The Quechua phone is a 5 inches rugged mobile phone for those who enjoy outdoor sports. I acquired this phone in Decathlon the very same day that it came out in Europe, I have been using it for a few weeks already.
On the outside the Quechua Phone is IP54 certificated, a standard Ingress Protection Rating that guarantees the phone has passed wear and tear tests capable to withstand small shocks, dust and water splashes. The build quality was very reassuring, a little thick and heavy due to the enormous non removable 3500mAh battery giving you 22 hours of talk time, but I was not too surprised about this as the phone has to be perfectly sealed to stop water droplets from getting in. The back of the case appears to be tightened up with tiny metal screws and the power on and volume buttons are also metallic.
To insert a microSIM and microSD card you have to lift a rubber cap from one of the sides of the phone, another rubber cap located on top of the phone is used to charge the phone and plug in the included headphones if you wish so. This is probably the most rugged phone you will catch sight of for the consumer market.
I should warn you that the phone comes with a printed manual underneath the box, check everything properly because it is very easy to miss the Quechua phone manual, it is found under a semi hidden compartment inside the box.
When you first boot the phone you will be asked if you would like to install the preloaded weather and mountain trail information apps, you can easily uninstall them and I would advice you not to install the default apps unless you already have an external microSD card mounted or the apps will eat all of your phone’s internal memory.
As for hardware, as expected, the Qualcomm 1.2GHz quad core processor and 1GB DDR3 RAM specs have been enough to use Google maps and play games without any noticeable lagging. The 5MB rear camera and front 2MB camera image quality was also acceptable in my tests, the kind of images you would expect from any mid range phone, able to take reasonably good photos indoors and outdoors in cloudy weather but nothing crispy like an professional SLR camera.
Screen brightness was very good, it is best to have it in auto mode to save battery time. I also tested the screen outside under the sun and, unlike cheap smartphones, with the Quechua phone I did not have any problem reading the screen outdoors on a sunny day.
Internal memory is what the Quechua phone lacks, the default 4GB are in reality under 2GB after Android Jelly Bean 4.1 is up and running. I quickly filled in the internal memory with app data and had to buy a microSD card. Luckily there is a maximum microSD capacity of 32GB. It will be very difficult to fill a microSD card of that size with a 5MB camera.
Another thing I noticed is that there is no screen film you can buy for your phone, theoretically, the screen is meant to be resistant to scratch but I wanted to buy the screen film for extra safety and I was unable to find a supplier anywhere. Unless Quechua releases mobile phone accessories in the future you will have to manage with what comes inside the box.
Overall, my take on the Quechua phone is that it not a phone for those who want something stylish and light, it is a phone for those after a durable and functional phone that can be taken outdoors without worrying about dust or rain and a phone that will not need daily recharging. The huge battery guarantees that you can enjoy a full weekend without using the mains power supply.
If you want this phone to go running it will not be the best due to the above average weight, but for trekking it is perfect and it can also be taken to the beach.
Update: I have now been using this phone for 6 months and everything is good except that I am finding the 2GB external storage far too small. The problem is that many apps will not install in the external memory card I bought to expand the storage, most apps only work if installed directly on the phone. Based on this, I would avoid this phone if are somebody who normally has many apps installed on the phone. Other than that, I am happy with it.