Tough and reliable
- Dust and water resistant (meeting IEC standards), rubberised design, excellent call quality, flashlight, Bluetooth, FM radio
- Mediocre display, poor tactility on keypad and controls, basic list of features
The M110’s list of features is as basic as they come. However, this isn’t too much of an issue for a handset aimed at tradespeople. This is a phone that will take a beating and provide excellent call quality in the process.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
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A tag line of "tough, but always reliable as nails" makes clear what the M110's target market is. A rugged phone that's dust and water resistant and features a rubberised shell, this tough handset is a reliable performer but it has limited features.
The M110 is IEC-60529 certified, meaning this handset is dust and water resistant in accordance with International Electrotechnical Commission standards. One point to note is that the M110 is not waterproof — it can handle splashes and drops of water, but it hasn't been designed to be submerged in the ocean, for example. We tested its water resistant capabilities under a tap and despite being covered in drops of water, we were able to make a phone call and send a text message without any issues. As it's been designed specifically for tradespeople, the M110 features a rubberised shell. As expected, build quality is excellent. A key feature is the battery cover, which is locked using a screw that needs to be opened with a coin. It sits firmly in place and prevents dust and water from getting inside the handset. Although we didn't take the liberty of dropping it off a high-rise building, the M110 coped with plenty of bumps and bruises in and out of the office.
A downside to the M110's tough and reliable design is usability. The keys and controls don't have any gaps, meaning it's easy to accidentally press the wrong key. Tactility is fairly poor — the keypad and controls require a firmer than usual press to activate, and this soon becomes uncomfortable, especially when text messaging.
The proprietary Samsung interface makes the M110 somewhat intuitive to use. The main menu consists of a 3x3 grid of animated icons and most submenus are in a simple list format. The mediocre display doesn't help, but at this price point there is little to complain about.
The M110's list of features is as basic as they come. Aside from a standard VGA camera and Bluetooth, there aren't many other inclusions. There is no 3G support, no memory card slot and no music player, although an FM radio is included and Samsung bundles a proprietary set of headphones in the sales package. A handy inclusion is the flashlight — activated by pressing a dedicated button alongside the end call key. This may be a godsend during a blackout or if you are working in a dark environment (although we would have liked it to be a little brighter).
The most important feature on a phone designed for tradespeople is voice quality, and the M110 delivers in this regard. Volume is excellent at high settings and we still managed to hold a clear conversation, even with plenty of background noise.
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