Samsung Solid Immerse rugged phone
Plop and drop
Review Phone manufacturers today are all too keen to tell us their phones aren’t really phones at all, they’re handheld computers with oodles of processing power and capability. Sometimes, however, a basic communications device is just what you need, especially if your life might depend on it.
Hard talk: Samsung's Solid Immerse
Enter the Samsung Solid Immerse, a non-smart candybar phone, but one that claims to be shock proof, dust proof, water proof and comes with a bunch of outdoorsy features. Even before you take up the inherent watery challenge in the Solid Immerse’s name, it certainly seems to live up to the first part of its moniker. It’s a chunky 121 x 52 x 18mm and 116g, featuring a tough-looking casing made of rubberised plastic with metal trim.
There’s a volume rocker on one side and a micro USB port for charging, syncing and headphones on the other. It’s covered by a heavier than usual plastic grommet and sits next to a dedicated flashlight button. On the top is the torch bulb and a large loop for attaching a lanyard. The torch is fairly bright, certainly enough to read a map or light the way ahead, and kicks into life with a long press. Handily, a single short press snaps the light off.
On the back is the lens for the basic 2Mp camera, a loudspeaker protected by mesh and a plastic grille plus a screw for opening up the casing for access to battery, SIM and microSD cards. On the front the keypad is covered with a rubbery membrane with big, chunky buttons for the keys – it ain’t pretty, but it’s certainly practical to use, even with gloves on.
The 2in screen only offers 240 x 320 pixel resolution, but then, this isn’t the sort of screen you’re likely to be watching movies on – and bigger screens break more easily. It’s rated as 4H hardness which is intended to protect it against most scratches though it ended up with a few minor abrasions from my set of keys.
The top features a large eyelet to attach the phone to a lanyard or belt clip
It’s very unlikely that it would stand up to even a fairly effete smack from a hammer. Visibility isn’t great either, and it’s not easy to see it in sunlight, which kind of goes against the outdoors ethos.
Next page: Solid options
"whether it would survive a bout with washing machine is another matter"
Shame on you! You should have tried it out!
(Can't think why it wouldn't. 40C isn't too hot. G-force of spin isn't high compared to dropping it on a hard floor. Water pressure is only a few inches. Comes down to whether it can resist soapy water compared to dirty water. Would be unimpressed if it failed).
Thank God for the Defy
I think Motorola makes you compromise a lot less to be rugged and waterproof.
I bought a Defy for my wife after her last phone ran full of water while in her pocket during a Taifoon...
However, its Battery life can't compete with this one.
Flashlight and compass is great though... and the Defy beats my iPhone. smaller case, less weight, bigger screen :)
I think it's a great phone!
I have this and the nexus one.. For usual "office / home" life the nexus is my first choice, but if I'm going away for the weekend or doing something outdoorsy then my SIM goes into the Samsung and I'm happy it can take a bashing and I don't have to care about getting wet, battery life etc etc. It can read email at a stretch, but it's nice to get away from those things every now and then.
In fact... this last weekend I had this phone for "outdoors" and in the backpack the moto xoom and it was a winning combo ... I wonder if that kind of "hardy" phone + more tech tablet combo may catch on ?
But for the camera
This looks aok, pretty much just what I need, except that it has only a 2mp camera. Are there any decent camera'd rugged phones around other than the Motorola Defy, which is a tad too smartphone for my needs?
I think I'll be getting a Defy
As an outdoorsy, horsey, walking-and-riding-around-on-Northumberland-hills-and-beaches, sort of bloke, I've had nearly a decade's service from my once-immortal Nokia 1100, which is now starting to lose call clarity. However, if I was to trade up from it, I'd need to... well... trade up, you know? This is a bit like an expensive Nokia 1100 with a colour screen and an embarrassment of a camera?
No, I think Mr Motorola is going to be getting my money.