Samsung Convoy 2 review: Rugged, but...

Verizon's Samsung Convoy 2 has many charms, but it's also got its share of foibles that makes us wonder if it could be tougher and more impressive.

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We must have said it a million times: whenever a carrier updates a handset, we expect familiarity, yes, but also improvements. Verizon's rugged, push-to-talk Samsung Convoy 2 scores high when it comes to refreshing the look and feel of the original Samsung Convoy; but some changes, or lack thereof, left us feeling a little cold.

On the original Convoy, we complained of the mini-USB charging port and the 2.5 millimeter headset jack. With the Convoy 2, Samsung upgraded to today's Micro-USB standard, but failed to modernize the headset spec, a disappointment for a phone that has dedicated music controls on its face.

In addition, the Convoy lost its rubberized sidings, a derivation that makes the hard plastic chassis feel less rugged, not more so. We also wish Samsung would have addressed the poor speakerphone quality, a feature that seems likely to be used in the field.

Apart from those detractions, however, the Convoy 2 has a number of charms, including its attractive-if-thick build, a sturdy hinge, and several touches like a flash/flashlight, voice commands, a camcorder, and large buttons that are easy on the eye and on the fingers.

If you're in the market for a tough phone, the Convoy 2 is definitely worth your attention, despite some of its flaws. Check out more rugged phones in this roundup.