You may have read in various gadget columns lately about Verizon Wireless offering a ruggedized phone from Casio called the G'zOne.
It's been called by some a "military grade" cell phone that can withstand shock, vibration, immersion in 3 ft of water, and temps to 140F. It also features navigation functions, a 2 megapixel camera, and it can play videos and games. The phone sells for around 300 bucks with a two-year contract.
Now such ruggedness and functionality is all well and goodand actually could come in handy for those of us that don't necessarily live the adventurous or outdoor lives it is geared to. There are plenty of hazards involved with dropping a phone on a city street or sidewalk or even in various pieces of bathroom equipment.
But I'd question the utility of even having a cell "out in the country" from an availability standpoint. For instance, I frequent an area of upstate New York where land lines are the only reliable phone service. When roaming in the region, if there is a signal, it is spotty and week. Just so happens that the summer house we have sits on a couple hundred feet of rural road where there is the only usable signal for literally miles aroundattested to by some of the locals who sit there in their cars at night making calls (why don't they just go home and call?)
There are alternate means of staying in touch, however. I've even heard of someone not being able to make a cell phone call in a remote area getting through by using the vehicle's OnStar service to communicate without a problem.