We're off to an extremely destructive new year with a screen protector that claims it's impervious to scratches and a mobile phone that insists it can last up to 30 minutes underwater on a single breath and still live to make a call to
The Armorz Stealth Extreme R for iPhone 5s/5c (
Yes, this is serious. The Stealth Extreme R, double the thickness of Armorz Stealth Extreme Lite protector for iPhone 5/5s/5c (
A 9H pencil? Armorz shows photographs of the screen with a drill and hammer posing menacingly. My test screen, in fact, resisted multiple attempts to scratch or gouge with a Philips-head screwdriver. Then, placed on a driveway (the iPhone safely in the house), I ran it over several times with 10-horsepower snowblower. Not a single scratch or smudge.
Next, I placed it under the front tire of a
Finally, I reached for a hammer. When finished, the Stealth Extreme looked like a car windshield after a stone shower -- spider-web cracks leading to longer, singular cracks. But it remained in one piece, never shattering.
Sorry about that, Stealth Extreme. But you proved yourself a tough screen protector. You're nearly impervious to scratches and resist fingerprints. You could guard my iPhone any time.
Kyocera Hydro XTRM
Finally, a mobile phone for klutzes. The Hydro XTRM, available from MetroPCS and other carriers, is an otherwise unspectacular 4G Android phone running the Jellybean (4.1) operating system with a Snapdragon (1.2 gigahertz) processor and 4-inch (400x800) display.
Yet it is certified for IP57, an international Ingress Protection Rating for water immersion in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes, and meets military standard 810G for shock and drop survival.
MetroPCS is so confident in the Hydro XTRM that it supplies its own dunk tank, a plastic cylinder with "fill to here" marking. So after filling to here, I dropped the trimphones into the tank for a 29-minute, 45-second dunkathon. For most mobile phones, this would be a death sentence.
"We've done a number of dunk tests," says
The Hydro didn't flicker, didn't die. It survived! (Celestial music, please.) I didn't drop it until, oops, just now. It still works, though maybe not quite as smartly as an iPhone or HTC Droid.
Armorz Stealth Extreme R for iPhone 5s/5c
Good: Strong like a bull, resists fingerprints, better than plastic protectors at replicating screen surface.
Not so good: Expensive; do not run over with a truck.
armorz.comKyocera Hydro XTRM mobile phone
Good: Not afraid of water, dropsies.
Not so good: Tough, but only a so-so smartphone.
(c)2014 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services