A British Design Sold by a British Company
(but it says "Made in China, inside!)
The Ruggex Rhino Two, £279.99 from Mantis Tech
After several years of phones contructed, it seems, with the purpose of screen breakage, I'd had enough. For a few months I'd put up with a cracked HTC, low on memory. Before that I'd had a Sony Z3 Compact, whose screen was replaced multiple times, at least twice for no obvious reason. Sony claimed there was no problem with the design, the internet begs to differ.
I eventually found Mantis Tech, an independent UK company selling these Ruggex phones. The reviews included stories of puddles and falls and were full of praise both for the phones and Mantis Tech.
The phone is armoured in rubber and metal. The glass is not right at the edges, like other phones, to create certain death for the phone if it drops. This phone is well protected.
The back is openable. 4 screws allow access to the battery compartment. So, we are back to the days when we could buy spare batteries. If you are up a mountain or at a festival, great!
The great thing was the lack of pre-loaded useless apps. This was a real bugbear for me. The HTC obligatory apps took up 543mb . The Ruggex phone used 141MB on apps I chose to install.
The 13 megapixel main camera is absolutely fine, I took this in fading daylight.
I haven't had opportunity to try the camera in a night gig situation, I'll update this when I have. The "selfie" camera is very flattering. I used the "Photo Lab Pro" android app to create this:
I do like messing around with photos!
The real reason for buying this phone was the resilience. It's been drop tested to 1.8m so I won't be doing that, no need. The Rhino 2 is waterproof, IP 68 rated. The ports are at the top and covered by a thick plug rather than a flimsy port cover. All openings should be tight shut to ensure water tightness however. Dropping in the bath or loo is no longer a problem. No more putting your phone in a bag of salt. Just wipe it dry.
The processor is a 64 bit Quad Core beastie at 1,3 GHz. It is fast and responsive. The ability to shift everything onto the external memory (64gb max) will be useful. I've set mine to store photos on the external card.
The 4.5" screen has taken some getting used to. I've had to adjust it as the phone seems keep to open anything my finger touches, immediately. I'm still tweaking the settings for that but it's getting better. There's a loop for a lanyard which could decrease the chance of dropping it on a building site. The glass is Gorilla Glass, thicker, and more resistant to scratching than lesser screens. It's a good, sharp bright screen. I'me very happy with the visual quality.
Phone conversations are of a good volume, which is ideal in a work phone. Another workplace-friendly factor is the dual SIM housing. A normal size SIM and a micro Sim can sit next to each other and you can switch between your accounts with ease. I may look into a SIM more economical for abroad.
I will not resort to gender stereotypes, but if you want a slim, sleek pretty phone, this maybe isn't for you. Maybe you like your phone made of fairy dust and angel wings, that cracks if you look at it too hard. If you want something you can depend on, up a hill, when you're fishing, or in the bath. Perhaps you should look at Ruggex phones. In my case, this was the phone I was seeking, a "me-proof" phone. Did I mention it was £279.99? Bargain, in my opinion.
The home of the Northeast Theatre Guide and Carliol Photography