The Brits, those famous smartphone tech innovators, are at it again. I present to you the Land Rover Explore, a smartphone for outdoorsy types that is something more than just a fancy case but something (far) less than a total rethink of the idea. It’s also somewhat of a solution in search of a problem.
The phone, built in partnership with the English company Bullitt—which also makes a phone in partnership with CAT—is for those who go on “adventures,” according to Land Rover. It runs on Android Nougat OS, with an upgrade to Oreo scheduled.
It also has a two-day battery life, can run underwater, is equipped to survive extreme temperatures, and can be dropped up to six feet without harm. It will be available to order on April 26, at a base price of £599, or about $830 at current exchange rates.
And I don’t mean to be too snarky about all of this—I can certainly envision a market of people who will buy this—though most people, on an everyday basis, aren’t adventuring.
Most people are going to work, and taking care of their children, and making dinner, all in normal temperatures under normal conditions, rendering a hyper-durable phone that can stand up to extreme conditions a bit superfluous. (The market for Bullitt’s popular CAT phone is a bit more obvious, since construction workers and the like have a more glaring need for an everyday phone that can withstand some abuse.)
The Land Rover phone, then, is an aspirational object, and, indeed, I do kind of want one, though ambivalently so, since it represents the life I wish I had all while reminding me that my actual life is very, very different.