Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Aspera gets a rugged phone in under $300

If you’re a little more clumsy with your phone than you’d like to admit, Aspera’s latest might suit for a budget price.

Even though phones these days are made quite well, there are times when it can seem like your phone is fragile as.

You’ll know it all too well when you see it: broken glass screens, shattered glass backs, metal or plastic casings that have been dented and scratched to an inch of their life. We see it all the time, and it’s yet more indication that there’s not one phone for every person.

If you’re one of those people who regularly damages their phone, it’s a problem you may know all too well, and the solution is to either get a case for your mobile to make it a little more rugged, or to find a more rugged phone overall.

Rugged phones tend to be different, and can sometimes incur a bit of a cost over their less rugged cousins, thanks to all that extra durability they tend to throw in, though there has been movement in the mid-range to change that, particularly in this year’s Telstra Tough 3.

But Telstra isn’t alone in its lofty goal of making an inexpensive budget phone, and Australia’s Aspera Mobile is joining in right at the end of 2020, launching an even more budget-focused rugged phone, as it launches the Aspera R9, a 4G handset sporting the highest IP rating for knocks, drops, and water resistance, IP69.

That IP rating might seem a touch confusing, because we don’t typically memorise what they mean, but IP ratings do mean something. Break up the numbers and you’ll get an answer on water resistance, with the first one — the 6 — telling you the device is dust right, while the second indicates water and liquid, with that “9” covering high pressure water.

Beyond the IP rating, Aspera’s R9 is a phone focused on the budget to mid-range, using a MediaTek Helio A22 chip, 3GB RAM, a small 32GB storage that can be upgraded with a microSD card, Android 10, and only one camera on the front and one camera on the back, with a 13 megapixel on the back and a 5 megapixel selfie camera on the front, with all of this sitting atop a large 5000mAh battery and with a 5.45 inch screen.

Simply put, it’s not focused so much on being a high-end phone, and barely even a mid-range phone; rather, the Aspera A9 is focused on being a durable phone, which may be ideal for some.

If you know someone who regularly drops their phone, or you’re giving a phone to someone who might — say the kids or a grand — that might make sense. Aspera has included both facial security and Near-Field Communication (NFC), which means Google Pay is supported, technologies we’ve gradually seen come to the budget phone world this year, which this phone definitely qualifies as, sitting at $279 in Australia.

“With the R9 Aspera brings another great rugged smartphone specifically tailored to Australian conditions at a very affordable price,” said Allan Robertson, Managing Director of Aspera Mobile in Australia.

The Aspera R9 can be found at select retailers now across Australia for $279, including Bi-rite, Harvey Norman, and Leading Edge.

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