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Christmas Gift Guide

The rugged Vortex

Water resistant seal

Rain showers, pools

Thick and bulky

Not pocked-sized

Bright screen

Just average camera

The Vortex smartphone can hold up to a great deal of physical abuse. It’s dustproof, water-resistant, shock-resistant, and all-around rugged.

It's also an unlocked phone that you can take to any GSM carrier worldwide.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

That smaller black cover you see forms a seal over the battery, the SD card, and the SIM card, to protect them from water damage. You must reseal that cover to make sure the phone's more fragile components stay dry.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
The Vortex is water-resistant up to one meter for 30 minutes. That means it will hold up just fine in rain showers, and regular showers, but you shouldn't take it swimming with you.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
Though the phone is bulky and heavy, it feels solid and sturdy in your hand.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
It’s about half an inch thick, so if you slide it into a back pocket and try to sit on it, you’ll feel it. At more than 5 inches tall, it'll stick out of most pants pockets.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Vortex's 4.5-inch LCD IPS display has a 960x540-pixel resolution. The screen is bright enough to read in direct sunlight with hardly any glare.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back with autofocus and flash. The camera takes just OK photos, though outdoor shots often look washed out.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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