closer to launch.
“Kyocera DuraPlus is the ideal device for use in the construction, public safety and utility industries that demand devices that stand up to the toughest work conditions while delivering industry-leading push-to-talk capabilities,” said David Owens, vice president – Product Development, Sprint. “This device is a dynamite addition to our Sprint Direct Connect portfolio, and we know our customers will appreciate the benefits of instant communication on a device that can withstand tough environments.”
Joining Kyocera DuraMax and Kyocera DuraCore in Kyocera’s Dura Series that specialize in handling the abuse of harsh working conditions, Kyocera DuraPlus is the ultimate communication tool for a variety of industries, including construction and transportation. It is certified to Military Standard 810G for resistance to dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, humidity, blowing rain and water immersion (up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of water).
The handset also features an embedded LED flashlight with a dedicated power button to help navigate power outages, read blueprints in unlit areas or for emergency response personnel working in dark conditions. A robust, front-ported speakerphone also provides excellent sound quality in noisy environments and remote speaker microphone jack allowing customers to use their phones with a heavy-duty remote speaker/microphone (sold separately; available exclusively from Sprint in the coming months).
Kyocera DuraPlus comes with a powerful 1650 mAh battery offering up to 9.5 hours of talk time; an optional 2300 mAh extended battery (sold separately) will also be available from Sprint for users who need even more battery life. An external charging port enables the device to be used with a single or multi-bay charging station (sold separately). This is especially helpful for businesses that issue devices to shift workers, such as shuttle drivers or security personnel.
“Kyocera designed DuraPlus from the ground up with demanding industrial and enterprise customers in mind,” said Eric Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of Sales and Marketing at Kyocera Communications. “Simple things like an LED flashlight, multi-bay charging, freestanding operation and the ability to use application-specific accessories go a long way toward better productivity on the jobsite and out in the field.”
Sprint Direct Connect is a portfolio of push-to-talk services that allow individuals and groups to get more done – quickly and easily with just the push of a button. Among the initial Sprint Direct Connect services:
Sprint Direct Connect – Instant, one-to-one push-to-talk calling nationwide on the Sprint network, with any other Direct Connect subscriber. Direct Connect is the core push-to-talk feature and is designed for interoperability across Sprint and Nextel network platforms.
Guaranteed Talk Permit – The assurance that when you hear the push-to-talk “chirp,” your call was successfully transmitted.
Call Alert with Text – Send an audio alert with an optional text message to let another Direct Connect subscriber know you are trying to reach them and why.
Group Connect® – Communicate with up to 20 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers all at once – nationwide, at the push of one button.
TeamDCSM – Communicate with up to 200 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers at the same time nationwide.
NextMail® – Send a recorded message to any email worldwide or mobile handset via text message by using the Direct Connect button.
Availability Notification – Request the availability status of another push-to-talk member and, if they are busy, request a notification when they are free.
One-Touch Direct Connect – Allows quick access to multiple direct connect options.
With more than 18 years of expertise, Sprint is the industry leader in push-to-talk, serving the world’s largest push-to-talk community of customers. Last year, Sprint launched Sprint Direct Connect, the industry’s next generation of push-to-talk service on its broadband CDMA network. The new service will expand customers’ push-to-talk coverage, broadband data capabilities, and enable new push-to-talk features.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 53 million customers at the end of 3Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index showed Sprint is the #1 most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all industries, over the last three years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Kyocera Communications Inc.
Kyocera Communications Inc. (KCI) is the headquarters for Kyocera- and Sanyo-branded wireless products and accessories in the Americas. The company's devices are driving the convergence of telecommunications, broadband and multimedia. KCI was formed in April 2009 through the combination of Kyocera Wireless Corp. and Kyocera Sanyo Telecommunications Inc., two wholly owned subsidiaries of Kyocera International Inc. The former was created when Kyocera purchased QUALCOMM Incorporated's consumer wireless phone business in 2000, while the latter was formed when Kyocera purchased the wireless phone business of Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. in 2008. Based in San Diego, KCI leverages Japan's history of creating advanced consumer technologies around humanism and respect for the environment and blending them with a Western entrepreneurialism and style, resulting in a unique design language and a natural, user-friendly interface. For more information, please visit http://www.kyocera-wireless.com or follow the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kyoceramobilephones.
Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) (http://global.kyocera.com/), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as “advanced ceramics”). By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of telecommunications equipment, copiers, printers, solar power generating systems, electronic components, semiconductor packages, cutting tools and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2011, the company’s net sales totaled 1.27 trillion yen (approx. USD15.3 billion). The company is ranked #604 on Forbes magazine’s 2011 “Global 2000” listing of the world’s largest publicly traded companies.