In-between belting out more additions to their Galaxy smartphone series, Samsung have created yet another super-tough, water-resistant phone.
The Samsung Solid Immerse boasts a water resistant, super-tough body that has its own LED torch facing out from the top. With smartphones also boasting tough-guy credentials now, how does this solid-looking feature phone stack up against them?
What we like
This phone can take one heck of a beating. Demanding real-life testing, we took the the phone along to a five-day music festival, and despite bangs and contact with a lot of mud, the phone stood up to the this admirably, and we found the battery could withstand moderate use without barely denting the battery.
There’s no touchscreen, but the phone has a tough rubbery keypad which, after a glut of touchscreen typing, clicks satisfyingly as you enter numbers or text. There’s a tough screw-based battery cover on the back to ensure water doesn’t slip into the most delicate parts of the phone, whilst you can access the surprisingly effective LED flashlight with a button at the top of the side of the phone.
The phone interface is simplistic, but if you’re looking for something that does the fundamentals, you’ll find everything here is easy to access. If you had any sort of bar-style mobile in the past 10 years, you’ll find phone very easy to navigate. There’s also Twitter and Facebook icons to connect to social network profiles, whilst a microSD slot means you can also carry around your music collection. The outer speaker on the phone is also surprisingly meaty for a feature phone.
With textured grips around the phone, you won’t lose it easily, but it also has an oversized loop at the top of the phone, which means you can attach it to a lanyard around your neck.
What we don’t like
Whilst the phone is able of storing music, sadly you’re trapped into using the in-box earphones, which, though not bad, is limiting. There’s no headphone socket, instead, the hands-free headset plugs into the microUSB socket.
Whilst we were surprised by the addition of the likes of Twitter and Facebook on the Solid Immerse, phones have moved on in recent years, with smartphones arriving with similar tough, water-proof credentials, alongside extensive app, camera and touchscreen technology.
The camera on the Solid Immerse is pretty weak; a two-megapixel sensor, capable of MMS-quality videos. Whilst you’re able to connect to a 3G signal, we found using any data-based function of the phone to be a huge time-sink; we gave up updating our Twitter feed, given the time it took to refresh.
The screen is tiny, and is set so far away from the front of the phone that in bright daylight it was difficult to see what we were doing with the phone.
A suitably sturdy feature phone, the Samsung Solid Immerse does some things older ‘toughphones’ weren’t capable of. The social network access is a nice touch, but without a better 3G connection that supports higher download speeds, it’s too frustrating to use.
Battery-life is good, and it’s always great to see microSD on a feature phone, meaning there’s plenty of space for music, pictures and more.
But due to its shortcomings, we’d recommend stumping up more cash for the likes of the Android-powered Motorola Defy, if you’re looking for a toughphone. As a secondary phone for the occasional outdoors holiday, beach trip and festival, this would do the job of keeping you in touch with everyone.