Working outdoors, or in a factory, plant or otherwise rugged environment, has always posed a huge problem when it comes to handsets. Do you splurge on the phone that lets you keep up on the go, or do you stick with the chunky, clunky flip you’ve had for years – ugly as sin but practically indestructible?
JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart
For construction workers and others employed in manual labor, a compromise has come at last. Actually, it’s much better than a compromise – it’s a flat-out solution. Enter the JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart, an Android handset clad in the smartphone equivalent of full-on battle armor.
JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart – The Not-So-Great
When it comes to technology, the JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart won’t win any awards for intelligence. It comes loaded with Gingerbread, which is Android 2.3 – a far cry from the almost available Jelly Bean. However, Gingerbread is an OS which consumers have used and loved for sometime – considering the target market for this phone, we’re not taking any points off for using a reliable, time-tested OS.
Internal memory is a bit bleak, with just 256MB. It comes with an equally dismal 2GB card, but this can easily be upgraded to 32GB if you like to listen to your tunes while at work. The camera is fairly solid as well at 5mp, but beware of the ultra-long delay between snapping your photo and actually seeing on the screen. No action shots here, but we’re guessing that won’t be much of an issue for most users.
Best Features of the JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart
This phone will not appeal, obviously, to those to want the slimmest, sleekest, sexiest phone on the market. That’s not you, though, is it? No, you demand quality over shiny prettiness, and that’s exactly what the Toughphone Pro-Smart delivers.
At first glance, the Pro-Smart’s suit of armor looks like an enormous case. However, that hefty little chunk of plastic is all phone. What, exactly, does this armor bring you? Several things, all of them incredibly useful during a rough-and-tumble day of work.
Obviously, this phone was designed to resist crashes against hard surfaces. If this baby slips out of your pocket and lands on a concrete factory floor, it won’t even blink. Next comes dust protection. Constructions sites and factories are filled with tiny airborne particles, many of which have a penchant for becoming lodged in smartphone crevices and wreaking havoc. Not so with the toughest smartphone on the market – your new best friend is also dust-proof.
All that plastic does something else, too – it gives the JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart IP67 certification. This means the handset can be fully submerged for thirty minutes without going belly-up. While we’re not brave enough to actually fill the sink and test this rating, it’s reassuring nonetheless.
In addition to the damage-proof features, which are this phone’s main selling points, the JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart also comes with a carabiner attachment for your tool belt, some minor but very useful DIY apps for small household jobs (level, local hardware store links).
JCB Pro-Smart unboxing and water test video
Battery life is another huge plus for the toughest smartphone out there. With plenty of playing around and app usage, you’ll still get a decent two days out of this handset. With minimal use, it could go for days longer before needing a recharge. Not a big deal if you spend your days within arm’s reach of an outlet, but a huge factor if you’re working away at a remote site with no power.
JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart – Do You Need One?
If you spend most of your day working in an environment that strikes fear in the hearts of flimsy, fashionable smartphones, then the answer is, unequivocally, yes. You want this phone. Welcome to the best of both worlds.
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