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First Look: The Verykool Vortex can stand up to surf and sand.

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First Look: The Verykool Vortex can stand up to surf and sand.

2:24 /

This unlocked smartphone is dustproof, water resistant, and affordable.

It's rugged, dustproof, water-resistant and frankly quite bland. Hi. I'm Sarah Mitroff with CNET and this is a First Look at the Verykool Vortex. The big-selling feature of the 280-dollar Vortex is that it's water-resistant and dustproof. It can survive for up to 30 minutes in a meter of water without getting damaged. The phone has a rugged plastic build to make it look extra tough. On the top of the Vortex is the headphone jack which has a sealed cover to stop water from getting in. On the left side you'll find the power/lock button. On the right, there's a volume rocker. If you turn the screen on but don't unlock the phone, hold the volume button. The phone's flashlight turns on which is a nifty feature. Behind the textured back cover is there's a water-tight sealed compartment for the battery, SD card, and SIM card. The Vortex has a scratch-resistant 4.5-inch Gorilla Glass screen, a 960x540-pixel display is bright and easy to read in full sunlight, though the colors look muted. The phone is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich which launched in 2011 and looks dated. Still the phone comes with all the typical Android apps like YouTube and Google Play. Performance-wise, the Vortex's 1.2 gigahertz dual-core processor and 512 megabytes of RAM give it enough power to handle everyday tasks like checking email or watching videos without any problems. And mobile games like Temple Run ran fine in my testing. The phone only supports 3G HSPA and 2G data connections which means apps won't download as fast and you'll have issues streaming high-definition video. On the back of the phone there's a 5-megapixel camera with auto focus and flash. There's also a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera near the ear piece. Up close indoor shots turned out great with lots of fine detail, but outdoor shots look washed out. Video recorded with the Vortex looks fuzzy. All in all, the very cool Vortex is worth considering if you need a budget phone that can hold up to dirt, dust, and water. Though many other rugged phones have nicer designs and newer Android software, the Vortex costs much less and you can use it with any carrier worldwide which are both pluses in my book. You can read my full review on CNET.com. I'm sarah Mitroff and this has been a First Look at the Verykool Vortex.

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