Most people buy a smartphone for their elegance, technology and as a fashion accessory, but what about the outdoorsy people that are rough with their gadgets and subject them (and themselves) to dangerous or outlandish activities? Well, the JCB Pro Toughphone is the latest smartphone that fits the bill. It is super-strong, tough and looks like a military smartphone.
Before we get onto the toughness of it all, let’s look inside first: it runs on the 2.3 Gingerbread Android operating system that has proven itself over the last few years to be one of the best systems around, and the 3.2” touchscreen, 256 RAM, 800MHz processor and microSD card storage up to 32GB is more than enough for most people. So, its spec is a little higher than most mid-level phones, which is a good start. There is a 5 megapixel camera for those mountainous scenic views and when you’re hanging off the sides of cliffs. There is a 200mAh battery that is ideal for when you’re spending a long time away from any charging point.
So, what makes it so tough? Well, just by looking at it you can see it’s protected with a gnarly rubber case that makes it dust proof and waterproof. There is a carry strap so you don’t lose it and there is even a compass and a Carabina for impromptu abseiling. It can handle drops of 2 metres and is pressure tested to one tonne. It has an FM radio, Bluetooth, a front-facing camera and is IP67 tested.
There are three types of JCB Pro phones called the Smart Toughphone, Sitemaster 2 and Sitemaster 3G. Their prices range from a little over £120 to £335 for the range-topper. While many people may scoff at the ruggedness of these smartphones there is nothing else like it on the market. If you’ve smashed your iPhone, dropped your Nokia Lumia 800 or knocked the edges of your smartphone from rough use then the JCB phones make so much sense. If you can live with the looks then these phones can essentially last for much longer than any other thanks to the protective nature of the body.
If you’re a rambler, rock-climber, free runner or are just a little bit clumsy then you can protect your purchase by using a JCB rather than a fragile ‘glass’ phone. If you spend most of your time outdoors and take part in adrenaline-fuelled activities then it’s a good idea to have the benefits of a smartphone without the downsides of its fragility.
It’s not just for action people either, if you work on a building site or somewhere that has dust and the potential to damage your smartphone that costs a few hundred pounds then the JCB really does start to make sense. Just as the G Shock watch was so popular with the army and it filtered through to the high street, the JCB Pro series could well snatch a few customers that need and want to protect their communication system.