Land Rover's New Explore R Smartphone | First Look - Outdoors Magic

Outdoors Gear, Equipment, News, Reviews, Forums, Walking Routes and More at



Land Rover’s New Explore R Smartphone | First Look

The rugged new smartphone that looks like a car. Sort of.

Land Rover have once again teamed up with tech company Bullitt (the same people who make the phones for construction equipment brand Cat) to produce a smartphone targeted specifically at outdoor enthusiasts.

Like the original Land Rover smartphone that was launched back in 2018, the new Explore R phone has a super tough, waterproof casing, a bunch of useful navigational tools and a decent battery life, but there are also some useful updates, most notably a much sleeker build and a vastly improved camera.

Features At A Glance

According to Land Rover/Bullitt, the Explore R is fully waterproof up to 1.5m for 35 minutes. It’s also dust, dirt and sand proof and is built to survive rigorous drop tests from 1.8M onto steel including repeated drops on every side and corner.

A Corning Gorilla glass 6 protects the touchscreen against scratches but also allows the user to operate the phone when their hands are wet or when they’re wearing gloves.

On the back, there’s a 12MP Sony dual pixel camera with f/1.8 aperture and large 1.4μm pixel size. There’s also a camera on the front for video calls (and selfies).

If you’re outside the UK, the device will automatically download ViewRanger mapping. Ordnance Survey’s OS Maps app will be downloaded onto your phone automatically if the phone is setup in the UK and this comes with a free 12-month premium subscription that gives access to 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 mapping for the whole of the British Isles.

There’s also a feature that lets users create customisable outdoor activity dashboards for quick access to important, relevant information to their specific outdoor pursuit. This includes detailed weather information such as tide times and sea temperature, plus quick access to important device tools including the compass, GPS position and altitude.

As for battery life, the team behind it claim it’ll run for 1.5 days. Not bad, but certainly not anything groundbreaking.

Price? Pretty decent at £399. Much cheaper than the latest devices from Samsung and Apple.

Tech Specs

  • Android 9 (with upgrade to 10)
  • 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM, Expandable Storage (microSD™)
  • Mediatek Helio P35 MT 6765 chipset, 2.3GHz octa-core processor
  • Sony dual pixel 12MP rear camera, 8MP front camera
  • Bright 5.7” HD+ , 18x 9 display, optimised for outdoor use
  • 4G LTE Cat 6, VoLTE,VoWiFi, ViLTE
  • Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
  • 3.5mm audio jack with waterproof connectors
  • Dual Sim – Nano Sim and microSD™
  • USB Type C
  •  2-year full warranty

New and Improved?

We were impressed with the original 2018 Land Rover smartphone during our testing period those years ago, however, some flaws did start to appear over the longer term. The camera quality, for instance, wasn’t great, and on a number of occasions we found the OS would glitch and totally freeze. There was also that attachable battery unit which weakened very quickly, eventually becoming pretty much useless.

It’s therefore good to see that the attachable battery has been done away with and the camera quality has been improved. It will be interesting to see if the software issues still exist though. We’ve just got a device in for testing so keep an eye out for our upcoming review.

Head to for more info on the new launch.

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.