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Land Rover Explore R Outdoor Phone

Land Rover Explore R Outdoor Phone: I didn’t have a New Defender to match this to but maybe my trusty Discovery 4 will do ~ gone is the lookalike phone grille which matched the earlier Land Rover models [©MG]
Mike Gormley brings us a brief heads-up on the new ruggedised Land Rover Explore R Outdoor Phone model from Bullitt Mobile.


With all the COVID-19 issues of late this phone has suffered significant delays in its full launch – in fact much of the planned launch is still on hold – so I have been lucky to get a sample to try just in time for Christmas; thank you Ladies, you know who you are.

This is purely a heads-up just to let readers know it is out there now, though currently on an online order only basis as I understand it. Unlike the previous model of Land Rover Explore Phone, this new Explore R model was due to be pushed out to, and be available through, all the Land Rover main dealers.

First sight of the new Land Rover Explore R Outdoor Phone variant in its box [©MG]

As the graphics show it is ‘in tune’ with the ongoing momentum of the new Land Rover Defender, but do not assume that you must own a Land Rover to have one of these. Although I do own a Land Rover, and have for many years, the branding is more of a marketing thing to highlight that this particular Bullitt phone model, or perhaps one should term it a mobile device these days, is well-suited to the rigours of outdoor life and use.

The modern ‘phone’ has become so much part of our everyday lives in so many ways. It is really a mobile office, which for me is no bad thing at all. I can respond to emails while out on Dartmoor rather than have to be at home on my desktop computer. Bonus. And while out there, in any weather, I can take very acceptable photos with the same device while it shows me the OS map to help me navigate and track my routes on ViewRanger, which is a built-in App on my older Explore and a navigation aid I used a great deal. And yes, before you question it, I do most times carry a map and compass as well.

Comparing the Explore R (right) with my previous model ~ similar but different and perhaps the R is a bit less ‘Land Rovery’ in looks than the earlier model [©MG]

The other advantage of the Land Rover Explore phone range is that you don’t have to leave them ashore if you are out boating or, as I do, kayaking. Being fully waterproof you can make use of all its attributes while afloat or out in the worst of winter weather. Also don’t worry if you drop it, it can cope, and this I have unintentionally proved on a number of occasions; it is IP68 and MIL SPEC 810H protected.

This new Explore R (Android 9 with upgrade to 10) variant is in some ways very much the same as the earlier Explore but is also very different. Gone is the additional battery with incorporated GPS aerial. I have to say I found this very handy on my earlier Explore, if perhaps a bit bulky when in use, so we will see if this is a good thing to leave off. The screen is a bit larger too – no bad thing for navigation. I am still getting used to the fact the buttons are on the other side, but they are really the same. The benefits of the dual Sim are still there, as is the general feel that this is robust phone; which I can really confirm has been the case with my previous one.

The control buttons have swapped sides, probably to suit right handers ~ I am left-handed so confused at first, but they are really the same with the added advantage of a day-glow main button [©MG]

So, ‘wait out’ is the message for now and I will bring you a more detailed and hands-on report in the New Year. In the meantime, have a good one… as best as you are able. Stay safe!


[images © Mike Gormley]

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