A ruggedised, water and dust proof phone with a great price tag.
- Rugged casing, IP54 water and dust resistant, 3G capable, flashlight, value for money
- Not really stylish, five-way navigational pad is a little small, no 3.5mm headphone jack
It may not look the part, but the B2700 is certainly an impressive handset if you are after a mobile phone that can take a beating. At this price, it's great value.
Price$ 198.00 (AUD)
Built to withstand the rigours of manual labour or just an active lifestyle, Samsung's B2700 features an anti-shock coating that is also water and dust resistant. However, this 3G-capable handset doesn't compromise on features, boasting Bluetooth, a music player, FM radio and a 2-megapixel camera.
The design of the B2700 won't appeal to fashionistas; it is all about substance rather than style. That being said, we don't consider the B2700 to be ugly, just different to the norm. The black and grey casing certainly feels solid; we threw the phone around and treated it with a general lack of respect but it came out unscathed. The anti-shock coating has an IP54 rating against dust and water, though don’t expect to be able to take it in the water with you when you go to the beach — it's designed to withstand being splashed with water, not being fully submerged.
The rubber-style design means this phone is easy to grip and the surface feels more like that of a torch than a mobile phone. Samsung's design team obviously felt the same way, as they have included a convenient flashlight on the top of the handset. It's activated by holding down the dedicated button on the right side of the phone and is excellent for locating your car keyhole at night, for example.
A criticism of many ruggedised phones is their controls. However, the B2700's rubber keys are easily pressed and don’t require much force to activate. They are also well spaced and comfortable to use for both messaging and general browsing of the menu. The five-way navigational pad is a little small, but this doesn't hinder everyday use.
Samsung has given the B2700 a reasonable display, and combined with the colourful proprietary user interface it makes using this handset a breeze. Speed is also excellent, with no evidence of keystroke lag when scrolling through lists or typing messages.
The phone's features aren't mind-blowing, but the B2700 does offer a music player, FM radio, Bluetooth with A2DP, a voice recorder and a range of games. In addition, a number of specialist applications tie in with the ruggedised theme — a pedometer, compass, altimeter and the afore-mentioned flashlight. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, however, and the included proprietary headphones aren’t great.
A typical concern with ruggedised phones is the call quality — often the increased durability of the casing can lead to poorer quality calls. This isn't the case with the B2700: calls were crisp and clear and loud enough at the highest volume setting.
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