The first Energizer Android phone packs one of the highest capacity batteries yet. But a European-based company is hoping that you'll also associate the brand with extreme durability.
Avenir Telecom plans to sell phones under the Energizer Hardcase label worldwide. The 5.5-inch Energizer E550LTE should hit the U.S. this summer, priced around $400 to $450.
If there's any question what the chief selling point of this Energizer phone is, it was immediately answered as I watched a representative slam the phone — repeatedly — against an unforgiving table during a Mobile World Congress product showcase this week. The E550LTE, featuring both a Gorilla Glass 3 screen and an Asahi tempered-glass screen protector, survived the slams no worse for the wear.
The battery may be the most impressive thing about the E550LTE, fitting given the Energizer branding. It's a 4,000 mAh battery that also supports quick charging, suggesting that the E550LTE should be as long-lasting as it is durable.
The E550LTE sports an IP68 certification for drops, dust and water, as you would expect for a phone that touts its ability to survive whatever you throw at it. More surprising is how thin the Energizer phone is — about 0.4 inches. It's a relatively slender design for a phone this durable.
The internal specs in this Android Nougat-powered phone won't exactly put the pressure on flagship models. The 5.5-inch E550LTE offers a full HD display and a midrange MediaTek 6755 processor. The Energizer phone doesn't skimp on the RAM — you get 4GB — and it offers 64GB of storage. The 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-MP front shooter are pretty standard for a phone these days.
In addition to the 5.5-inch version of the Energizer phone, a 5.2-inch model with leaner specs is also due out this summer. It should cost around $300, a company rep told me.
Rugged phones generally require a tradeoff, forcing you to accept a fairly bulky design in the name of extra protection. The comparatively svelte look of the Energizer E550LTE could offer some appeal to people who want a phone that can withstand punishment without looking like it's more at home on a construction site than in your pocket.