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Ten-hut: i-mate announces army-grade smartphone

While the competition continues to refine the aesthetic of smartphones, i-mate is going bush; making a rough-and-tumble Windows Mobile 6.1 handset.

Joseph Hanlon Special to CNET News
Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies.
Joseph Hanlon
(Credit: i-mate)
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Windows Mobile smartphone manufacturer i-mate is shunning the beautifying trend in business phones and making a full-featured phone for the tradies.

Dubbed the 810-F, this rugged handset is designed to meet military grade specifications. Metal screws over the battery plate seal the phone keeping out water and dust, while its rubber body makes it resistant to shock. The company is so confident that its phone will survive the rigours of outdoor life that it's offering a lifetime warranty with the smartphone.

The 810-F runs on Windows Mobile 6.1, giving users access to a complete business suite of connectivity, like MS Exchange support, VPN client support and the ability to edit MS Office documents. The 810-F also features tri-band 3G network support, 2.2GB of internal storage and a touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard for input.

Recent releases with ruggedised construction, like the Samsung M110 and the Sonim XP3 Enduro, have similar or superior resistance but are typically simpler featured handsets, without 3G radios and a range of business tools.

i-mate will be showing the 810-F at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and promises availability to Australians in the "coming weeks".