I’ve posted here in the past about my much beloved (and sometimes bemoaned) Kyocera Brigadier smartphone. It have never hesitated to clip it on, and slip it into a PFD pocket. Rolling, swimming, raining or snowing, it didn’t matter and never had any problems.
There are a few things I really like about this phone that I haven’t seen matched by a modern contender:
- Lanyard connection point, like what you’d find on a camera (remember those?)
- Physical dedicated camera shutter button - needed for underwater shots, but much easier than I’ve ever found a touchscreen button to be, especially with gloves on!
- Durable without needing 2x the thickness of the phone for a case
- Compact - if I want a big screen, I’ll use my laptop.
I’m a rare duck who has never had data on their cell phone plan, but have decided that it’s time to go through the temporary pain of changing up something that was working just fine. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to use this on any local carrier’s data plan because it’s a US (Verizon) phone and was partially locked to that network. I can use it just fine for voice and text but not data apparently.
So, your best suggestions for modern paddler-friendly phones. At this point I’m not interested in bags, boxes or cases. I also don’t want to spend an insane amount of money, which means I’d be looking at something used and a few years old probably.
Something else I’ve considered is to just upgrade to the same sort of phone that most people are sporting these days, and keep the Brigadier for paddling only. I’d still be able to use it for GPS, maps, pictures, and emergency calls even though there’s no SIM in it (in theory - I’ve never actually tested this).