The Samsung Solid Extreme isn't geared up to be one of those do it all handsets that has mass appeal. It lacks the multimedia power, gadgetry and 3G connectivity of many mid-range handsets. It's no great looker either.
Instead, its real attraction is for niche buyers, for those who really need extra protection for their phone against water damage and a bit of rough stuff. And for this it'll do a very good job – and it delivers a basic phone performance you can't quibble with either.
The Samusng Solid Extreme has excellent water-resistant credentials; complying with the IP57 and MIL-STD-810F standards, it offers waterproofing and protection against an assortment of extreme weather conditions – and can take a knock too.
Despite this, the phone is still quite compact and not pocket-saggingly heavy. Grip-wise, it sticks in the hand well too, its rubber-feel casing offering some stickability.
The basic phone performance is excellent and reliable – as you'd want in this type of handset. The music player is one of the surprising highlights for this sort of handset, and MicroSD card support means the meagre internal memory of the handset needn't be an issue.
We didn't like
The feature run down on this handset is limited. It lacks 3G connectivity and other higher end features that could have complemented the weather-proofing, such as GPS and sat-nav software. The small screen is not ideal, either for image presentation or graphics, and the Wap browser feels like an entry-level throwback.
The camera is poor, which is a shame. It would've been good on a durable device like this to be able to take decent quality pics in extreme conditions. Video quality is very basic too.
Fast texters may not like the spongy numberpad, although it's obviously there for an important water-resistant reason.
We would also liked to have seen a USB and perhaps some syncing software – and possibly a MicroSD card – included in-box; it would make loading up the music player much more straightforward.
Although as a day-to-day handset most users will find the Samsung Solid Extreme a limited device compared to a wide range of similarly priced models, its waterproof durability gives the phone a unique individual appeal. It may not be a mass-market first choice phone, but it definitely has potential for a no-nonsense second handset option for extreme sports and outdoors leisure enthusiasts.