Land Rover has launched a phone inspired by its rugged go-anywhere 4x4 vehicles. The new Land Rover Explore smartphone is claimed to be the "toughest phone in the world, built to work in places other phones can't reach". As well as its resistance to water, humidity, extreme temperatures, thermal shock and vibrations - the new phone has a glove (and wet hands) friendly display and a long lasting battery.
Looking more closely at the ruggedness of this device, Land Rover supplies the Explore with a factory fitted screen protector and protective case than can survive underwater to 1.8 metres - including salt water. Drops from 1.8m or less are also said to be shrugged off by the design. The phone itself has am IP68 rating for splash, water and dust resistance.
Other things Land Rover has done to appeal to outdoors types include the addition of premium grade, detailed off-road topographical mapping options from ViewRanger with Augmented Reality Skyline feature (map voucher in box). It includes a customisable outdoor dashboard for weather, wind, tides, compass, SOS light etc access, it has curated apps and content for outdoor pursuits and has a number of hardware accessories for the Land Rover Explore (more on this later). Land Roevr says the Explore is compatible with all Land Rover in-car apps.
In terms of typical phone hardware specs we have the following:
- Bright five-inch FHD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protected, optimised for outdoor use
- Deca-core 2.6GHz 64 bit MTK Helio X27 chipset with dual SIM functionality
- 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM, expandable via microSD
- 16MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, 4x digital zoom
- Huge battery (4000mAh) plus add-on battery pack
- Touchscreen can be controlled with gloves on or with wet fingers
- LTE Cat 6
- Android Nougat OS, with scheduled upgrade to Oreo
Add on packs
Increasing the appeal of the Land Rover Explore there are a number of outdoorsy expansions. Firstly there's a simple battery pack with an extra 4,370mAh of battery capacity. This is IP68 and 1.8-metre drop tested, like the phone. Secondly there is a Bike Pack, which is basically a bicycle handle bars mounting kit with tilt and swivel orientation adjustments.
The most extensive add-on pack is the Adventure Pack. This includes a number of enhancements such as; 3600mAh additional battery, improved 25 x 25mm ceramic patch GPS antenna, plus a TPU protective case, Stainless steel carabiner with canvas strap. Like the phone, this is again IP68 and 1.8-metre drop tested.
If you are interested in the Land Rover Explore it comes with an MSRP of £599 with the Adventure Pack included. More details concerning the Land Rover and Bullitt Group designed phone and its availability will be released at MWC 2018, next week.