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Samsung has a bit of a history of making toughened handsets for the rough and tumble of outdoor life. The latest incarnation, the Solid Extreme B2100, follows in the footsteps of the original Samsung Solid M110, and the B2700 Bound.
The Solid Extreme looks more like the Bound than the original Solid and is being sold in some quarters as the B2100 Xplore, which is what it was called on Samsung's original press release. The B2100 part of its name remains intact whether it is called Solid Extreme or Xplore though, and it is best thought of as a less well-featured alternative to the B2700 Bound.
The point of this mobile, like its predecessors, is to survive harsh conditions outdoors. It aims to be the kind of phone you can take hiking, mountain biking, hill climbing and so on without it wimping out when it gets dropped, complaining of a cracked screen, waterlogged parts, etc. Flashes of red along the long edges give it a little touch of distinctiveness too.
Not surprisingly, then, the Solid Extreme is made of fairly robust materials. The casing is IP57 certified, which means it can withstand dust and water. It will cope with being immersed in a metre of water for 30 minutes, apparently. Oh, and it is compliant with Military Standard 810F too, which means it can survive salt fog, extreme heat and cold, and blowing rain.
To achieve that state the handset has a toughened rubberised casing with minimal openings. The number pad is a single sheet of rubber with each key a raised pad. It was easy enough to use at a leisurely pace, though speed-texters might find it a bit unresponsive. The rubbery, non-slip finish to the buttons make it easier than usual to paw at when wearing gloves and the rubbery finish of the entire chassis should make gripping it with gloves more secure than your standard shiny plastic chassis.
The backplate fits very snugly and can only be removed by using a coin, screwdriver or something similar to unlock it. I found a fingernail was not tough enough for this job.
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