August 27, 2009

Samsung Solid Extreme B2100 review

If you're after a tough-living phone that can withstand bad weather and ill-treatment – including a bit of underwater dunking – the Samsung Solid Extreme B2100 could be a mobile that's well worth looking at.

While Samsung has made durable handsets in the past – including the recent Samsung Bound and original Solid – the Samsung Solid Extreme is the best equipped yet to handle extreme conditions, with a waterproof casing and military-grade imperviousness to the elements.

The Solid Extreme is a candybar-style phone, aimed squarely at outdoors sports and leisure enthusiasts, and those who need a more resilient handset.

It's been built to comply with the IEC IP57 standard, so it can survive at least half an hour's full submersion in 1 metre of water, as well as being dust-resistant.

In addition, the phone has been toughened up to comply with the US military MIL-STD-810F standard which means it can withstand blowing rain, salt, fog, humidity, solar radiation, shock, vibration and extreme temperatures.

While it's built to withstand a bit of rough stuff, the Samsung Solid Extreme isn't the most feature-laden of handsets. Unlike the Samsung Bound, it lacks 3G, relying on quad-band GSM and GPRS and EDGE data connectivity, thus limiting its multimedia muscle.

It has a camera, but it's a mere 1.3-megapixel entry-level snapper. There's no GPS (or compass software, as there is on the Bound), and no Wi-Fi.

While the music player software and an FM radio do add to the entertainment factor, this phone has a distinctly lower-range feel to its under-the-bonnet gadgetry.

That entry-level feature count is reflected in its budget pricing – it joins Samsung line-up at around £80-£100 on pre-pay or SIM-free (it's free with contract deals). Consequently, we can see this phone having plenty of appeal as a secondary handset for folk who enjoy the great outdoors who don't want to ruin their main handset on their adventures.

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