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The Land Rover Explore features a rugged design, 4,000 mAh battery, and swappable backs

Land Rover hopes its Explore smartphone can be the companion its SUV customers deserve, but did not ask for.

Published onFebruary 23, 2018

  • Luxury SUV maker Land Rover announced the Explore smartphone.
  • The Explore sports a rugged design, large 4,000 mAh battery, and rear-mounted pogo pins that allow for removable “Packs.”
  • The Explore will be available in April for around $800.

Not content with its Range Rover Sport PHEV driving up one of the most dangerous-looking roads, Land Rover is now looking to bring out an equally rugged smartphone, the Explore.

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From the car-like grille at the bottom to the vertical lines which resemble a car floor mat on the back, the Explore features clear nods to Land Rover’s lineup. The aesthetics help the phone attain its IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and resist drops to almost six feet with a factory-fitted screen protector.

You can also use the Explore with gloves on or wet fingers, and submerge it in fresh and salt water.

The software doubles down on the phone’s rugged nature with quick access to an SOS light, sensor data, and information regarding the wind, tide, compass, and weather. You also get access to off-road topographical maps from ViewRanger.

The phone runs on the outdated Android Nougat software, though Land Rover promised an update to Oreo at some point.

It features a 5-inch Full HD display, 16 MP rear camera, 2.6 GHz deca-core Helio X27 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of expandable storage. According to Land Rover, the phone’s 4,000 mAh battery delivers two full days of regular use.

The hardware gets more exciting around back, where you can use the pogo pins to attach different Packs. The Explore comes with an Adventure Pack, which adds a 3,600 mAh battery and a 22 mm ceramic patch GPS antenna, which overrides the phone’s GPS antenna.

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A few other packs are available separately. The Bike Pack lets you mount the phone on your bike. The Battery Pack adds a 4,370 mAh battery. The Adventure and Battery Packs are IP68 rated and can withstand up to six-foot drops.

At 649 euros or 599 pounds (around $800), the Explore is not an affordable offering. Even with the included Adventure Pack, most folks will be content sticking a durable case on their current smartphones and calling it a day.

Then again, if you strap on boots every weekend on the hiking trail, the Explore might be an option worth looking into. It also helps if you drive a Land Rover.

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