Samsung GT-B2100 Solid Extreme rugged phone
More muscle than multimedia mobile
A suitably bright flashlight is a welcome extra built into the top of the phone, activated by a long press of a side button above the volume controls. These controls all curve nicely outwards too, suiting frosty fingers or damp digits.
Finger friendly, but not ideal for light touch texters
So did we do some dunking? Yes we did. And the Samsung Solid Extreme stood up to the task, handling total immersion for the specified 30 minutes and beyond. We didn’t feel inclined to test it to destruction, but it came thorough unscathed from an hour underwater.
Whether you’d want to take a phone swimming is a moot point, but the handset’s waterproofing does mean it’ll handle water-based sports and outdoors leisure activities far better than other mainstream mobiles currently on the market. A few bounces around the place seemed to inflict no lasting damage to its working capability either. However, it’s not built for sustained heavy punishment so that sort of stuff will scuff and damage the casing, so we’d advise against it just to impress.
The Samsung Solid Extreme’s watertight bodywork includes a sealable back panel, which is released by a screw lock. It’s reassuringly tricky to lever the back off to get at the battery pack or memory card. Samsung has buried the phone’s Micro SD memory card slot under the battery – something we’d normally gripe about, but it’s forgivable here. Covered by a plastic bung, there’s only one connector on the side, a regular Samsung multi-connector for charger, headset and USB.
A screw lock prevents seal compromises in those challenging environments
Ruggedness aside, the Samsung Solid Extreme is a modestly spec’d handset. Getting around the features is conventionally straightforward, the four-way navpad offering user-definable shortcuts to features, plus a quick access select button for the Wap browser. The grid and list-based menu system presented on the low-res display is regular lower-range Samsung. It’s zippy to navigate and effective enough.