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Samsung B2700 Bound rugged mobile phone

Samsung B2700 Bound

Review Anyone who's ever splashed a few drops of water on just the wrong bit of their pricey new phone can see the advantage of rugged design. It's rarely pretty, it's never svelte, but you don't need to venture into a war zone to appreciate the benefit of a more secure approach to portable electronics.

Samsung B2700 Bound

Samsung's Bound: outward

And in the case of the Samsung B2700 Bound, there's considerably more on offer, with 3G connectivity, quad-band GSM/GPRS, music and video player functionality, an FM radio, video-calling, a 2Mp stills and video camera, as well as a compass, pedometer and flash light.

The B2700 Bound is designed with the outdoor life clearly in mind, and is several steps up from its rather basic predecessor, the Samsung Solid SGH-M110. Rugged doesn't mean bullet-proof, of course, or anything like it. The B2700 meets the IEC's IP54 standard, which means it should keep out most of the dust and should be good against splashes, though strictly speaking it's neither dust- nor water-proof.

Measuring 152 x 52 x 18mm and weighing 115g, the B2700 is a chunky little number, slightly bigger than the Solid, with a tough rubberised plastic casing that includes additional hard plastic padding at the sides, top and bottom to protect against knocks. The sides and back also have easy-grip grooves to aid holding with frozen or gloved fingers, though the screen isn't recessed and there are no covers for the camera lenses.

The 1.9in, 176 x 220 display features a respectable 262,000 colours. Usefully, if you're out in the wilds, it's backed by one of the fastest operating systems we've seen, whizzing between menus in a twinkling.

Samsung B2700 Bound

Easy-grip grooves

We made a point of handling the B2700 regularly with wet hands and sure enough, it does what it's supposed to, gripping well in both wet and dry. We didn't actually submerge it in water, but there were no signs of water ingress throughout its time with us. The keypad is of rubberised plastic but feedback from the buttons isn't very pronounced, so hands numb from cold may struggle a bit more than usual.

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