Explore phone: a Land Rover in your pocket

The ultra-tough smartphone can be used for two days on a single charge

Land Rover Explore
Land Rover Explore smartphone
(Image credit: Land Rover)

Most people know Land Rover as the carmaker that popularised off-roading but the company also has its fair share of ventures outside the motoring world.

Now, it has unveiled a new smartphone, called the Land Rover Explore, which has been co-developed with gadget specialists Bullitt.

Land Rover has teamed up with phone firms in the past to build rugged devices for adventure-seeking buyers, but these often lacked the style and functionality of popular smartphones.

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Its latest mobile, however, looks like a premium device. The design features thin bezels on either side of the screen, with a metal band covering the mobile’s rounded edges.

The Land Rover name is embossed in metal at the bottom of the device, above which a speaker mimics the honeycomb grille of the company’s road cars.

It’s not all about looks, though. Land Rover says the Explore is tough enough to withstand “blistering heat, thermal shock, intense humidity and vibration exposure”. It can even withstand being submerged in water up to 1.8 metres deep.

Under the smartphone’s sleek skin is a battery that lasts for up to two days of “constant use”, which will come in handy for those heading into remote environments. Land Rover has also included a built-in map, compass and SOS light.

These are accessed through the device’s 5in, full-HD display. Unlike conventional smartphone screens, the Explore’s touch panel can be used with gloves on and when wet.

The phone is powered by a Nougat operating system. The software is available on a variety of smartphones, so the Explore should be as easy to use as any other Android device.

There are also interchangeable back panels, allowing you to fit an additional battery pack or a separate GPS antenna.

The Land Rover Explore will be available to order from 26 April, with prices starting at £599. In the meantime, the rugged smartphone will be displayed at the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona, which runs from 26 February until 1 March.

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