Crosscall’s Trekker-X3 is the antidote to chronic phone-breakism

You know it’s tough when you need an Allen key to put the SIM in


Pretty much: sure you could probably kill it with fire or a really, really big rock - but the X3 is otherwise the Bear Grylls of mobiles. Throw it somewhere hard, cold or wet and it’ll still do its duty as an Android Marshmallow smartphone - which is great news for clumsy operators.

Better yet, with a 3500mAh cell it’ll probably see you all the way up to the top of the mountain for a 8MP Mont Blanc selfie.

How hard, cold and wet?

The Trekker X3 will work all the way down to -10°C, while it’ll also sit happily in one metre of water for 30 minutes.

And we’re not just talking the crystal-clear stuff, either: if your X3 happens to go ‘sploosh’ at the beach, it’ll handle salt water without breaking a sweat. In fact, with an IP67 rating, it’ll fend off everything from chlorinated water to oil, dust and dirt.

How does it manage all of that, then?

Have you seen the thing? Its entire body is built around a metal plate, with TPU bumpers reinforcing those risky edges - not to mention a Gorilla Glass screen that’s scratch-proof and shock-resistant. 

It also looks tougher than a nail with dynamite as a bouncer. There are secure seals for the ports, while access to the SIM and microSD card slots requires use of the included Allen key. 

Sounds like it’ll be pretty hefty, then.

Less than you might think, actually. OK, so it weighs 230g and, at 14.3mm, it’s roughly the thickness of two iPhone 7s - but you wouldn’t want your tough phone to feel thin and flimsy, would you? In any case, red accents and a textured effect give the X3’s sturdy shell a touch of style that’s lacking on many a rugged smartphone.

Couldn’t I just buy a cheap Android phone and stick it in a case?

You could, but that wouldn’t give you all of the X3’s outdoorsy features. It’s screen, for example, is ultra-sensitive - so you can use it even when it’s coated in mucky splashes from your BMX or with those puffy ski gloves on.

It’s also got a fleet of environment sensors built-in: thermometer, altimeter and barometer. All very useful when you're on the side of a mountain. Or lost for a conversation opener down the pub.

I’ve never heard of Crosscall. Is it just another Chinese import?

Quite the opposite, actually. Sure, it’s made in China but the X3 is fully designed in the delightful French town of Aix-en-Provence - and the company is all about making properly tough mobiles for properly active (and sometimes clumsy) people.

Shell out €550 (around US$590) when the Trekker-X3 launches in mid-February, for example, and you’ll get waterproof headphones bundled with it, not to mention a box that doubles-up as a wireless charger, to keep all that wet stuff away from the plug.