Technology can be tougher than you think,
OLYMPUS TG- 1 Olympus, $ 499, olympus. com. au
Olympus has made all- weather cameras since 2003 and its new model is not only tougher but better. The TG- 1 is the toughest snapper on the market, promising to withstand falls from 2m, temperatures as low as - 10C and pressure of up to 100kg, while also working up to 12m below the water’s surface. The 12- megapixel camera certainly survived our tests and even bounced off hard surfaces, 3- inch OLED screen still working. Even more impressive are its photographic abilities. The camera’s lens now sits front and centre, and offers a wide f2.0 aperture to let in more light. A 4x optical zoom, Intelligent Auto and scene modes and dedicated full HD video button also feature.
CANON POWERSHOT D20 Canon, $ 399 canon.com.au
Canon’s tough camera looks like a toy in a scuba suit. Its unusual design, from its rounded corners to its curvy side, makes it easy to grip and very easy to identify as a rugged camera. The D20 is Canon’s only weatherproof camera and is clearly designed for use underwater. As such, this 12.1- megapixel shooter will work up to 10m beneath the waves, as well as being dust- proof, capable of working in - 10C, and shock- proof to 1.5m. Unusually, it restarts whenever it is dropped, making users more than a little nervous. Unfortunately, its lens can deliver lens flare in bright situations and the camera is slower than some of its peers.
LIFEPROOF IPHONE 4S CASE PICA, $ 99, pica.com.au
People with butterfingers shouldn’t throw glass phones. Thankfully, this unique iPhone case lets them do that, within reason, while protecting its glass sides. The Life-Proof case arrives in two pieces and is built to military standards, promising to withstand and protect its inner iPhone 4 or 4S if you drop it from up to 2m. Our tests proved this. Seals around every port, from charging to headphone connections, make it waterproof to 2m and keep out dust and mud. The 28g case adds a little bulk to the phone and its screen cover makes the display less sensitive to touch, on its sides particularly. However, those fearing phone mishaps should appreciate its skills.
INDIGO MILITARY SPEC TOUGHPHONE Indigo, $ 129 indigotelecom.com.au
It calls itself ‘‘ the world’s first floating mobile phone’’ and promises to be waterproof, shockproof and dust- proof. That’s why we made a phone call beneath running water, and repeatedly dropped this handset on to tiled floors. The tough-phone survived all this punishment with only barely noticeable scuffs. The tough-phone, known overseas as the tradesman, is rugged and lightweight. it is also basic, with no camera, an old- school colour screen, number pad and menus, like those of early Nokia phones. This is not a phone for web surfing, but it has a torch light, FM radio, calendar, calculator and basic messaging.
MOPHIE JUICE PACK UNIVERSAL POWERSTATION PRO Mophie, $ 149.95 apple. com/ au
There’s nothing like getting away from it all, if you can take your gadgets with you. Mophie’s new rugged battery pack seems like it was designed for this purpose, with a shockresistant body that will withstand water splashes and all dust ( and an IP65 rating to back the claim). The battery will store up to 6000mAh, or enough to charge an Apple iPhone 4S more than twice, and it can switch between three rates of charging to ensure even large gadgets, such as the iPad, are fed power. Unlike other Mophie devices, it will charge most devices – not only those from Apple. It is a bit heavy, at 220g, but it could be worth the weight. Can charge an Apple iPhone 4S over two times.