The Samsung Solid Extreme’s music player puts in an acceptable performance, but you’ll need to load up a Micro SD card first, as the Solid Extreme has only a measly 10MB of internal storage. Unfortunately, there’s no USB data cable supplied in-box for transferring music from a PC. With a cable, it’s possible to copy tunes using optional Samsung PC Studio software or sync tracks with Windows Media Player 11 on a PC.
The user interface, while basic, is quite responsive
Out of the box, you can copy tunes over via Bluetooth or slip in a preloaded Micro SD card. It organises tracks in standard mobile fashion with support for MP3, AAC variants and WMA. The software works more efficiently with memory cards than some previous Samsung mobiles of this class we’ve looked at. We’d have still expected a data cable in-box though.
Music playback is hampered by the average earphones supplied, as there’s no standard 3.5mm headphone socket on the phone or adapter. Nonetheless, it delivers a pretty good performance within these limitations – although a little harsh at higher volumes and lacking some finesse, it does have decent level of bass and acceptable depth to the sound.
An extra-loud speaker has been built in, if you want to share your tunes around the campfire, which does a fairly decent job, albeit rather gutless. In addition there’s an easy to set up FM radio that can also be fed through the speaker.
Equipped with an entry-level 1.3-megapixel camera, the Solid Extreme’s shooting performance is poor. It snaps and processes images quickly enough, but images are soft and lacking in detail. Even though the colours are bright, there is some hazy colour bleed apparent. Having no flash, shots in dark environments are murky and poor quality. It can shoot video at a basic 176x144 at 15 f/s – playback looks rough though.
As well as the lack of 3G, browsing inevitably reveals its limitations
Running on GPRS or EDGE, the Openwave Wap 2.0 browser provides a lower-grade online experience too. It handles Wap sites OK, but doesn’t manage full web pages. The small, low res display isn’t ideal for browsing anyway.
Not idiot proof
point being, i had the 2700 version of this, and still managed to brick it within 3 months, only £20 basic phone for me from now on
Great phone lacking ONE feature
Agree with two others above - a phone this rugged NEEDS GPS, especially if that could be integrated into the one predefined SOS message. Just like a DSC VHF radio that is used for marine use to call the Coast Guard and gives a fix to them. And honestly, for many coastal sailors, such a phone would actually be more useful, as so few own pocket VHF radios they can keep with them in an emergency (the radio belowdecks isn't that useful if you fall overboard!).
I was thinking about buying one as I read the article, especially as they are less than £90. But I think I will wait for the GPS version...it has to come. But nice attempt...
N.B. - the GPS version has to have the function to activate the GPS on a periodic basis, to save battery. Perhaps about one fix every 20 minutes, that is then stored in the phone, and then have the GPS turn off. That is what EPRIBs (emergency locator beacons) with GPS do...
Waterproof & Numb hands
Easy to make a phone waterproof. Go a marine chandlers and you can buy a sealable PVC envelope. Better still you can still hear through it. Modern phone with flip-open style or slider won't work too well with this though. This phone would work ok with the PVC envelope as it is a simple keypad job. Might even survive a moderate dive in the PVC sleeve.
If you can't work this in anything other than light gloves then it won't work well for you when you hands are truly numb, as in winter watersports ! Pay attention to the number you are dialling ! Bet you get it wrong first time due to clumsiness. However I commend the strong case and design - more of these designs required. I hope it works in the environment intended.
GPS on this would be good, especially as it is most likely to be used by hillwalkers and climbers. Position fix would be good. 'Oh shit accident, location blah blah, please help'.
If the phone survives a severe impact, where you are really badly hurt, but it enables you to call for help, then it has done it's job.
"So if you want to make a call in...
...environments of blowing rain, shock, salt fog, humidity, solar radiation, vibration and extreme temperature..."
Finally - a phone that will work in my server room!
If your going to shell-out for a functionally cut down handset, surely it has to be rated to at least ip65?