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Land Rover Unveils "World's Toughest Phone" 146

Posted by samzenpus
from the crushed-by-the-foot-of-a-humble-ant dept.
Land Rover says their new S1 mobile is the world's strongest phone. Testing done by Land Rover and the staff at The Sun showed the S1 would still work after being stepped on by an elephant, run over by a Land Rover, dropped from a second-story window, buried in mud, soaked in a pint of beer, and roasted in an oven at 150 degrees centigrade. A forklift truck proved to be its match, and was able to crush the S1 under its three-tonne weight. The phone comes with 1,500 hours of battery life, a 2.0 megapixel camera, an extra loud ringtone and an unconditional three-year guarantee.

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Land Rover Unveils "World's Toughest Phone"

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  • by timpdx (1473923) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:45PM (#28559447)
    ...but does it blend?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chiller2 (35804)

      Almost!

      There's a great interview by Dan Lane with a chap from Sonim about the phone / Land Rover deal over at The Really Mobile Project [thereallym...roject.com]. It's a few weeks old if that tells you anything about the /. story! They drove around the Land Rover test track with it attached to one of the wheels, so it got to be spun around, submerged, and I think at one point they drive over it too.

    • by noundi (1044080)
      Funny, but seriously though:

      ... the S1 would still work after being stepped on by an elephant, run over by a Land Rover, dropped from a second-story window, buried in mud, soaked in a pint of beer, and roasted in an oven at 150 degrees centigrade.

      Am I the only one who finds this severely retarded? Who the fuck has their phone run over by an elephant so often that he feels the need to have a fool proof solution for it? Or even have it run over by a car, buried in mud or roasted in a fucking oven? I can see the beer scenario, or any other liquid drink for that matter, but the rest of the tests are just fucking absurd.

      -Hey us guys here at Tampax have just created a new sturdy tampon that can handle the strain of space shut

      • by sc0ob5 (836562)
        You can't be serious.. Just because you don't leave your padded room doesn't mean others don't.
        • by noundi (1044080)
          You can't be seroius, how about a bit more realistic tests? Such as dropping the phone from your hands? I have never in my life, nor anybody I know for that matter, had my phone damaged in a way that would be equal, or even close to, an elephant walking on it. I've sometimes dropped it, and on occasion on one of its edges. If I want a sturdy phone I'd look for a sturdy display, casing and edges that can handle a 2 meter drop. I can live with a 0.0000000001% chance of getting an immense and even pressure on
      • Who the fuck has their phone run over by an elephant so often that he feels the need to have a fool proof solution for it? Or even have it run over by a car, buried in mud or roasted in a fucking oven?

        Here in the UK, some of us have to work for a living.

  • Although it's unbelievably ugly, I need this phone! I broke 2 to 3 phones a year for the last 5 years... It'd be nice if it came to Canada. My last misadventure with my last Sony Ericsson: the screen died after a bicycle ride.
  • Must be the heat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jurgemaister (1497135)
    I read "World's Thoughest iPhone". Think I have to stay off the Apple news for a while...
  • by Critical Facilities (850111) * on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:47PM (#28559485) Homepage
    Naomi Campbell [people.com] is first on the waiting list to get one.

    Nothing can stop her now.
    • Well, she may have to fight it out with Russel Crow to see who gets it first. I'm sure he goes through lots of phones when he bounces them off other peoples' heads.

  • Or... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wjousts (1529427)
    ...Just take better care of your shit.
    • by dave562 (969951)
      Or just realize that there are certain environments where nice/expensive gadgets shouldn't be taken. My girl friend is pretty notorious for losing things or damaging them. When she goes out with her friends, she leaves the Blackberry at home and puts her SIM into a cheap LG phone. If the phone gets lost or damaged it isn't as big of a deal.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Swizec (978239)
        <quote>When she goes out with her friends, she leaves the Blackberry at home and puts her SIM into a cheap LG phone. If the phone gets lost or damaged it isn't as big of a deal.</quote>

        She does it so you don't see her calling history and can't track her via GPS to see what she's actually doing. Don't be naive man! Her tinfoil hat is even thicker than the average slashdotter's
        • by dave562 (969951)
          Trust me, if anyone needs a tracking device and call history checking its me... or at least, it was me a few years ago.
    • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kent_eh (543303) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:57PM (#28559691)

      ...Just take better care of your shit.

      Or don't have a job where you are in a rough environment.

      As it said in TFA, this is just the thing for tradesmen.
      I regularly see electricians, plumbers, carpenters and movers phones being dropped from ladders, or bashed into in some way. Or splashed with anything from paint to concrete to sewage.
      It's a tool for them, and as such it needs to be durable. Just like their other tools.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        dust kills my phones... I work in the tile laying business

      • by Mattsson (105422)

        Wonder if it takes on oil. Both my father and both my brothers has had several phones dropped into the manholes of tanker-trucks or oil-cisterns. (Phone in breast pocket while inspecting...)
        Even if the tank is empty, there's usually enough oil in the bottom to kill most phones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lga (172042)

      I work for a timber distributer. I have to provide phones to warehouse staff, lorry loaders and sawmill operators. Even if the environment wasn't so hostile I think the workmen would be! We have a large site with lots of warehouses so phones are essential to get the job done.

      I have one loader who in the last few years has been through several Nokia 6310s, a Nokia 5210, 5410, and a JCB phone. The JCB was supposed to be indistructible and had a similar demo video to this Land Rover phone but he still broke it

  • Psh (Score:4, Funny)

    by sys.stdout.write (1551563) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:49PM (#28559513)

    A forklift truck proved to be its match, and was able to crush the S1 under its three-tonne weight

    Well then it's no good to me.

  • Has it been given to a 3 yr old for an hour? Or my brother?

    Either one could be given a bowling ball in an empty room...and 5 minutes later come out with a bucket full of pieces.

    • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:54PM (#28559609)

      Either one could be given a bowling ball in an empty room...and 5 minutes later come out with a bucket full of pieces.

      The truly amazing thing isn't that they can destroy a bowling ball in under 5 minutes. It's that they were able to craft a bucket using the pieces.

      • by fataugie (89032)

        I tip my hat to you sir, you are a genius. If I could mod you up, I would.

      • Either one could be given a bowling ball in an empty room...and 5 minutes later come out with a bucket full of pieces.

        The truly amazing thing isn't that they can destroy a bowling ball in under 5 minutes. It's that they were able to craft a bucket using the pieces.

        Hahahaha, win.
        -Taylor

    • by socz (1057222)
      so the real question is, where did they get the bucket from? :P
  • 62.5 days of battery life?! Is this for real!?


    What kind of battery are they using?
    • Must be a mini nuclear reactor sort of thing...
    • by Hansele (579672) *
      What they neglected to mention is that it has 1500 hrs of battery life as long as it is switched off. My phone is much better and has almost limitless battery life, so long as I have it plugged up to the wall charger.
    • 62.5 days of battery life?! Is this for real!?

      Yes, when attached to your Land Rover.

    • Maybe they put an oversize battery in it and got rid of any features other than basic phone service. Even so, I, also, find that number to be hard to believe even if it just assumes 62.5 days in sleep mode.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by imsabbel (611519)

        Not hard at all to believe.

        When cell phones went smaller, their battery packs also became smaller. In size and in capacity (of course more in size).

        A battery the size of the one in my old Nokia 5510, but made from LiPO, would have about 5-10 times the capacity of the tiny batteries in modern phones.
        As a modern phone will last a week in standby easily, even with those small 300mAh cells, i think 62 days is entirely reasonable if one can live with the phone being 100g heavier.

    • by jbeaupre (752124)
      No no no. The comma is a decimal separator. For American's, it would be 1.500 hours. What's impressive isn't the life, but that they predict it with such precision.
      • by Bigby (659157)

        Why 1,500 hours. Why not 1,5 hours? Who would go to the thousandths decimal place when publishing hours. That is what minutes are for.

        My guess is the two extra 0's were to just throw off us Americans.

    • by dangitman (862676)
      Yes, but it's a single use battery, so when your 1500 hours are up, you have to buy a new phone.
  • Ultimate test (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @12:55PM (#28559663)

    Was it given to an eight year old boy? Those tender little blossoms can destroy anything.

  • ...this is the AK-47 of phones or...?
  • Didn't they already make the "World's Toughest Phone" a long time ago?

    I swear I've seen one [urbandictionary.com].

  • Could James Bond or Jack Bauer use it to stop a bullet? If they want it to be rugged and work in the toughest conditions, that's the true test.

  • Is this anything like those "unbreakable" combs or MagLites which are guaranteed to never break? Cuz I've broken both. With proper normal usage.

    • by afidel (530433)
      What could you possibly break on a LED Maglite? The only thing I have ever seen is the top of the rubber cover for the switch being torn off and even then the switch still works, it's just not as water resistant. If you're saying you broke the bulb on a filament Maglite, that's nothing special.
  • I had a metal rotary phone.
    I think it was steel. I pretty sure it could withstand everything in these tests as well.
    Where it failed was in that it ddn't fit into most pockets, it wasn't wireless, and the greatest tragedy of all, it didn't ahve a camera.

    Side note: I can no longer right click on a mispelled word to choose from a list. This happens about 50% of the time. I don't know if it's caused by firefox 3.5 or slashdot.

    • It may not be solid metal nor does it have a camera, but there is a cellular version of the old-school rotary dial phone available from http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=286 [sparkfun.com].

      They use real old bakelite phones, hacked to accept an internal cellular module and LiIon battery. It emulates the dialtone and everything. Just add a SIM card and away you go. It looks really cool.

      *I am not affiliated with SparkFun except as an occasional customer. Unless they want to give me a job!

  • Top Gear features this a few weeks ago, funny stuff:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVgRVyt6N1U [youtube.com]

  • by Gerald (9696)

    I still want my DeWALT laptop, dammit.

  • > stepped on by an elephant, run over by a Land Rover, dropped from a second-story window, buried in mud, soaked in a pint of beer, and roasted in an oven at 150 degrees c

    Hey, coincidentally, that exactly describes what happened to me last night. And I'm still working.

  • by GameMaster (148118) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:31PM (#28560451)

    Most of those tests aren't as impressive as they sound.

    The Beer/Mud tests are, effectively, the same thing. The phone's waterproofing gaskets will either hold the moisture out or they won't, much like a water proof watch. This gets even easier to accomplish if they installed an iPhone style "permanent" battery, eliminated the headset jack in favor of Bluetooth, and installed an inductive charging system like a cordless toothbrush.

    The test where it's being run over by a Land Rover is easier than it sounds because the flexibility of the tires serves to spread out the weight of the vehicle. As long as they don't over-inflate the tires or use ultra-high efficiency/low rolling resistance tires then the actual PSI on the phone should be relatively low. Coincidental, they featured a stunt just like this last night on that Billy Mays show "Pitchmen". In the show they were trying to sell a gel pad designed to absorb force so they ran over one of the salesmen's hands with an SUV. As for the elephant, I don't know enough about the forces at the bottom of an elephant's foot but it might be the same issue. Another thing to consider is how soft the surface was under the tire or the elephants foot. If either was done on earth instead of pavement/concrete then that will play a factor too.

    Inversely, the above explanation serves to explain why the phone, finally, broke under the forklift. The tires on most forklifts I've ever seen tend to be made of a very hard rubber-like material (possibly just pure natural rubber). I'm sure that this manages to eliminate the need to replace tires over the life of the forklift and forklifts don't need the shock absorbing effects of a pneumatic tire since they move so slow and are only designed to be used over very flat surfaces. The hard tires transmit a much higher percentage of the forklift's weight to a much smaller patch of ground and the 3 ton forklift is, probably, as heavy or heavier than the Land Rover.

    As for being dropped from a second story window, I would want to know what kind of surface it was dropped on. It would be much more impressive if it were dropped onto concrete. It would be less impressive if it were dropped onto thick grass and much less impressive if it were dropped onto a mattress (I doubt that one but, as it wasn't mentioned, I wouldn't put it past some marketing agencies).

    As for the oven test, I would want to know how long it was left in. 150C is a pretty high temperature but people have been walking over 1000+ degree Fahrenheit coals for a long time and I've seen Shaolin monks lick red hot pokers. The trick is how long your body part is in contact with the hot stuff. In both cases, you move your foot/tough away from the contact immediately and don't give enough time for most of the heat to transfer. In the case of licking the red hot poker, they also have a thick layer of spit on their tough that absorbs much of the heat and evaporates away protecting the tongue.

    • > As for the oven test, I would want to know how long it was left in. 150C is a pretty
      > high temperature

      As long as the plastics don't melt (most have higher melting points than that) and the battery electrolytes don't boil (some use nonvolatile electrolytes) it should be ok at 150C.

    • by dickens (31040)

      Fork truck drivers slow? I take it you've never seen a 2 ton fork truck powersliding through an ess with a half-ton of paper on the forks.. it doesn't look slow.

      Time is money, and those guys can load a truck in a hurry when it's crunch time.

      • He, while that may be fast for a fork truck, I think the Land Rover can, probably, double it's speed easily.

  • If they send the bill in triplicate, I think we know what to get our favorite Vogans for christmas this year.

  • My Gzone [google.com] comes pretty close, for a bit less, and available in the US.
  • by Mordac (1009)

    Nothing shocking here. Casio has there G'zone which is pretty damn hard to break. I got mine for Mountain Climbing,and also because I seem to drop phones into any water source (don't know if I'm cursed or not.)

    One thing not advertised, these phones are rather large for a cellphone these days, so you can also use it as a blunt weapon.

    • by jazzkat (901547)
      +1 on the GZone, especially if you enjoy water or snow sports. Nothing quite like taking a phone call when you're swimming in the lake, or skiing from the back of a boat! Plus, if it gets dirty, just throw it in the dishwasher. That's an excellent bonus.
  • As an IT Manager for a construction company, one thing I've been looking for is a phone that field people cannot break within a week. The defacto standard (or former standard) would be Nextel, but the new Motorola units they've been pushing are anything short of unbreakable. Gone are the days of the bulletproof brickphone that you can run over with a grader and it still live to make another call. Motorola's replacements for the bricks are rather flimsy flip phones and rather weak candybar phones.

    Well, on

    • ..that's the only thing I have found that works for me on the farm. Top pocket, with a secured button. Anything in my pants pocket or on a holster, etc is due for a drop or a smashing. A shirt pocket with no button, same thing, lean over, out it goes, and around where I work, that could be right into a pile of cow exhaust or in the swamp/mud, etc.. The other thing cellphones don't seem to have is a lanyard loop. The sleeves sometimes have then, but the phone itself needs one, so you can put your own "safe"

  • I dropped my iPhone 3g on the pavement about a month ago. Screen shattered. I love the features the iPhone has so I'm not going to switch, but I sure wish it was more rugged.
    • by linzeal (197905)
      Those 20 dollar rubberized housings do an all right job in protecting it on 3 sides. Even if it won't be as shiny.
  • by 6Yankee (597075) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @01:56PM (#28560939)

    Extra loud ringtone?

    Buy shares in forklift manufacturers.

  • Call me cynical, but when they claim two MONTHS of standby time and 18 hours of talk time, all on a 1850 mAh battery -- it makes me a bit leery. After all, no matter how efficient its electronics are, it still has to burn power transmitting packets. For example the Nokia 6205 on its 1020mAh BL-5C battery only gets up to 4 hours talk, up to 11 day standby. Spec for Nokia: http://www.nokiausa.com/find-products/phones/nokia-6205/specifications [nokiausa.com] Spec for the phone, I think: http://www.sonimtech.com/pdf/xp3quest [sonimtech.com]
  • meh ... call me when it survives a 5 year old.

  • by bADlOGIN (133391) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @02:27PM (#28561515) Homepage
    As in, if you smash the device into an iPhone, you can kill the iPhone and the device in question will keep working. Given what the G1 and Palm Pre have turned out to be, this is the only true valid definition of the term "iPhone killer" in the market today;)
  • Destroy my SIM (Score:3, Interesting)

    by itomato (91092) on Thursday July 02, 2009 @02:33PM (#28561627)

    The phone is fragile. Less fragile, but it has considerably more chinks than my SIM card. If the phone numbers are the important thing, keep them on the SIM. They cost what - $0.02? $0.05?

    I can't understand why, aside from status, anyone would need this particular phone. Granted, it's a ruggedized phone with GPS, but the screen is something from 2002, barely pocketizable, and has glitzy buttons. What kind of GPS could it be packing, if it's (A:) a proprietary phone, (B:) has 600 pixels to work with? If location was so important to me, and I were driving my Land Rover, or my Hyundai (and pretending it's more than it is), why wouldn't I put my eggs in more baskets, and bring along my Suunto watch, TomTom, or traditional GPS unit?

    If the ability to make a phone call after leaving your phone in a pint (or similarly brown, wet, and bubbly environment) is the question, how is this better than my SIM alone, with a spare clunker phone/charger in the glovebox?

    I bet an average SIM could tolerate 3 tonnes of compression without a sneeze.

    • by pbhj (607776)

      barely pocketizable, and has glitzy buttons

      Why do you want to make it into a pocket? Perhaps if it were pocketable too, then you could keep a spare inside the "pocketizable" one?

  • I had a Nokia (candy bar style from early 2000's aka the immortals) that fell from a 4th floor. Sure the battery, body, and covers went in different directions, but put together again and it worked.

    Seriously, if they wanted to make a real tough phone, they should've sided with Nokia.
  • I work for an automotive supplier, and we have some of the most interesting phone death (Salt blast, chrome tank, paint oven, acid bath, ect.. and folk lift as well). Unless this thing can survive two weeks at anyone of my facility.
  • by schlick (73861)

    This is Timex's shtick. Hey I'd probably buy a Timex phone if they actually made one.

  • is a phone that just works under normal usage pattern for most people. I'm talking about a simple candy bar phone like the ones Nokia used to make in 2001. Nowdays you cannot find a phone that does not have internet capable browser, email, etc. What happened to building a phone that does its primary function well. My ideal phone would have: 1. Excellent voice reception 2. 1 week + battery life 3. Bluetooth capability (hands free driving laws in my state) 4. sturdy design - survive a 3 ft fall to concrete -
  • ahh but... (Score:1, Redundant)

    by smash (1351)
    ... will it blend? [google.com]

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." -- Albert Einstein

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