Tesco reports brisk sales of 'indestructible' mobile
If you happen to be 2 metres tall and drop things a lot, you will appreciate the Land Rover S1 Sonim mobile phone. Described as "virtually indestructible", Lance Batchelor, CEO of Tesco Mobile (the only place you can get the phone) concedes that "it's the first phone in the world to be as tough as a Land Rover." (The Land Rover, according to Which? magazine's reliability surveys is regularly listed as one of the most problematic new vehicles.)
First unveiled at February's Mobile World Congress event, the S1 Sonim is, in fact the only IP67 military rated GSM mobile phone. It has since been ran over by a Landrover, stomped on by elephants, put into 300 degree ovens, and thrown out 2nd floor windows. It is now available from Tesco stores or the Tesco website. The phone resists humidity, shock, dust, salt, and heat, and is water resistant to 1 metre for 30 minutes. It can also survive falling onto concrete from a height of 2 metres.
The phone is finding ready markets amongst men who love gadgets, but one Techradar reader believes a market could be found with young parents who know first hand how damaging baby drool can be to electronic devices. "As a marketing ploy this should be aimed at parents with toddlers. How many parents complain that their child(s) has dropped their mobile in the tea/coffee/bath/toilet and sink?" That's right. You'll also be happy to know that the Land Rover S1 Sonim is made to survive being dropped into a public toilet. The question is whether you can survive fishing it out.
Though it doesn't have all the extra goodies of an iPhone, it does have a 2 MP camera, 110dB speakers (for when you need to make a call while standing next to turbine engines of a Ferrari or a windmill), a GPS, 1,500 hours stand-by time, a torch, and an FM radio.
The phone is made from hardened plastic that is resistant to water, oil, and petrol. It is then covered with hardened rubber to absorb shock from being dropped. A non-porous coating is applied to keep substance from penetrating the case, and it has a scratch-resistant screen and hardened rubber keys.
Available only from Tesco and its website, you can get the S1 Sonim with an "unconditional three-year" warranty on the phone, which can be bought unlocked for £250, or
from £25 a month on contract.