Samsung B2100 Review: Released in 2009, the Samsung B2100 entered a rather undeserved category: the ‘tough’ mobile phone handset. The Nokia 5210 was perhaps the first one of these, featuring a rubberised coating. This was further enhanced as models into models such as the Nokia 5140 which added further features. However this was released in 2005 and there was no advancement on that. This could be attributed to the facts that many of the health features were beginning to be incorporated into other phones. Many of the base handsets such as the Nokia 1100 were also rubberised and had become so cheap it didn’t matter if they broke.
Many of these phones were marketed as health devices. But the durability of these phones saw an increased use in the workplace.
Samsung recognised this, and their B-series handsets could be said to be much more tailored to work rather than play. At the start, they released two types of this handset. The Samsung B2700 features a more advanced spec-set, although the B2100 is more rugged. The main selling point is IP certification which gives some defined limits on what the phones can endure. But even at the lower IP54 point these were much more capable than the Nokia series, which did not feature this specification and were not entirely waterproof.
These were still relatively basic handsets for the time – perhaps little better than entry level handsets. But it probably would be a smart guess that anyone buying these phones would not be requiring the latest features.
These phones survived a little longer, becoming the ‘XCover’ series. However, this concept died out as even touchscreen phones gained IP certification themselves and could be protected with third-party covers. Interestingly Nokia have revived the concept in 2019, with it’s ‘Tough’ range of phones.
Samsung B2100 Review Pros:
- The cover was the main reason to buy this phone. The IP57 certified cover keeps out dust and water and survive immersion of between 0.15-1m depth. Gone are the days where dropping the phone in water meant the end of its life. The rubber coating also ensures it will survive drops.
- The phone comes with a 1000mAH battery, which provides impressive 600h of standby time – certainly not a phone that needs charging every day.
- The phone comes with a loop which allows it to be hung from a lanyard or mounted somewhere out of the way.
- Despite the lack of other features the phone features a microSD card slot for the storage of data.
Samsung B2100 Review Cons:
- Screen quality is on the low side, with just a 120 x 160 pixel resolution and relatively low colour display.
- The camera is also downgraded from the B2700 model which seems slightly stingy. This is a 1.3MP model with flash.
- There is no front-facing camera for video calls.
- The thick cover impedes call quality and also requires a flat-head screwdriver to remove, which is a pain if you need to access the SIM/memory card if out.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects
Many of these phones are pretty niche and did not sell in large numbers in their day. That is unsurprising as the tough cover meant they offered poorer value for money to those which were of standard construction. Additionally many rubberised phones age very badly with the covers breaking after many uses. Thus a phone in good condition should achieve a good price, less so for a poorer condition one.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.
Samsung B2100 Disassembly Instructions
If you are interested in taking apart the Samsung B2100 for repair, here is a useful link.
Samsung B2100 Video Review
Here is a video review covering the main features of this phone: