What better way to test a waterproof phone than to take it out for a spin at a waterpark? The folks at AT&T set up a fun blogger meet up at Knott’s Berry Farm Surf City. How did the Galaxy S6 Active fare? Let’s take a look!
In the past, rugged phones have come with compromises. Features like the camera and speaker are often sacrificed to reach a certain price point. Now into their third iteration of rugged Galaxy, does Samsung fall into the same trap with the Galaxy S6 Active? Let’s take a look!
How Do You Like the Build Quality?
It’s big and clunky. It reminds me of old school BlackBerry phones. I had a BB 8700 that could take a hit. My more recent Torch, not as much. The Brigadier feels more noticeably more durable. For someone like me who occasionally tests the ballistic quality of hardware, this is the perfect device for me.
From a regular perspective. The sound is good, the picture is good. I’ve watched video on the (720p) screen. I don’t play games, so I don’t know if it’ll be good for that.
Call quality is good. I had no idea what the term “tissue conduction” meant, but the ear piece is really loud and it’s easy to hear callers.
[The Brigadier screen is actually a large bone conduction surface allowing users to hear calls in loud environments and with ear plugs.]
I’m still unsure about battery life. It’s a little too early to tell if it’ll compare to my BB. My only complaint there is that it does have a built-in internal battery. I liked being able to replace the battery on my Torch. I would carry extras when I knew I was going to be away from a power source. I did buy a portable external battery for the Kyocera, so we’ll see if that is equally practical.
And the Sapphire Screen?
There is a video of a person trying to scratch the screen with a penknife to no avail. I don’t intend to do that on purpose.
In switching to the Brigadier, you also swapped carriers, how has that transition been?
I switched from ATT to Verizon. Verizon has great coverage but I lack 4G LTE coverage inside our condo. It literally works 10’ outside my door. Go figure. What I like about Verizon other than its coverage is that I can turn off that annoying message that tells people to wait for the tone. Like anyone whose been alive during the last 40 years wouldn’t know that. I hate wasting my time and others and all that message did was chew up air time.
Are there Android replacements for your favorite BB features?
One thing I miss from my BB is the autotext feature. I liked the ability to type in an acronym and have it expand to the whole word. I didn’t know that on Android those features aren’t in the “OS” but in the keyboard app. I didn’t realize I had more than one keyboard until yesterday. I just started playing with Google Keyboard which can do something similar for shortcut text, but it’s not the same as the BB.
My wife also replaced her BB with a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. It feels like it would snap in a strong wind, but it’s a bit more portable by comparison. We are now officially a BB free household. Too bad, they’ve had some good products over the years but seem to have missed the boat on the smartphone market.
After test driving a Nokia, I knew I was going to get an Android. I use a lot of Google services for contacts, mail, and calendar. I already use Google Drive. I bought extra capacity. It works great, and it’s saved us a lot of grief for syncing info.
Thank you Tony for taking the time to share your experiences!
Here it is folks!
This is the Samsung I’ve been most excited to play with! Let’s take a first look at the Galaxy S5 Active and take it out into the field to see how it holds up!
No sooner do we post on the LG GPad 8.3 GPE, then we discover the Sony Z Ultra is also playing ball.
Yup, we now have a proper phablet offering for those who want a true-blue stock Android experience on a larger screened phone. Offering up a 6.4″ 1080p display, it’s also the first GPE device to rock Qualcomm’s screamer Snapdragon 800 quad core. 16GB of storage on board with a MicroSD card slot, and the Z Ultra is also water resistant. A nice little touch there, helping the survivability of a somewhat pricey gadget.
Speaking of price, you’ll drop $649 for a Z Ultra of your very own. Not a bad price at all for a proper phablet, and it looks like handsets should be shipping out in 1-2 days. Get at it folks!
Quechua makes rugged outdoor activity clothes and gear, and now they’re moving into the world of consumer electronics. Working with Archos, they’re targeting the rough and tumble set. The Quechua phone will have a five inch screen (resolution to be announced) with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm quad-core, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage and a MicroSD card slot for expansion.
Not the most exciting specs to be sure, but it’ll be IP54 certified against water and drop damage. It will also sport a huge 3500mAh battery, which on these low power specs, should provide excellent run time. No LTE, but this looks like it’s following in the footsteps of other branded devices like Caterpillar’s licensed rugged phone.
Released for European markets, expect a price of €230 (about $310), and here’s to hoping Archos brings a similar design to the USA. This also reinforces how competitive the entry and mid level unlocked markets will be over next year.
There still aren’t a lot of rugged and water-proof cases built specifically for the iPhone 5S. Thankfully, the changes between the 5 and 5S aren’t so severe that you couldn’t use a 5 case on a 5S, but there will be a few compromises.
The Ballistic Hydra is ready to go! Let’s take a look at how someone might better protect their shiny, pretty iPhone from drop and water damage!
More info on Ballistic cases at: http://www.goballisticcase.com/