We all know about Samsung and its phones, right? Samsung has just set the new high standard for a smartphone with its Galaxy S2 – an absolute stunner that garnered a much-coveted five stars from us.
But the company does more than just set the standards in smartphones. It's had a rugged range for a while now. Anyone remember the Samsung Solid Extreme, or Samsung Bound, for example? The Solid Immerse is the latest in this established line.
If you want a rugged Android smartphone then we recommend the Motorola Defy, but not everyone wants or needs smartphone fanciness. If candybar is more your thing, then Samsung has the pedigree.
What you trade off, though, is specifications. Solid shell, yes. Mind-blowing specs, no. The Samsung Solid Immerse manages 3G but not HSDPA, has a 2-inch screen, a 2MP camera and no Wi-Fi. It does have GPS, and some social networking support, but with a proprietary OS you can't exactly pepper it with third-party apps.
For £10 per month on contract or £100 outright, it's hardly going to bankrupt you should you drop and break it... but then again, you could probably get a refund should that happen.
The Samsung Solid Immerse certainly is tough. The chunky chassis has a non-slip finish so you can carry the phone easily when wearing gloves, or when your hands are slippery.
The physical front buttons are large and fairly easy to prod with gloved hands, though if you have big rugby player-style digits you may have a problem.
The side buttons are similarly chunky, with a sizeable volume rocker on the left and probably our favourite feature – a torch button – on the right. There's an LED on the top edge that you turn on and off with this. Now, the torch won't get you off Bodmin Moor in a raging thunderstorm, but it will help you find your car keys in the dark.
Also on the right-hand edge there's a covered slot for the mains power and headphones connector. The fact that this slot is covered is important, as is the fact that the backplate is held on by a tight screw that can only be released with a screwdriver or very tough fingernail.
You see, the Samsung Solid Immerse is certified dustproof and waterproof to IP67. We explain what that means and how we tested it in the Ruggedness section of this review.
The whole package adds up to a somewhat fat and ungainly-looking mobile that measures 120.8mm tall, 52.1mm wide and a generous 17.9mm thick. There's even a sizeable notch on the top edge through which you can pass a lanyard if you want to look like a
complete idiot stylish builder and wear your phone around your neck.