The truly great thing about the Android ecosystem is the fact that you’re not limited to just one type of phone for your needs. You can buy fast phones, slow cheap phones, thin ones, big phablet types and also of course toughened rugged models. However up till recently if you opted for a tough smartphone, you had to put up with inferior specifications all round. But not any longer! [Update: the retailers are offering Red Ferret readers a $20 discount on any purchase with the coupon – GR4VD)
The new Mann Zug 3+ Android smartphone is a waterproof, shockproof, dustproof smartphone which doesn’t skimp on the specifications just because it’s the Chuck Norris of handsets. Oh no. This puppy comes with a fully loaded spec sheet which even the most intrepid adventurer or lumberjack will appreciate.
The phone comes in a nicely presented box, along with a sparse but useful Quick Start guide in both Chinese and English, a charge cable and block, some spare port covers for the waterproofing and a dinky little undo key which lets you open up the back to insert SIMs, battery and microSD card. The phone itself feels chunky as you’d expect, since it’s about double the thickness of a standard smartphone, but it’s still fairly decent for the pocket or bag. It is pretty heavy though, at 255g.
The specifications are very nice. It features a Snapdragon 1.2 GHz quad core processor, 1GB RAM, 4 inch 800×480 touchscreen, FM radio, Android 4.3 (jelly bean), 3G tethering, and 4GB of internal storage with support for up to 32GB of microSD storage. It also features the typical things like Bluetooth, GPS, WiFi and twin cameras (5 megapixel rear, 0.3 mp front), but of course the important things are the IP68 waterproofing which gives protection against 30 minutes immersion in up to 2 meters of water, and the shockproof and dustproofing. Check our our video below for tests and impressions.
The phone also sports DUAL SIM, DUAL STANDBY which is great if you’re interested in using this as a work and private phone, and one thing we think is excellent is the massive 2930 mAh battery which means you should get a great working time out of the handset since it’s only powering that relatively modest 4 inch screen. We found the phone to be responsive and surprisingly nimble to use, although the extra weight and thickness does take some getting used to at first. But the fact that the handset is completely sealed against the elements, and has a superb casing makes it a perfect combination of performance and robustness, which is exactly what you need if you’re in the market for something like this.
We didn’t spend too much time testing performance benchmarks on the handset, because we’re not sure that the kind of user this phone will appeal to are that worried about the extra ounce of speed. Our Antuttu test put the phone squarely in the middle of the quad core pack at 17017, but as we’ve said before benchmark specs are not everything.
The fact is that this phone offers a real world decent performance level which should be fine for most users, unless for some reason they need to play top level 3D graphics games, in which case they will have to spend more money on a less robust handset, which defeats the purpose anyway.
All in all we were pleasantly surprised by how useable this handset is. Yes it’s heavy, and it’s chunky, at almost double the thickness of a standard smartphone, but the fact that it has a decent resolution screen, and the stonking great battery really does help the phone stand out from its rivals in the rugged handset arena. If you’re in the market for a phone like this, then this should definitely be one of your prime options.
$189.99 (with worldwide free shipping)
NOTE:the retailers are offering Red Ferret readers a $20 discount on any purchase with the coupon – GR4VD
Image samples (click on thumbnails to expand)
OS Version: Android 4.3
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8212 QUAD CORE
GPU: Adreno 305 GPU
Processor Speed (max): 1.2GHz
2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G: WCDMA 900/2100 MHz
Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n
FM Radio: Yes
Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot (3G Tethering)
IP68 Waterproof: 30 Minutes Immersion in 2 Meters of Water
Shockproof, Dust Proof
5 Megapixel Rear Camera with AF + 0.3 Megapixel Front-Facing Camera
Mic and Speaker
Battery Size: 2930mAh
Usage Time: 4-8 Hours
Battery Standby: 200 Hours
DUAL SIM CARD DUAL STANDBY
Display Size: 4 Inch IPS
Display Resolution: 800×480
2 Point Capacitive Multi Touch Display
Micro SD Card up to 32GB
2 SIM Card Slots – 1x GSM, 1x WCDMA
Micro SD Card Slot
3.5 mm Audio Out Port
Micro USB Port
Main product dimensions: 140x75x18mm (L x W x D)
Main product weight: 255g