Key ports have been passed through, too. There’s a USB 2 connection, although this can only be used for charging, and a headphone jack on the side, although this doesn’t support the microphone portion of an iPhone headset. Both are covered by rubber doors, so the ToughCase won’t be waterproof when they are in use. The big omission is the proprietary iPhone connection. So if you happen to have an iPhone-specific car charger, you will have to switch this for a standard USB-based one. You will also need to remove the iPhone from the ToughCase should you want to sync it with a desktop system. There’s no way of accessing the mute button, either.
Most importantly of all, though, the capacitive touch screen is fully operational, because the window covering it lets the minute electrical field around your fingers through. It’s not entirely business as usual here, though, as the bezel round the edge of the screen is about 5mm deep, making it hard to access things right at the edge of the display. This makes typing with the onscreen keyboard rather less seamless than it was. At this point, it also becomes fairly obvious why Magellan hasn’t quoted any specifics on the shock resistance. Most of the casing is exceptionally solid, and looks like you could probably run it over without mishap. But the thin plastic required to allow the capacitive screen to remain usable is unlikely to survive a direct hit from something hard and sharp travelling at speed.
The ToughCase is more than just rugged protection for your iPhone, too. It’s large and heavy for other reasons as well. Inside there’s a 1,840mAh battery and SiRFstarIII GPS receiver. The battery effectively doubles the usable life of your iPhone, so it will be much more useful for extensive hiking trips. The GPS is more accurate and locks more quickly than the one built into an iPhone, giving your position to within 3-5m. The GPS receiver also means you can use the ToughCase to provide an iPod Touch with location-finding facilities. There’s a cradle in the box for use with an iPod Touch, to make up for the thinner chassis. Rubber buttons on the bottom let you check the current battery level, and turn both the latter and the built-in GPS receiver on and off as required. There’s also a master switch inside the case, which disengages the battery entirely to preserve charge and when the ToughCase is in transit.
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