Although the ToughCase is pretty bulky for a trouser pocket, there are other options. The rear of the unit has a connection for a lanyard, and there’s a slot to attach a windscreen mount or belt clip, with the latter included in the package. This isn’t something you would wear in the city, but it’s definitely an option when out hiking, where having a fat gadget attached to your midriff would not be out of place.
The one thing that isn’t included is any software, and Magellan doesn’t offer anything of its own to go with the ToughCase. So here you’re on your own. We tried the ToughCase with a range of GPS-enabled apps, including sat-nav software aimed at vehicular use, Google Maps, and more hiking-oriented software such as Gaia GPS. Everything we used appeared to be compatible with the ToughCase GPS chip, and although it wasn’t obvious in most cases thatt this was providing more accuracy than the built-in iPhone chipset, it did appear to benefit the Geocaching.com app. This is the high-tech treasure hunt we’ve explained in detail before. The ToughCase took us closer to the geocache location than the iPhone on its own, making discovery that little bit easier.
The Magellan ToughCase performs its duties with aplomb, but it has a couple of major problems. Although only just released in the UK, it arrived in the US about a year ago. Whilst its limitation to the iPhone 3 generation and iPod Touch wouldn’t have been such an issue back then, this makes it a bit more outmoded now. It’s also surprisingly expensive, costing £175, which is close to the price of an entry-level standalone hiking sat-nav such as Garmin’s Dakota 20. But these issues aside, if you are an iPhone 3 or iPod Touch owner hoping to take advantage of the wealth of outdoor-oriented GPS apps available, it does the job well.
Score in detail
Battery Life 9