Symbol Technologies produces very tough mobiles

By Justin Mann on January 11, 2006, 7:21 PM
Ever drop a cell phone or a PDA? If you have, you know that it's often one of the most terrifying digital disasters you can suffer. Often you may get lucky, but drop that brand new $200 phone onto concrete when you haven't bought a replacement plan and... ouch. Companies are aware of this, and more durable products are being released. Symbol Technologies is working on an extra durable handheld, providing not only enhanced shock protection but also waterproofing. The MC9097 handheld can supposedly withstand a 6 foot fall onto concrete, something that would surely destroy almost all other techie gear out there. There's also offering the MC70, a handheld using the Cingular network, that can survive a drop as well (though not as far) and is capable of being cleaned in Isopropyl Alcohol and still function. Though we're not quite to the point of putting our computers in the dishwashers, the utter fragility of many products makes marketing them sometimes trickier. Just think back to last year's scratchy iPod incidents.

User Comments: 10

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MonkeyMan said:
Wow, this is awesome!!!! I love this new idea, because of the simple fact that your cellphone cannot break, if you Accidentally drop it!!!! Luckily, I've never dropped my cellphone, so I cannot sympathize with this, but I must say, this is a very great feature, that this new phone posseses. Great job Symbol Technologies!!!!!!
Race said:
This can only be good thing. I've dropped my Nokia on the cement from waist high and it survived. I'm sure that was probably in the minority however.With estimates of a billion new cell phones being sold in '06', recycling is very important.And speaking of recycling, I thought I would provide this link in hope someone finds it useful......they will buy your old cell phone, or recycle it for free, including sending you a box.[url][/url]
exscind said:
This is great for clumsy people like me. According to the article, its MC9097 phone can be dropped 6 feet to the ground and still survive as well its MC70 cleaned with alcohol (I assume isopropyl alcohol). I digged my last phone's grave when I dropped my cell phone while trying to dig out my wallet in the pockets of my jeans. Alas, it dove for the grave in 4 pieces. Good technological improvement. Would be nice to know the degree of their waterproof capabilities since there's a difference between water droplets (like from a squirt bottle) and soaking in the clothes washer. Yeah, I tend to do the latter quite often :).[Edited by exscind on 2006-01-11 23:06:24]
otmakus said:
I'd dropped my nokia phone repeatedly, and now the outer case is just like the moon surface, full of craters. The phone would now turn off by itself from time to time, even with full battery. A more durable phone is very much welcomed, especially for clumsy and careless people like me.But I think the idea of more durable phone and gadgets have been around for a long time. Siemens used to make durable phones, and I'm sure I've heard of durable laptop series before, from IBM I think.Durability is important, but more importantly, the phone has to still have full features like common phones, and looks good too. But the most important factor for a cell phone (and for everything else) is the price, don't u agree?
nathanskywalker said:
"Its MC9097 handheld computer, which it says is waterproof and can work after falling six feet onto concrete or after being run over by a truck. It will run on the Sprint Nextel iDen network, which is often used to transport and construction workers."I so wish i could buy one, just to throw it in the water...wonder if they float...
asphix said:
Hrmm, if they deliver then I'll be excited.. but as of right now I'm a bit of a skeptic. They say it will survive.. but that doesnt mean it wont be cosmetically blemished, cracked or damaged in a less critical way.If anyone has had any experience with the Pannasonic ToughBooks, you will understand my position. Here at work we got one because the guys over at the PD constantly destroy their laptops. This toughbook was said to have a casing made out of some alloy and withstand a drop from 6 or so feet as well. You can understand then our dissapointment when we ripped it out of the box hoping to be able to chuck it down the hall at the next person to turn the corner only to find it slightly more durable than a normal laptop. It had a handle though, that was pretty cool.Point is, a lot of these things are just marketing or arent as sucessful as we would hope. Just look at Chevy....
Cartz said:
I definately think that steps need to be taken to ensure that important parts like the viewscreen and buttons are durable enough to survive an impact without marring, there is nothing more frustrating then having a screen with blemishes on it.When I had my Blackberry 7105t, it would fall out of its holster/my pocket all the time. I was running through the parking lot in the rain once, and it dropped, I caught it with my foot in mid stride and sent it sailing about 15 feet directly into a puddle.The surface of the screen survived ok (it landed screen side up) but the back of the case was so rough and uncomfortable that I filed the burs off. Luckily it is waterproof :pThe 8700c seems to be much more durable in that regard, its taken a tumble down some steps, been stepped on and at one point used as a hockey puck (lousy nephew :p) It has survived without so much as a scratch on it. Although there is a piece of dust behind the plastic in front of the screen that was very distracting at first.It'll be interesting to see if anything useful comes out of this, or if its just pie in the sky meant to be a bullet on some marketing sheet for the next issue of cell phones.
mentaljedi said:
Now all they hav eto do is apply this to laptops...
Jesse_hz said:
I'd bet they'll probably end up costing 2-3 times as much as an ordinary phone regardless of whether they actually are as strong as they claim.Cellphone makers shouldn't only make the outsides of phones stronger they should allso make the internal stuff less more sturdy and less prone too fall apart.Even if your phone didn't get any noticeable scrathes from a fall some of the internal connectors could still have gotten loose causing problems like instability and random swithing off.For now I'm quite satisfied with my K700i; I've dropped it hundreds of times and it still doesn't look that bad and my friend who has the same phone even stepped on his and it still worked. Only thing I've yet to do is throw it in my microwave and see if it still works, but I doubt it as the RAM and heatsink i cooked last night don't look too good.
luismigilbert said:
this is not new... two months ago i saw a laptop waterproof and very strong display in pc magazine... model was hummer or something like that...i cried when i saw the price...
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