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Waterproof, Floating, and Virtually Indestructible Mobile Phones
The new JCB phones aren’t really a contender for world’s sexiest handset, but then that’s not the market they are aiming for. If you’re an outdoors type there are plenty of reasons to sacrifice glamour in favour of durability.
. The manufacturers are confident the phones will withstand a two-metre drop test. As someone who broke a phone after letting it slip though my hands like a bar of soap, I was confident its rubbery casing would protect against a more serious tumble.
Dark nights and threats of weather-related power cuts wont be a problem either – the top of the Sitemaster features a decent torch beam. The days of trying to illuminate a situation from three-second snatches of glowing screen time would be a thing of the past. There’s also a laser pointer off the top – admittedly not something I have much use for, but, should you use one for work, you’d be sorted.
The phone’s software was easy to navigate and quick to set up. The ringtones are piercingly loud, even on quieter settings, and in a noisy work environment like a building site it would be impossible to miss.
The Sitemaster comes with a wind up charger as well as a conventional plug-in version. It sounds like a gimmick, but in reality would be perfect if you were heading off on an extended adventure and didn’t have access to power.
The Sitemaster is water and dust resistant and the slighter cheaper JCB Toughphone Tradesman (£64.99) has been billed as the world’s first floating phone. I’d be nervous throwing it off a pier – but water sports fans will feel more at ease packing the phone on board the boat or in a wetsuit pocket. The manufacturer claims it remains fully functional after being submerged in water and is a buoyant, It continues to operate after being dragged behind a vehicle at 120mph, buried in two tonnes of rubble and then left underwater for six hours.
Data Select, owned by Peter Jones of Dragons' Den, worked with JCB to make the floating phone which it claims is virtually indestructible.
Jason Kemp, the firm's marketing director, said: "The Tradesman is the perfect phone for people working outdoors, in the rain, sailing or just accident prone. "Its rugged design means it will also take a hammering that would see lesser phones destroyed.
The JCB Toughphone ProTalk comes with additional features like GPS and dual SIMs, and the Toughphone Pro-Talk features an eight-channel two way radio to ensure you can keep in touch with other JCB phone users even when mobile reception is non-existent.
The casing does mean the phone is a little bulkier than some on the market, but it’s still lightweight and hardly the size of those old brick handsets of yesteryear.
For a tough phone able to withstand a punishing outdoor life, the JCB ought to do exactly what you’d expect.