Reviewed: Samsung Solid Extreme


10 Jun 2009

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The Samsung Solid Extreme promises it will take the rough and tumble with the wet and wild of the extreme sports fan. Gadgetrepublic.com gives it a good kicking to see if it lives up to its claims.

While I love playing with new smartphones and all their amazing apps and advanced features, nothing beats testing out a new handset when it involves bouncing it round the room and throwing it in water.

The Samsung Solid Extreme claims it is the world’s toughest mobile, although it does go on to explain that it should "survive water splashes and the occasional knock or drop" because it has an IP code (International Protection Rating) of 54.

But it is also designed to survive immersion in up to one metre of water and a drop on head from two metres. Just don’t think you can do this all day every day and expect it to function well.

So, who’s going to put it through its paces? Well, the construction worker, mountain biker or skater definitely would.

Let’s say you’re working on a construction site. Chances are your handset has dropped out of your pocket and taken a few hard knocks. Or maybe it falls into a puddle or other water on site, and by the time you realise, it has been sitting in water for 10 minutes.

Taking this as inspiration, we tested the Samsung Solid Extreme in the Gadgetrepublic.com office. The phone was dropped, thrown and even kicked a little bit. Did it take the knocks? Well, I can tell you, not only did it take knocks, but it walked away unscathed.

The durable rubber coating, metal framing and glass screen were perfectly unharmed. In fact, it looked exactly the same as it did when it was unboxed.

Because it is designed to work in this kind of environment, the Solid Extreme is also dust-resistant and has noise-cancelling technology to drown out diggers and what not, so the speaker is pretty loud!

Ah, but what about water resistance I hear you say? This bit was the best fun. We knew it would take a dribble or two of water, but what about complete immersion?

An errant lunchbox was filled to the brim with ice-cold water and the Solid Extreme was dropped in. We left it there for about 10 minutes and it was fine. It didn’t switch off, no water penetrated the handset and there seemed to be no ill effects whatsoever.

We even tried ringing the handset while it was immersed and it rang perfectly (it looks fun when you put it on vibrate). One of the guys in the office even answered it (sort of) and, yes, you can hear faint burbling noises!

Specs-wise the Solid Extreme has the same interface and navigation as all the latest keypad Samsung handsets, as well as the usual Bluetooth 2.1 and USB 2.0, radio on board and a WAP mobile web browser. It also has GRPS Dual Band.

The camera is 1.3-megapixel and the screen is a 1.77-inch TFT, so don’t be expecting a multimedia extravaganza. But why would you when you’re looking for something that’s good at being a phone and great at surviving outdoors?

This device even manages to pull off some style. The black rubberised finish with matte-red brushed-metal touches is quite nice and doesn’t look too functional.

Oh, and did I mention it has a built-in torch light?

If yours is a hard-knock life, buy this phone.

Pros: Can withstand water, dust and an ass-kicking

Cons: Camera isn’t up to much

 

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