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Customer Review

160 of 161 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but with better software it would be great, 13 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Samsung B2710 Solid Immerse Sim Free Mobile Phone - Black (Water & Dust Proof) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
This is the best tough phone available. It has some flaws, but no other robust phone is anywhere near as good, and most of the alternatives cost a lot more. If you are happy to have a fragile phone, then you'll get more functionality elsewhere; but if you want tough, this is the one.

I am a farmer without mains electricity, and bought a Solid Immerse a few months ago as a big-battery robust phone which would do a bit more than the basics. I am very pleased with it: it is tough, has great call quality, big and easy-to-use buttons, excellent predictive text, and a very crisp and bright display which works well even when outdoors in bright sunlight. As a voice-call-and-text phone, I give it 19 out of 10, and I love its handy little built-in LED torch. The smartphone functions are not so well implemented, and can massively reduce the otherwise-excellent battery life.

BATTERY

Some reviewers have criticised the battery life, but that depends on what it is being used for. If I just do texting and voice calls, it lasts for many days without a recharge, and there are plenty of accounts of it lasting on standby for well over a month. If you want a phone to take the wilderness for emergency calls, this is your only choice: there is nothing else which will stay on standby for longer.

However if I start using the 3G functions (email, web browsing, Facebook etc) I can flatten the battery in two days, and occasionally in one. That seems to be an endemic problem with smartphones too, so I guess those functions use a lot of power. This is a chunky phone, rather than a svelte prop for fashion victims, so it wouldn't have hurt to have made the battery much bigger. Samsung also needs to work on its battery-level indicator, which remains on 5 bars for ages, 4 for almost as long, 3 bars for a lot less, and by the the time its on 2 bars it's almost over. I quickly got used to this, but it would be much clearer to have each bar representing one fifth of the total battery life.

ROBUSTNESS

I have dropped this phone in all sorts of places where I didn't think it would survive: off buildings, into mud, into ditchwater, and it was completely undamaged. No other phone that I could afford would do that, so I am delighted with my choice. I did succeed in damaging the phone: it fell 3 metres (10 feet) face-down onto a sharp piece of builders crushed-rock, and the result was a small hairline crack in one corner of the screen's hard plastic cover. The actual display is fine, and the crack doesn't impede my usage, whereas any other phone would have been an expensive collection of broken bits. The display cover is some sort of very hard plastic, which I have found impossible to scratch, but it's a good idea to remove the supplied soft plastic screen protector, because it's not needed and makes the screen a bit blurry.

CAMERA

The camera is nothing fancy: 2megapixels, no zoom, only 320X240 video. However it's fine for quick snaps, and it's very easy to email the photos or upload them to Facebook. To have that sort of functionality in such a robust phone is brilliant.

SOFTWARE

The downside of this phone is the rest of its software. The Facebook application is a bit crude in design, which I can live with, but I don't like the way that it frequently fails to load the page. This seems to be linked to some combination of the quality of the 3G signal and the load on some severs: it can fail entirely at peak times in poor signal areas, but it's much much better in the middle of the night where the signal is good. The phone would be much more useful if this software was improved, because for now I find it easier to use Facebook through the web browser, which is not an approach well-suited to a relatively small screen.

The built-in email is pretty good, but needs some tweaking. The input uses the same excellent predictive text as the SMS system, with choice of words displayed in a pop-up menu. This is much easier to use than the one-alternative-at-a-time system on old the Nokias I used to have, and I got quite fast at typing emails. The emailer handles multiple accounts quite smoothly, and copes fine with attachments, but it is let down by poor memory management. Firstly, it limits the size of emails to 2K characters of text, which is enough for most purposes but is woefully inadequate when replying with quoted text. A much higher limit would make the email a lot more useful.

The second problem with the email is that it stores all the messages in internal memory, and there is no way of changing this to use the memory card (none supplied, I bought a SanDisk 16GB microSDHC Memory Card for under £15). Photos, internet downloads etc can all be directed straight to the memory card, but emails cannot even be moved there. This is a nuisance, because the internal memory is only about 32MB (shared with SMS, contacts list, wallpapers, etc), and it fills up very quickly when emails have attachments. The only solution is to purge the mailbox frequently, which should not be needed.

ALTERNATIVES

The bottom line for me is that no other phone which would survive my usage has anywhere near as much functionality or usability. The previous model Samsung B2100 Solid Extreme Sim Free Mobile Phone is robust, but has a lousy display; the Land Rover S1 costs almost £400 and the Sonim phones start at over £275 for the Sonim XP3 2.0 Quest Sim Free Mobile Phone - Black, while the JCB Toughphones are 2G only (no email, no Facebook, no web browser). Some reviews elsewhere recommend the £250 Motorola Defy, a toughphone that runs Android and sounds great, but the earpieces on the Defy stop working and Motorola doesn't seem to want to fix them.

So if I lose my phone, I'll buy another Solid Immerse. But Samsung ... please please please please please please improve the email and Facebook software, and fix the battery level indicator. Oh, and do supply a USB cable with the phone, to save us having to go off and buy an Izzibuyer Usb Data Cable for Samsung Solid Immerse.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Oct 2011 11:58:51 GMT
bought this phone and so far very pleased with it, unfortunately Amazon under the heading ( Frequently Bought Together) car charging cable and the phone to USB cable is not the correct fitting. Beware.

Posted on 24 Aug 2013 16:29:26 BDT
Simon Knight says:
Great review. I was thinking of changing from the Samsung GT-C3350 which is another tough phone which is 2G only, this phone also has internet connection and facebook and using these does not seem to drain the battery in the same way so I suspect that it is the 3G that sucks the juice.

Posted on 31 Aug 2013 07:38:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Dec 2013 08:09:11 GMT
Jonesy says:
It's 3G so also works very well on the Three network in the UK and abroad when roaming. Had no problems with it in France and Germany. Bluetooth works well with Garmin hands-free & sat-nav.

My last one came with a USB lead and a charger.

Phone has noise cancelling twin mikes. Call quality is excellent.

Regarding email storage, the phone can be set to download headers only, but if it's your only email device you will eventually run out of memory, regardless of how much you have.

Email reception limit on mine is 5Mb per email.

What is useful is that the phone can selectively block calls or texts by number, and emails by sender, subject or address. If you're plagued by nuisance or anonymous calls this is the phone for you.

Battery life on mine is 7 days +, but I don't use it for Twitface or mail. Internet functions switch on the 3G data modem which will use more battery.
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