JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart

9/8/2012 9:31:11 AM

Possibly the most recognizable name in the group for warranting the stamp of ultimate protection, but its price and specs pale badly against the DEFY

The JCB Toughphone is surrounded with an integrated rugged case which is easily the most durable in the group. However, this does make the phone heavier and a little bulky to handle. Its protective nature continues with the call, home, camera, flashlight (which utilizes the camera’s LED effectively) and volume buttons all being covered in a hard rubber material. However, the hard nature of the buttons makes changing the volume - during a call -more of a challenge.

Description: JCB Android Toughphone
JCB Android Toughphone

As with the other phones in the test, the ports are all covered (to protect from water), but the Toughphone takes this to another level by recessing them deep into the handset. The only drawback is that you need a specially designed USB cable -included in the box-to charge the device.

To gain access to the battery and micro SD card or SIM you also have to remove two screws. This, of course, makes swapping out cards a challenge. However, the back cover is certainly well protected and the battery itself has a meaty 2000mAh rating. It was no surprise that the battery life was easily the best in the group from both video and heavy use.

Also its ruggedness easily helped the phone withstand being dropped to the floor, though it does tend to bounce more due to the extra rubber coating! It also proved excellent at resisting water.

Description: The screen is a little dull and is certainly no match for the Sony or Motorola

The screen is a little dull and is certainly no match for the Sony or Motorola

The only drawback with the phone is the lower 3.2-inch screen resolution and Vanilla Android UI that greets you on boot up. The screen is a little dull and is certainly no match for the Sony or Motorola. Additionally, the performance produced a Vellamo score of 360 to the Sony’s 910. Yet in the real world, apart from not being able to play many top games -due to the lower resolution (which to be honest you wouldn’t be using too much for gaming anyway) - it coped well enough for general use.

At least the JCB toolbox that is included with the Motorola is also provided, and the spirit level, calculator and decibel meter could certainly come in handy when working out on site.

Surprisingly, outdoors the screen was not that effective to view in brighter conditions. With the phone’s camera option you have a means to boost the screen’s visibility, but it has to be said that the camera quality is poor.


Description: JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart
JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart


The JCB Toughphone has various buttons around the edges but the most useful of these is the flashlight which utilizes the camera LED to provide you with a handy light source for when things get dark

Screw it!

Gaining access to the battery compartment, SIM card and micro SD card is not straightforward. You need to remove two screws first and then pull the cover off. On the flip-side the level of shock and water resistance that it subsequently offers is absolutely excellent!

Screen resolution

Unlike the Sony Xperia Active, the lower screen resolution is more noticeable and colours can be a little dull at times. The lower resolution and overall look of the phone does hinder its use for games, though to be honest we wouldn’t expect it to be used for this purpose anyway

Rugged personal

The outer casing is integrated with the phone. Essentially the case is the phone! It provides extra durability and this enabled it to survive a fair few falls. The only downside is the phone can bounce more due to its rubberized material



The phone is integrated with the rugged casing which provides ample protection and grip, but it can be a little bulky. The flashlight button is handy, but the volume buttons are quite hard to press and you need a special USB cable for charging.


The rugged nature makes this an ideal handset for protection - it survived being dropped multiple times to the floor. Every port is recessed slightly and alongside the rubber seals it makes the phone extremely effective for resisting water!


The screen looked quite dull and the UI comprises of the bog standard Android UI and apps. However, the JCB Toolbox app is included which provides lots of useful tools. Performance is solid, but it’s not the fastest of devices.

Battery life

The Battery life was easily the best in the group. Its 2000mAh rated battery and lower screen res gave us 85 per cent remaining from our two-hour video test. It will easily last the day.


The phone has great battery life and protection, but sadly its features don’t match the price you pay for it




More information


Technical specs

Operating system

Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)


800 Mhz CPU


512MB RAM 256MB ROM, micro SD card expansion


125 x 62.2 x 20.5 mm


Approx 200g


3.2” (IP67 certified - scratch, dust and water proof (up to lm for 30 minutes)


Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth V2.1, GPS, HSDPA, HSUPA


5-MP rear, front, VGA video


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