As a basic point-and-shoot to keep poolside, the Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP is relatively successful. But if you are looking for any sort of drop protection, it's not worth considering. Enter the XP10, a full-on rugged model able to withstand drops from 3 feet, dives in 10 feet of water, and temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The "proofing" in turn prevents dust from entering the body as well.
So I really liked the Panasonic Lumix TS1, the company's first foray into rugged compact cameras, but it wasn't as indestructible as some of its competition. Round two, the TS2, corrects that as it's waterproof down to 33 feet, shockproof from drops up to 10 feet 6.6 feet, and freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit putting it in line with models from Olympus, Canon, and Pentax.
Panasonic didn't skimp on other features, either, basically making it a full-featured ultracompact in a tougher shell. It has a 14-megapixel resolution, a 2.7-inch LCD, 28mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with … Read more
Otterbox is known for its ultraprotective iPhone cases. Now M-Edge, which specializes in Kindle cases, is doing the same for the Kindle, with an announcement that it will sell the first waterproof Kindle case this spring.
The company says the Guardian is made of molded plastic and protects your Kindle in all water environments up to 1 meter deep, whether you're in the pool, ocean, or just soaking in the tub. Your e-reader is totally sealed in the case, but you can still access all the buttons through "flexible sealed button cutouts." Even better, the case turns … Read more
Camera makers tout the ruggedness of their higher-end products, but apparently even an entry-level SLR can withstand a 3,000-foot drop under the right circumstances.
So discovered Marius Ivascu, a parachuting instructor in Florida whose Canon Rebel XT detached from his helmet mount and took the fast way back to Earth on a skydiving trip. The camera mount detached when Ivascu deployed his parachute, recounted Calin Leucuta, a photographer and friend of Ivascu who earlier had sold him the camera.
After searching for less than a half hour after he landed, Ivascu found the camera and a video camera that had been mounted next to it.
"The video camera cracked open, dead, done deal. The Rebel took the fall a little better, just a crack in the left side of the plastic body," Leucuta said on his blog. "With a glimmer of hope, Marius presses the playback button: Quelle surprise! The camera turns on, displays the last image taken, like nothing happened." … Read more
When Panasonic, Fujifilm, and Canon announced rugged cameras this year, it was odd that Casio didn't pop one out, too, given its predilection for shock-resistant products. Well, I guess November isn't too late to join the market, as Wednesday the company added the Exilim EX-G1 to its digital camera lineup.
The $299 0.8-inch thick, ultracompact 12-megapixel camera can withstand a 7-foot drop because of a two-layer construction with a stainless steel outer casing, a resin ring protecting the lens, and a polycarbonate cover on the body side near the shutter. The wrist-strap holder is made of die-cast … Read more
Motorola has released yet another rugged phone, and it's called the Quantico.
Like the Motorola Tundra, it won't win any design awards for its rough-and-tumble exterior. It's encased in a shell made of chrome, glass, and rubber that is military-certified to withstand a 30-minute dip in up to a meter of water, extreme pressure, temperature, dust, shock, vibration, and rain.
It also rocks GPS, Bluetooth 2.0, a speakerphone, and a 1.3-megapixel camera. No word on carriers just yet, but the tri-band CDMA spec gives us a pretty good hint it'll either go with Verizon, … Read more
Testing a rugged phone like the Sonim XP3 Quest is always fun. It's not every day that you get to throw a handset down the stairs as part of the review. With most phones, a drop to the floor and even a few drops of water can render it useless. But with the XP3, it's all part of the fun.
As the successor to the XP1, the XP3 is also built like a tank, bit it goes a step further by being able to withstand a full dunking. We did just that, and even placed a call to … Read more
Last year we reviewed the Sonim XP1, one of the most durable cell phones we've ever had the pleasure of throwing to the floor. As it never made it to a U.S. carrier, the XP1 wasn't widely available in the United States. But thanks to Best Buy's welcome interest in unlocked phones, an XP1 descendant will live in a big box store.
You wouldn't call the Sonim XP3 Quest attractive--the yellow version is particularly ugly--but brawn before beauty is the whole point. Sonim claims the phone can withstand drops to a concrete floor, excessive shock … Read more
Casio might be ripe to the world of mobile phones, but it certainly made a splash last night with a unique party for the launch of its Exilim C721, a versatile phone that combines rugged durability and a 5.1-megapixel camera in a stylish handset.
Casio canonized the launch by offering the Exilim mobile to several handpicked photographers with the challenge to use the short-form medium to document a week of their lives. Ricky Powell, Richard Kern, Dave Potes, and 11 other prominent artists were all in attendance at last night's event at the Stephen Weiss Studio in downtown … Read more
Nokia's new dust-, water-, and shock-resistant GSM phone, the 3720 Classic, is good news for people who've lost one or two mobiles in a pool of water.
It's not the only one on the market, though--well-protected phones for iDEN and CDMA networks have been around for a long time, and starting a few years ago a new series of GSM mobiles from Sony Ericsson, Samsung, and small American manufacturer Sonim were certified according to the so-called IP-54 standard.
American users might not have had the pleasure of torturing these phones, as GSM networks were scarce in the U.S. at the time the Ericsson R310 and Nokia 5210 launched. Furthermore, they were only dual band for European frequencies.
The IP Code that's used for certifying the new models is an international standard that defines protection against dust and water.
The first digit ranges from 0 to 6 and regards dust, the second ranges from 0 to 8 and regards water. IP-54 means, more or less, that the device is almost completely protected against dust and that it resists splashing water from any direction.
Last year I had great fun putting the Samsung M110, Sonim XP1, and Sony Ericsson C702 to the test (article in Swedish). I put the phones in a vacuum cleaner bag while cleaning, held them under the shower spray, launched them from a second-floor balcony, and dropped them in a glass of beer.
The Samsung M110 turned out to be the clear winner, happily receiving calls even when immersed in a mug of brew. … Read more