People working in harsh environments tend to consider typical smartphones inadequate for them, as these devices are ever so fragile, despite their Gorilla Glass screens. Nautiz X1 wants to become the perfect companion for such people.
Handheld USA (I wish they had chosen a more distinguishable name), the manufacturer of Nautiz X1, announced that shipping started for what they claim to be the world’s toughest smartphone. Samsung and Sony are no strangers themselves to rugged smartphones, but the one made by Handheld is supposed to be better than any of those.
The campaign launched for promoting Nautiz X1 includes all sorts of pictures of the smartphone in inhospitable environments. First of all, this smartphone seems to get along just fine with hammers and other such tools, especially since it respects military standard MIL-STD-810G. In other words, it withstands 26 drops from up 4 ft (1.22 m), as well as water, dust, humidity and extreme altitude. Handheld claims that it will work at up to 15,000 ft (4,572 m), as long as the temperature does not decrease below 73 °F (23 °C).
Waterproofness is definitely something we’ve seen before in other phones, but to make Nautiz X1 an all-round rugged phone, the manufacturer couldn’t skip this feature.
As depicted below, Nautiz X1 is supposed to work just fine even at low temperatures and at high humidity levels. According to the manufacturer, the smartphone should operate fine as long as the temperature is not out of the following range: -4 °F to 140 °F (-20 °C to 60 °C).
In terms of technical specs, Nautiz X1 is mediocre, unfortunately. Its Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 1 GHz dual-core CPU works in tandem with 1GB of RAM. As far as the operating system is concerned, Handheld offers users two options: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. I assume that there won’t be a dual-boot option, so future owners have to choose between the two.
The 4″ WVGA (800×480) sunlight-readable capacitive touchscreen is quite small by today’s standards, not to mention that it is anything but responsive when rotated, as seen in the following video. On the other hand, the 5 MP camera with autofocus and LED Flash turns out to be useful only in emergency situations, as I don’t expect the sensor to be top class.
Is Nautiz X1 worth the $900 some retailers are asking for it? Even if you work in harsh conditions, there are several better choices out there, so I’d think twice before spending that kind of money.