Samsung Solid in-depth review -

Look and feel

As the name would suggest, the Samsung Solid looks and feels, well solid. It's also surprisingly light. The screen is disappointingly small.

Ease of use

The close proximity of the keys proves problematic, particularly if you are wearing gloves. Navigating your way through the menu icons is straightforward, but the issue with unlocking the keypad is a major oversight by Samsung.  

Features

A VGA camera, FM radio, and Bluetooth connectivity are all part of the Solid's make-up. The standout feature is the unique SOS dialling system that will alert a designated number, by simply pressing the volume key threes times in quick succession. 

Performance

Due to powers beyond our control, we were unable to test the rugability of the Solid as much as we would have liked. However, it did survive a metre fall without any visible damage. The VGA camera is somewhat basic, though the SOS dialling system is a quirky addition.

Battery life

The Samsung Solid offers a massive battery life with 480 minutes talktime and 400 hours standby time. Perfect for an outdoorsy handset.

 Samsung Solid Review -
2

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:51:44 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

4

out of 5

Look and feel

4

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

More features and lighter than the JCB Toughphone.

Cons:

The simplest of tasks, unlocking the keypad, is beyond annoying.

Just like buses, you wait ages for a burly, robust handset and then two come along at once. The Samsung M110, better known as the Samsung Solid, was originally billed as the ‘World's Toughest Phone.' We think someone might have forgotten to tell Samsung about Sonim's JCB Toughphone, a phone we were openly encouraged to try our best to destroy. Samsung, it seems, was no longer quite as confident, asking if we could refrain from driving over it, throwing it out of a window or drowning it in water. Bah humbug! In Samsung's defence, it has since changed their stance arguing that the Solid is built to withstand the odd bump and fall, rather than be indestructible a la the JCB Toughphone.

Samsung Solid rubber casing

The Samsung Solid certainly feels sturdy enough. It's actually lighter than the JCB Toughphone, and feels impressively so for a solid candybar. The Solid is actually encased in a thick rubber body that feels more part of the handset than the Toughphone whose rubber body feels as though it was more of an afterthought. But could this body armour withstand an ‘accidental' fall from our desk? Yes it could, without so much as a scratch on it. Perhaps due to the rubber cushioning, the phone made little noise when it hit our wooden floor. However, unlike the JCB Toughphone, we cannot definitively say that it will survive a fall from a second floor window, but we can confirm that it can withstand the odd knock or fall.

Samsung Solid keypad

Billed as a phone ideal for tradesmen, it would be fair to assume that a number of these trades might involve wearing gloves. As with the JCB Toughphone, we gave the Samsung Solid the glove test, seeing how easy it is to locate and press the keys on the handset. While the keys themselves are slightly bigger than the Toughphone's their close proximity means it is not easy to identify them individually. Indeed one of the Solid's unique selling points is the embedded flashlight found at the back of the handset. The light itself is surprisingly powerful, especially as the source is slightly smaller than a pea. However, the on/off button is adjoining to the power button and while switching the flashlight on and off we accidentally turned off the handset on numerous occasions.

 

The Samsung Solid's display is disappointingly small, measuring a mere 1.52-inches. However, the most infuriating trait of the phone is the keypad lock. When the keypad is locked - there is an automatic locking system option, which locks the keypad after around ten seconds - to activate it again, the left soft key must first be pressed followed by the * button. No problem there. However, if you press the wrong key in the wrong order, you have to wait until the screen goes blank before you can try the correct combination. The process only takes around five seconds, but for a handset that includes a unique SOS dialing system, it's not something you want to be struggling with in the middle of an emergency.

Samsung Solid feature set

Although it may not appear to be quite as indestructible as the Toughphone, it's important to recognise that the Solid has a far superior feature set to that of JCB's bruiser. Not only does the Solid house a camera, but it also boasts an FM radio and the aforementioned SOS dialing system that alerts a nominated person when the volume button is pressed three times in quick succession; none of which the Toughphone can make claim to. However, the camera is only VGA, so you won't be taking professional prints. But this is unlikely to be a handset that attracts camera buffs.

Samsung Solid overall

Both the Solid and Toughphone are not going to be phones that appeal to those that want the latest high-spec features. Rather they are built for the labourer or extreme sportsman; folk who need to know their handset can withstand a bit of rough and tumble. It's a shame we didn't get permission to fully test the resolve of the Solid and consequently we can only say that it will withstand a fall of about a metre without any visible damage. Yet that apart, the tiny screen, cramped keypad and frustrating unlocking system means that the Samsung Solid is not quite the tough-nut it aspires to be.