It's not the sexiest device on the market, but the VR7 is a tough, rugged handset that performs well. The inclusion of GPS navigation, a decent camera and excellent battery life make it a good choice for those in need of a device that can take bumps and bruises.
Solid durability, USB mounting, great battery
Setting up advanced features such as email is fiddly, mini-USB port not quite waterproof, tiny screen
Display: 2in TFT QVGA 240x320
Storage: 1GB on-board + 4GB micro SD card provided
Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0, GSM 900/1800/1900MHz, Edge/GPRS
In the developed world, smartphones have all but rendered feature phones obsolete for the majority of consumers, but despite their lack of glamour basic handhelds are still useful.
Despite manufacturers such as Motorola promoting ruggedised smartphones like the Defy range, these devices don't always provide military-grade protection against shock. However, the Seals VR7 goes some way to addressing this. It is a truly rugged, long-lasting and low-cost device that can withstand extreme conditions – think working on an oil rig or a building site.
Built like a tank
The Seals VR7 certainly looks like it means business and gives the impression that it will be able to live up to its billed US military-grade robustness (MIL-STD-810). The chunky handset weighs 166g, making it slightly heavier than most smartphones on the market.
The premium plastic casing is capable of withstanding drops and the chassis houses a 2in QVGA TFT screen with a resolution of 240x320, which may disappoint those used to having a 4in-plus screen. However, such a compromise was always going to be made with this device as it has been designed primarily for communicating via voice and text in tough conditions, rather than for watching YouTube clips.
Seals Technologies has gone with the traditional button configuration found on feature phones and the generous spacing between the keys means the handset can be used comfortably even with gloves on.
The back cover is fixed into position with two flat-head screws. Inside is space for a micro SD slot and a regular SIM card – both of which are covered by the 1750mAh battery.