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The Verykool Rock RX2 is a dustproof, shockproof, water-friendly smartphone

One of the toughest phones around, the Rock RX2 can handle almost anything you throw at it.

verykool-rx2.jpg
Verykool

Looking for a phone that's built like a tank and looks like one, too? Verykool this week announced the Rock RX2, and, at least on paper, it's one of the toughest phones you can find.

San Diego-based Verykool is best known for making low-cost unlocked GSM phones, such as the Quantum and the Spark . It's dabbled in rugged phones before with the water-resistant Vortex.

Protection from the elements

The RX2 offers even more protection than the Vortex, with an IP rating of 68. That rating means that the phone is completely impervious to dust, and it can stay alive for 60 minutes under 5 meters (around 16 feet) of water.

The phone's rugged exterior, which comes in black or orange, looks like it could survive drops, falls and other stress tests. It features a thick polycarbonate back cover and large, exposed screws, similar to those on the CAT S50 . The 4.3-inch, 540x960-pixel (256 ppi), touchscreen is made of tempered glass, which is also designed to resist damage. You can even use the screen with gloved fingers.

Dated specs

Inside, the RX2 is running on a 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, with 1GB of RAM. There's 16GB of external storage and you can add up to 32GB with an SD card. A 1,900mAh battery keeps the phone ticking and it promises up to 10 days of life on standby.

The phone ships with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, an operating system that's close to two years old now. It looks as if Verykool has replaced the typical Android design with one that fits the phone's tough exterior. There's no word if the GX2 will get an upgrade to 4.3 or 4.4, but I wouldn't count on it.

For taking photos and video, the Rx2 has a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing lens. Other Verykool phones have had disappointing cameras, so I don't have high hopes for this model.

You can use the RX2 on any GSM network in the US or worldwide, and it can get up to 4G HSPA+ data speeds. Other extras include GPS, a gravity sensor, LED flashlight and Bluetooth 3.0.

Outlook

The RX2 is available now for $397.88, before taxes, on Verykool's website. That price is a bit steep, even for a rugged phone, especially when you consider that it's running an older version of Android and doesn't fetch LTE speeds. It's also just a few dollars shy of the Kyocera Brigadier , another rugged phone with a lot more style and elevated specs.

Still, if your work or lifestyle demands that your phone play nice with dust, mud, water and the occasional tumble, you might want to take a look at the RX2.

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