Designed for users with an "active lifestyle", the basic Samsung E1130 mobile phone is ideal for tradespeople, or for use as a secondary, inexpensive phone. Samsung’s E1130 is water and dust resistant and features a durable plastic casing that has been manufactured to withstand poor treatment.
Next to the latest and greatest touch screen smartphones, the Samsung E1130 looks quite outdated. Like most ruggedised phones, including the Telstra Tough T90 and Samsung's own B2700, the E1130's style won't appeal to those looking to make a splash in the fashion stakes, but this isn't the design intention. The Samsung E1130's rock hard black and orange casing is capable of resisting some very harsh punishment — we dropped it on concrete, tiles and floorboards and it came though unscathed.
The Samsung E1130 mobile phone is IP54 rated for dust and water resistance; although keep in mind it's designed to withstand being splashed with water, not taken for a swim when you're at the beach. We held it under a running tap for a few seconds and it worked without any issues, so this is definitely a mobile you won't have to handle with kid gloves.
A downside to the Samsung E1130 is its tiny display — this is one of the smallest screens we've seen on a mobile phone. In our tests it was fine for basic messaging and calling tasks (which is all it's been designed for), but the E1130 is hard to see in direct sunlight and it has poor viewing angles, so using it outdoors can be problematic. Below the screen is a basic five-way navigational pad, two selection keys as well as answer and end call keys. The keypad has a bright blue backlight and the raised keys click reassuringly when pressed, but it's an oversight that there’s no backlight for the navigational pad and selection buttons.
The Samsung E1130's key feature is its rugged design, so it isn't a surprise to learn that there is not much else on offer. The phone lacks 3G capabilities and offers no features of note aside from an FM radio, a top mounted torch and basic PIM functions such as an alarm, a world clock, voice recorder and calendar. The E1130's user interface is as basic as they come and it’s almost a step back into the time when Nokia ruled the mobile world — a simple 3 x 3 grid layout for the main menu with list-style submenus — nonetheless it is easy to use and navigate.
The Samsung E1130 offer an amusing feature too, Samsung's fake call application — surprising on a no frills phone. Holding down on the navigational pad activates this function, which simulates a phone call and plays back a pre-recorded voice message when answered. It’s handy and may help you get out of awkward situations such as a blind date gone awry, or an overly long meeting.
Disappointingly the Samsung E1130 uses a proprietary headphone and charging connector, though this isn't a deal breaker as the E1130 isn't a phone you'll connect to your PC very often.
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