There was an old marketing phrase: “Nothing, but nothing, but nothing, gets in the the way of a Land Rover.” The new phrase for the Land Rover Discovery SVX is simple: ‘Hard as Hell’.
However, while tough vehicles may be getting tougher, the same can’t be said for modern smartphones. Back in the 90’s my Nokia ‘flying brick’ survived being dropped on pavements, down the back of the car seat, slipped out of pockets into puddles and most importantly, survived my three daughters who were young at that time. Skip forwards twenty years, our friend Alisha can destroy the latest smartphone in under a week. She is a Mum to two young children, and forget climbing Everest, a mere a slip from a pocket onto carpet, a slip down the back of the sofa or the slightest spill, we haven’t yet found a phone that lasts living with her for longer than a week.
Mobile phones are essential for travellers – including outdoor travellers, but hardy people don’t want to be let down by wimpy phones – after all, a Mum with two kids dropping her phone on a carpet is nothing compared to the rigors of outdoor life. However, while the old-style Nokias are still available, users don’t want to give up their web-viewing screens and their smartphone features. For this reason, Land Rover have paired up with Bullitt Group to design a smartphone for people who live for adventure and need a phone that’s built to match.
Revealed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, this super-tough smartphone will, say the group, survive whatever you put it through.
At the heart of the Land Rover Explore is a powerful 4000mAh battery that gives two days of typical use, or a full day of activites, with constant GPS Navigation mapping activated on the 5″ HD display. Battery life can also be doubled by adding the included Adventure Pack while on the go. Once added, it can replace the need for a separate GPS device with its GPS patch antenna that improves the reliability and accuracy of the GPS. It also adds additional 3600 mAh of battery power and premium topographic mapping with Skyline augmented reality, courtesy of ViewRanger.
Other hardware packs available include a large 4370mAh additional battery and a universal bike mount, all designed to enhance any adventure by enabling owners to go further, and stay out for longer.
The Land Rover Explore withstands everyday use outdoors with exceptional durability. It is drop tested to 1.8 metres with a factory fitted screen protector, it can survive underwater, including salt water complying to IP68 rating and can cope with extreme temperatures, thermal shock, humidity and vibration exposure. This level of protection ensures the device can survive heavy downpours or a muddy trail and will continue to work, keeping users connected at all times.
Designed in close collaboration with Land Rover, the smartphone takes subtle design cues from the unbeatably capable and versatile Land Rover Discovery. Taking inspiration from the front grille design through to the headlamp architecture and even the knurled finish of the interior dials, it elegantly reflects the essence of the Land Rover brand. It’s a durable smartphone in a stylish design that is suitable for the office or enjoying the great outdoors.
The home screen features a customisable Outdoor Dashboard for instant access to weather condition information and sensor data from the device. It can be set up to show the details most relevant to any activity at a glance. Separately, the Explore Hub is a curated app portal, with a content catalogue relevant to many outdoor activities, as well as the Land Rover InControl apps. Plus, small features like a handy SOS flashlight and a Night red filter mode to reduce screen glare, help to ensure the Land Rover Explore is perfect for everyone with a passion for the outdoors.
Notable features also include a bright 5-inch full HD screen that’s optimised for sunlight legibility, while the touchscreen can be controlled with wet fingers or while wearing gloves. Improved connectivity options are provided by a dual SIM feature, giving users the ability to connect to two networks.
Joe Sinclair, Director of Branded Goods and Licensing for Jaguar Land Rover said:
“We are excited to be collaborating with Bullitt Group to create the smartphone that we’d all like to own. A perfect combination of design and functionality that embodies the Land Rover DNA and enables customers to be outdoors for longer, with the confidence to go further.”
Peter Stephens, CEO of Bullitt Group, global mobile licensee for Land Rover commented:
“Building on our leadership in the rugged mobile market, we see the growing customer dissatisfaction with the fragility of their mobile phone and the poor battery life in particular, preventing them from using their mobile for key parts of their day to day life. The Land Rover Explore embodies everything we know to create a device perfectly suited to any outdoor activity, whilst retaining a sleek design.”
The Land Rover Explore launches with the Adventure Pack, bringing GPS handheld capabilities to the smartphone straight out of the box with an MSRP of €649 / £599. It will be available to order from April 2018 via http://www.landroverexplore.com and selected retailers and operators.
The Land Rover Explore will be on display at Mobile World Congress (stand CS78) followed by the Geneva Motor Show, 8th-18th March – however, before the manufacturer sends it to the far reaches of Africa, maybe they could road test it for a week with Alisha. If it survives, I’ll buy one!