4.3in smartphone screen size limit for SAF camps lifted from 1st Sep

Singaporean men, including yours truly, can finally bring the juggernaut 6.4in Sony Xperia Z Ultra into army camps during reservist training.
4.3-in smartphone screen size limit for SAF camps lifted from 1st Sep

Yesterday, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) announced that national servicemen are allowed to use their personal smartphones equipped with cameras within the Green Zones of 15 more camps. And that's not all - the 4.3-in screen size is finally lifted.

The vague statement, "all camera-equipped mobile phones will now be allowed into Green Zones", alludes to the possibility that the display restriction is no longer in effect.

This was clarified by the official Facebook page of the Singapore Army, stating that "all models of camera-equipped mobile phones will now be permitted into the Green Zones, including those larger than 4.3 inches, to enhance the convenience of our Soldiers".

Bigger is better

The dilemma - choosing a HTC One or LG G2 for in-camp training

Last year, 14 camps embarked on a one-year trial to allow camera-equipped smartphones in, but there was a 4.3in limitation on the screen size. This effectively banned most smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 that was launched a few months before the ruling kicked in.

The limitation, according to Mindef, is "to prevent servicemen from bringing unauthorised mini-computers into SAF camps". Being the good soldier, I bit the bullet and bought a second-hand iPhone 4 for my in-camp training, which left me with bruises, aches, cuts, along with an odd sense of satisfaction and achievement.

With this limitation lifted, every national servicemen in Singapore will no longer be shackled to antiquated smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S2 or Apple iPhone 4 during our annual reservist training.

Now, we are faced with a dilemma - to bash brain-hungry zombies with plants on the upcoming Apple iPhone 5S, watch movies on the dazzling 6.4in screen of the Sony Xperia Z UItra or surf the web with the LG G2 during our lunch breaks.

But this is not an indication that SAF is relaxing its security checks. Though servicemen are allowed to use their smartphones in Green Zones, unauthorised photography and videography is prohibited. Camera-equipped phones are still strictly banned in areas, designated as Red Zones, which hold classified information and equipment.

To date, servicemen can bring their camera-equiipped smartphones into 29 camps, listed below:

  • Amoy Quee Camp
  • Bukit Panjang Camp
  • Dieppe Barracks
  • Jurong Camp I & III
  • Kaki Bukit Camp
  • Keat Hong Camp
  • Kranji Camp I
  • Lim Chu Kang Camp
  • Mandai Camp II
  • Mandai Hill Camp
  • Nee Soon Camp
  • Selarang Camp
  • Sembawang Camp
  • Stagmont Camp
  • Tanjong Gul Camp
  • Bedok Camp
  • Maju Camp
  • Khatib Camp
  • Kranji Camp II
  • Kranji Camp III
  • Jurong Camp II
  • Clementi Camp
  • Seletar Camp
  • Pasir Ris Camp
  • Sungei Gedong Camp
  • SAFTI Military Institute
  • Pasir Laba Camp
  • Pulau Tekong Camp
  • Depot Road Camp

[Image: Mindef]

[Source: Mindef]