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Spectralink's Pivot: The indestructible phone put to the test

How many times have you dropped your phone? If you're like us here on the ITProPortal team, it happens a little more than you'd like to admit. But if the mobile device you've dropped is the one you're using to perform critical functions for your job, that can be a bigger problem than just a cracked screen. If you're working in a hospital, or on a high-stress environment like a building site, a damaged mobile device hampers the effectiveness of workers and can cause serious delays, miscalculations and even real harm to people's health.

So what can you do to prevent that? Well, the good people over at Spectralink have come up with what they believe to be the answer: the Pivot. Spectralink's new device is a fully ruggedised mobile device, designed to survive the rough and tumble of life on the go.

The Pivot has a whole raft of interesting features, including a barcode scanner and accelerometer designed to detect a worker in distress. You can even use the screen through medical gloves, due to the specially sensitive touchscreen. It's fully water and dust resistant, and comes with a rubber outer case for those likely to put it through the wringer.

We took the Spectralink outside to test its rugged performance under some frankly unfair conditions, and we were pretty impressed with what we found. We tested the phone falling down increasingly tall flights of stairs, which it took remarkably in its stride. At one point we dropped the phone several times down as many as twelve steps, and it came away with nothing more than a few scratches on the rubberised surface.

When it came to straight drops onto a stone floor, the phone fared just as well. We even dropped a mug onto the screen of the phone, to give it a more robust test. There was a small scratch on the screen after that, but essentially the phone was undamaged. We even ran it over with one of London's hired Boris Bike's, because... well, just because.

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Unfortunately, that's when we got a little carried away. While the phone is good to be dropped from a height of up to 1.2m, we decided to take the tests a little further. We gave the phone a couple of drops from head height (which for us, is about 170cm) – and the thing came off completely undamaged.

Buoyed up with confidence, we decided to take it to the top of the steps and drop it from a height of about 2m. Unfortunately, this is when the phone took a more or less face-first dive onto the concrete, and the screen finally gave up the ghost after a whole hour of testing.

While our round of testing did ultimately end up breaking the Pivot (forgive us, Spectralink!), we were very impressed with quite how much punishment the phone was able to take. For anyone working in an environment that isn't forgiving to your mobile device, Spectralink's Pivot is an extremely solid choice, and the thoughtful gamut of features mean it won't let you down in a tight spot. Good job, Spectralink.

And we're sorry.

Paul has worked as an archivist, editor and journalist, and has a PhD in the cultural and literary significance of ruins. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The BBC, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Discover Magazine, and he was previously Staff Writer and Journalist at ITProPortal.