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AT&T’s NEC Terrain Rugged Android Smartphone Hands-On

by Jacob Kleinman | June 21, 2013June 21, 2013 10:00 pm PST

If you’re looking for a durable smartphone but the Galaxy S4 Active is a bit out of your price range, or if you just want a physical keyboard take a look at the Terrain from NEC. This $99 smartphone (that’s with an AT&T contract, an unlocked unit will cost $430) may be the device you’ve been looking for.

We got a chance to test out the rugged, water-proof smartphone recently and, while it’s not as pretty as the S4 Active, it definitely feels like a sturdy device that won’t fall apart if you drop it. The Terrain’s design is noticeably thick, giving the phone a rugged and durable feel in your hand, while at the same time its curved edges mean it’s comfortable to hold. It’s also waterproof for up to 30 minutes and resistant to mud, dirt and sand.

The NEC Terrain runs on the stock version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, which is missing a few features available on 4.2 Jelly Bean. The UI still works nicely alongside the QWERTY keyboard, which is packed in just a little bit too tightly. Under the hood you’ve got a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor that keeps things moving smoothly on the handset’s mid-range 3.1-inch 640 x 480-pixel display. It’s also got NFC, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

The device is probably perfect for construction crews or other environments where workers need a super rugged phone with push-to-talk capabilities.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...