Mobil is a new brand of mobile handsets that recently made their debut in India and this, the MA1 or Platinum is their budget, rugged mobile handset designed for hardcore users. Well not totally hardcore but to a certain extent at least. Here’s a closer look.

Form Factor
The MA1 looks rugged and quite macho encased in its steel casing with rubberized grips running along the sides and bottom. The keypad is neatly laid out and well spaced but the metal keys are a bit hard to press and will take a bit of getting used to. The five way nav pad could have been a little better designed as the center key is a little too embedded into the wheel design. It has a 2.2–inch TFT display which looks really thick but is not scratch resistant. After a few drops numerous scratches appeared and ruined the overall finish but the rest of the handset seemed unscathed. A mini USB all-purpose port is located on the side and it can be a bit tedious to open the flap when trying to access it as its rubberized and quite inlayed.

The rear panel has a screw system. I don’t recommend unscrewing the panel too often as the screw itself is quite easy to loose. The microSD card (support for up to 2GB) is located under the battery so once it’s in; I suggest you leave it there.

It’s designed to sustain a fall from up to six feet and can it’s also water resistant, but like I said, only to an extent. Unlike the Samsung Marine, this one can’t be immersed in water for too long before water starts to seep into the handset. But if it happens to get wet in the rain or for some strange reason you have need of it in the shower, it’s all good. However, only one out of the three pieces they sent me actually functioned properly after testing. It took quite a few seriously hard knocks onto a marble floor and the only issue was that the screen got scratched (no cracks) and the speaker volume for the ringer dropped considerably. The other two devices simply ceased to function after testing.

Features and Performance
Like any Java mobile the UI is the same. There’s a little bit of cosmetic customization but the underlying layer is pretty simple. The MA1’s is relatively smooth with just a hint of a lag every now and then. The extra key-presses required to access functions are of a UI quirk rather than the handset's. Other than that you’ll have no issues getting around. The Dual SIM functions worked without a hitch and the interface is well designed enough to make things convenient

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