Waterproof, dust-resistant and capable of withstanding accidental drops onto hard, unforgiving concrete, the JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Android handsets. It can take whatever punishment you feel like dealing out, and still come back for seconds.
With IP67 certification, a protective barrier over the screen and chunky, shockproof casing, this no-nonsense mobile is likely to be the dream ticket for those employed in the rough-and-tumble world of construction and manual labour.
For all of its strength, the Toughphone Pro-Smart is saddled with rather disappointing technical specs. But will it matter if all that's important to you is a phone that will survive a pummeling unscathed?
The JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart is available SIM-free from Expansys for £310.
Should I buy the JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart?
Digger maker JCB has been running a neat little sideline infor a few years, but they've tended to be the tech equivalent of your average WWE wrestler -- brawn over brains.
Following a collaboration with Motorola to create the, JCB has finally stepped up to the plate with the Android-packing Toughphone Pro-Smart -- otherwise known as the only handset Chuck Norris would be seen in public with. To call this device rugged is a masterclass in understatement. You could bludgeon someone to death with this blower, should you be that way inclined.
Unfortunately, despite the near-indestructible exterior, the Toughphone Pro-Smart is something of a technological weakling. It only has an 800MHz processor, a 320x480-pixel resolution screen and comes with, rather than -- the most recent edition.
It's clear that the Toughphone Pro-Smart isn't aimed at consumers who salivate over the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and . This device caters for an entirely different user. While those super-thin and ultra-powerful handsets look great resting on the coffee table at your local Starbucks, they're woefully ill-suited to emailing from the rigours of a building site.
As a phone for outdoor types who work amid dust, water and all kinds of weather, the Toughphone Pro-Smart makes a lot of sense. The lack of cutting-edge functionality is a bind, but you have to ask yourself, what good is a HD 720p resolution Super AMOLED screen when it's covered in grime?
At first glance, you'd be forgiven for assuming the Toughphone Pro-Smart is actually a normal smart phone clad in a strong case. It's only when you pick the device up that you realise the proliferation of plastic is actually part of the handset. At 20.5mm thick, this has to be one of the chunkiest mobiles I've ever seen.
There's a good reason for this portly frame -- the Toughphone Pro-Smart is water, dust and shockproof and comes with IP67 certification, which means it can withstand full submersion in the wet stuff for up to 30 minutes.
This is nothing new -- theoffers a similar level of protection -- but I'd be willing to wager JCB's phone is the tougher of the two. While I stopped short of attempting to mutilate the device to see if it's quite as robust as the , I nevertheless put the Toughphone Pro-Smart through some pretty strenuous testing. It emerged entirely unscathed.
You won't be able to slip this blower into your back pocket. As a fashion statement, it's woefully lacking. But then its target audience is probably more comfortable in baggy cargo pants and steel-toed boots. To illustrate, the phone even comes with a special carabiner attachment so you can secure it to your tool belt when you're not using it. It doesn't get much manlier than that.
Processing power and internal storage
For all its ruggedness, the Toughphone Pro-Smart is less intimidating when it comes to pure specifications and features. The 800MHz single-core CPU doesn't offer blistering performance and speed, and the lacklustre 3.2-inch screen is low-resolution and pixelated.
There's a pitiful 112MB of user-available internal storage, and the 2GB microSD card bundled by JCB won't offer you much space for songs, photos, apps and videos. Thankfully, you can upgrade this to a card with more space if you need to. And because it's running Android, the Toughphone Pro-Smart can make use of Google's myriad cloud-based storage solutions, including Picasa (for photos and videos), and. You can even sign up to services such as and to grab even more online space.