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Land Rover Explore Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 08/04/2018

Outdoor modular. The Land Rover Explore is not simply capitalizing on the name of a famous car brand—it is also intended to be a very special rugged phone: With its attachable Adventure Pack, the phone is ready for days of exploration. It is also robust and waterproof to boot. Is it a must for outdoor enthusiasts?

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Land Rover Explore

People who drive Land Rovers tend to love the great outdoors and may want a smartphone to accompany them on their adventures in the wild. This appears to be what the auto manufacturer was thinking, at any rate. With the help of the Bullitt Group, the car brand is now making its debut in the smartphone market. Bullitt is also known as the manufacturer of the robust CAT smartphones and the Kodak Ektra. The first smartphone released by the car brand is the Land Rover Explore, a rugged outdoor smartphone that bears a striking similarity to the company's automotive designs. The unique feature: The smartphone comes with a so-called "Adventure Pack", a module with a larger GPS antenna and an extra battery that can be attached to the back of the device with a magnet.  More expansion packs are allegedly to come, converting the Land Rover Explore into a super-customizable outdoor phone.

The Land Rover smartphone is no budget device—the recommended retail price is a whopping 699 Euros (~$800). Our database is mostly populated with reviews of less expensive ruggedized smartphones. However, the difference in price may not necessarily be related to hardware configuration—after all, the Land Rover Explore comes with this mighty Adventure Pack. In the end, we chose three rugged devices for comparison: the Ulefone Armor X, the Blackview BV9000 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy XCover 4.

Land Rover Explore
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 441 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 50 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm jack, Card Reader: microSD, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, compass, gyroscope, barometer, USB-C
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM (850/​900/​1800), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B7/​B8/​B20), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14 x 152 x 75.3 ( = 0.55 x 5.98 x 2.96 in)
Battery
15.2 Wh, 4000 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 16 MPix phase detection AF, dual-LED flash, videos @1080p/​30fps
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: speaker facing forward, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, Adventure Pack, carabiner, protective case, quick-charge device, USB cable, SIM ejector tool, Sky Map, Trip Advisor, Strava, Register, Geocaching, Emergency Call, File Commander, View Ranger, Support, 24 Months Warranty, IP68 certified, MIL-STD 810 certified; LTE Cat. 6 (download: 300Mbit/s, upload: 50Mbit/s); SAR value: 0.423 W/kg (head), 1.476 W/kg (body), fanless, ruggedized
Weight
232 g ( = 8.18 oz / 0.51 pounds), Power Supply: 70 g ( = 2.47 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
699 Euro

 

Case - Pressure-sensitive front on the Land Rover Explore

The Land Rover Explore is, of course, IP68 water- and dust-resistant, as is only befitting of a rugged smartphone. The case design is inspired by the Land Rover off-road vehicle. For example, the speaker grille on the front mimics the grille on the front of a car. The case is surrounded by a hefty metal frame. The display is protected not only by a raised frame, but the manufacturer also seals the display with a protective film in the factory. At a thickness of 14 mm (0.55 inches), the Land Rover phone has a pretty bulky build, but less so than many ruggedized phones from China. The case is very stable: It cannot be twisted, and applying pressure to the back side does not affect the smartphone. However, pressing on the front causes faint ripples to appear on the display.

Land Rover Explore
Land Rover Explore
Land Rover Explore
Land Rover Explore

Size Comparison

64 GB of mass storage and 4 GB of RAM make sense for a mid-range smartphone. The storage space can be expanded with a microSD card, though the user then forfeits one of the two dual SIM slots. The manufacturer does not specify the maximum capacity of the microSD card, but the Land Rover Explore had no trouble with our 64 GB card. The card can be formatted as internal or external storage. Note: Apps cannot be stored on an external storage medium.

The USB Type-C connection on the bottom edge of the device gets by without a protective cover, transfers data at USB 2.0 speeds, and it supports USB OTG.

Software - Many outdoor apps come preinstalled on the Land Rover phone

The manufacturer chose to install pure Android 7.1.1 OS on the Land Rover Explore. An update to Android 8 is to follow. The security patches on our test device are dated from the beginning of May 2018, meaning they will need to be updated in the near future.

The Land Rover phone also comes with copious preinstalled software: In addition to the star chart app and the usual Strava and ViewRanger apps for outdoor enthusiasts, there is also a geocaching app. To the irritation of some users, the smartphone also comes with some advertising apps from Facebook preinstalled. Those who just want pure Android will first need to delete several apps, but anyone who uses outdoor apps will not have to install them.

Software Land Rover Explore
Software Land Rover Explore
Software Land Rover Explore

Communication and GPS - Few LTE bands and additional GPS antenna in the Land Rover Explore

The Land Rover Explore supports the fast WLAN standard 802.11 ac, at least according to the spec sheet—our speed measurements with our Linksys EA8500 reference router seem to contradict this claim: In our tests, the Land Rover Explore only reached data transfer speeds on par with 802.11 n devices and is substantially slower than the Ulefone Armor X and the Blackview BV9000 Pro.

With just five supported LTE bands, only the basic necessities are on board. That is a shame for a phone you might want to take on a hiking trip in a far-away land. It is questionable whether users will be able to join an LTE network abroad. The reception was quite good in our well-developed German D2 network: Even indoors, we always had at least two bars of LTE reception.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=249)
187 MBit/s ∼100% +206%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 128 GB eMMC Flash
111 MBit/s ∼59% +82%
Ulefone Armor X
PowerVR GE8100, MT6739, 16 GB eMMC Flash
98.3 MBit/s ∼53% +61%
Land Rover Explore
Mali-T880 MP4, MT6797X, 64 GB eMMC Flash
61.1 MBit/s ∼33%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
Mali-T720, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.2 MBit/s ∼26% -19%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=249)
183 MBit/s ∼100% +192%
Ulefone Armor X
PowerVR GE8100, MT6739, 16 GB eMMC Flash
103 MBit/s ∼56% +64%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 128 GB eMMC Flash
99.8 MBit/s ∼55% +59%
Land Rover Explore
Mali-T880 MP4, MT6797X, 64 GB eMMC Flash
62.7 MBit/s ∼34%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
Mali-T720, 7570 Quad, 16 GB eMMC Flash
37.9 MBit/s ∼21% -40%

An additional GPS ceramic patch antenna in the Adventure Pack is intended to improve GPS location services. However, our results from the GPS Test app show no difference between the device's capabilities on its own compared with the Adventure Pack attached. In general, the Land Rover Explore does a very good job where location services are concerned; it only had trouble positioning us indoors. Near a window and outdoors, the smartphone could ascertain its position with a very good accuracy level of up to 3 meters. Positioning with Google Maps, however, proves not to be as exact as we would like—other smartphones do a better job here.

The Land Rover smartphone completed our practical test, a bike tour with a Garmin Edge 520 professional navigator as a reference device, with the Adventure Pack attached. It recorded our path well—almost as precisely as the Garmin device. In everyday use, the smartphone should be well-suited for navigation tasks, though the lower level of accuracy in Google Maps worries us somewhat.

GPS Test indoors (with Adventure Pack)
GPS Test indoors (with Adventure Pack)
GPS Test at a window (with Adventure Pack)
GPS Test at a window (with Adventure Pack)
GPS Test outdoors (with Adventure Pack)
GPS Test outdoors (with Adventure Pack)
GPS Test indoors (without Adventure Pack)
GPS Test indoors (without Adventure Pack)
GPS Test at a window (without Adventure Pack)
GPS Test at a window (without Adventure Pack)
GPS Test outdoors (without Adventure Pack)
GPS Test outdoors (without Adventure Pack)
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – Overview
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – Forest
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – Forest
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – Bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 520 – Bridge
GPS Land Rover Explore – Overview
GPS Land Rover Explore – Overview
GPS Land Rover Explore – Forest
GPS Land Rover Explore – Forest
GPS Land Rover Explore – Bridge
GPS Land Rover Explore – Bridge

Phone Function and Call Quality - Good clarity

Android's standard phone app serves as the interface for making calls.

The speech quality is good, and the earpiece's maximum volume is quite high. Faint background noises mix with the sound of the conversation partner's voice, but they are not loud enough to be bothersome. At lower volumes, the background noises disappear. The microphone's recording of our voice was quite clear, regardless how loudly or quietly we spoke. The speech quality is also good over the speakerphone, though it has trouble with quiet voices.

Cameras - Moderate photo quality

Front camera shot
Front camera shot

The Land Rover Explore has single cameras on the front and back of the device. The camera on the back side is recessed slightly into the case for extra protection. The camera sensor has a resolution of 16 megapixels and is supported by a dual LED flash. Overall, the photo quality is reasonable—finer details are often captured cleanly, though bright areas sometimes bloom. Our flowers' red petals have little in the way of definition. The snapshot of our surrounding environment is more satisfactory. In low light, both the illumination and the reproduction of details are reasonably good but by no means on par with the results achieved by high-end smartphones.

Videos can be recorded at a maximum of 1080p and 30 fps. Here, the camera tends slightly toward a softer focus, and the autofocus does not always react as quickly as we would like. On the other hand, the camera adjusts for lighting without any visible gradation, and overall the level of detail is quite good.

The Land Rover Explore's front camera has a resolution of 8 megapixels. Its photos could stand to have more details, and bright areas bloom somewhat here as well. On the whole, however, this camera's imaging performance is also reasonably good.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

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The camera performance in the regulated lighting conditions in our laboratory is also good: Colored areas look somewhat grainy, but lines are crisp and text on colored backgrounds is cleanly contrasted. The color reproduction is somewhat too dark in most cases.

ColorChecker colors photographed; the original color is digitally portrayed in the bottom half of each color patch
ColorChecker colors photographed; the original color is digitally portrayed in the bottom half of each color patch
Test chart photographed
Test chart photographed
Test chart details
Test chart details

Accessories and Warranty - Land Rover Explore with lots of accessories

In addition to the hefty Adventure Pack with its extra battery and improved GPS antenna, the Land Rover's box contains a protective cover. The cover only fits properly when the Adventure Pack is attached. A special carabiner can clip to the back of the case—conveniently, just such a carabiner also comes in the box. A quick-charge device, USB cable and SIM ejector tool round off the set of accessories. Buyers can also purchase a battery pack that connects to the back of the Land Rover Explore, much like the Adventure Pack. The price of the battery pack is currently unknown.

The smartphone comes with a 24-month warranty in the EU.

Input Devices and Operation - Optional glove mode

The Land Rover phone uses Google's GBoard as its keyboard app, which comes standard on the Android OS. This keyboard enables users to type fluidly and offers several additional features and settings options.

The touchscreen is very sensitive in every area and is easy to operate. The menu buttons are located on the display; the left side of the case houses the big ribbed hardware buttons for volume and standby. They are comfortable to use and have a clear click point. The touchscreen also has a glove mode.

The option to operate the device with touchscreen gestures or movements does not come preinstalled on the smartphone.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

Display - Land Rover Explore with bright screen

Subpixels
Subpixels

The 5-inch screen has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a very high average brightness level of 604 cd/m². Given that the brightness distribution is quite consistent (91%), large colored areas look uniformly bright. 

573
cd/m²
606
cd/m²
631
cd/m²
604
cd/m²
633
cd/m²
618
cd/m²
596
cd/m²
574
cd/m²
600
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 633 cd/m² Average: 603.9 cd/m² Minimum: 25.5 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 633 cd/m²
Contrast: 754:1 (Black: 0.84 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.41 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 9.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
97.7% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 1.927
Land Rover Explore
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
IPS, 1280x720, 5
CAT S40
IPS, 960x540, 4.7
Blackview BV9000 Pro
IPS, 1440x720, 5.7
Ulefone Armor X
IPS, 1440x720, 5.5
Screen
-3%
26%
16%
27%
Brightness middle
633
445
-30%
607
-4%
621
-2%
564
-11%
Brightness
604
437
-28%
579
-4%
598
-1%
541
-10%
Brightness Distribution
91
88
-3%
90
-1%
91
0%
91
0%
Black Level *
0.84
0.67
20%
0.5
40%
0.64
24%
0.37
56%
Contrast
754
664
-12%
1214
61%
970
29%
1524
102%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.41
6.5
-1%
4.25
34%
5.5
14%
5.1
20%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.88
10.6
11%
10
16%
9.6
19%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
9.2
7.2
22%
4.09
56%
5.1
45%
5.4
41%
Gamma
1.927 125%
2.53 95%
2.61 92%
2.52 95%
2.1 114%
CCT
6165 105%
8274 79%
6959 93%
7362 88%
7755 84%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
71.2034
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
94.1292

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 79 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 79 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 79 Hz is very low, so the flickering may cause eyestrain and headaches after extended use.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8821 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Unfortunately, the black value (0.84 cd/m²) fails to impress and leaves the smartphone with a less than stellar contrast ratio of 754:1. As a result, colors on the display are not as brilliant as we would wish. At less than 20% brightness, we measured a substantial display flicker that could cause problems for some people. Sensitive users may want to try out the Land Rover at low brightness in the store before purchasing this device.

In our test with a spectrophotometer and the CalMAN software, we established that the display has a slight green cast. We also found that the display's color accuracy is somewhat less precise than those of our comparison devices.

CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN color space
CalMAN color space
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
18 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 13 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 14 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 15 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41.4 ms).

The bright display enables users to see the screen content easily outdoors, even in bright environments. The reflective display surface can be problematic, however.

Even from very flat angles, the viewing-angle stability is excellent.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angle
Viewing angle

Performance - Fast, but expensive

The Helio X27 SoC is not exactly common in our neck of the woods and belongs to the class of upper mid-range chips. As a result, the Land Rover Explore usually takes first place in our benchmarks compared to the rest of the devices on our list. The ARM Mali T880 MP4 graphics unit also provides considerably more performance power than the GPUs in our comparison devices.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
75939 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
35379 Points ∼47% -53%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
64441 Points ∼85% -15%
Ulefone Armor X
37586 Points ∼49% -51%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
75939 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 230642, n=342)
70364 Points ∼93% -7%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
107921 Points ∼100%
Ulefone Armor X
46435 Points ∼43% -57%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
107921 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (25692 - 290397, n=114)
102559 Points ∼95% -5%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
4580 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
3446 Points ∼75% -25%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
3865 Points ∼84% -16%
Ulefone Armor X
3184 Points ∼70% -30%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
4580 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2399 - 8601, n=202)
4443 Points ∼97% -3%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
5041 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
4508 Points ∼89% -11%
CAT S40
2927 Points ∼58% -42%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4465 Points ∼89% -11%
Ulefone Armor X
4298 Points ∼85% -15%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
5041 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2516 - 10264, n=366)
4673 Points ∼93% -7%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
769 Points ∼81%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
661 Points ∼70% -14%
CAT S40
616 Points ∼65% -20%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
945 Points ∼100% +23%
Ulefone Armor X
7 Points ∼1% -99%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
769 Points ∼81% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1682, n=442)
670 Points ∼71% -13%
Graphics (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1222 Points ∼81%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
253 Points ∼17% -79%
CAT S40
260 Points ∼17% -79%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1121 Points ∼75% -8%
Ulefone Armor X
188 Points ∼13% -85%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1222 Points ∼81% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 9248, n=442)
1502 Points ∼100% +23%
Memory (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1230 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
1066 Points ∼87% -13%
CAT S40
408 Points ∼33% -67%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1028 Points ∼84% -16%
Ulefone Armor X
900 Points ∼73% -27%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1230 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 4798, n=442)
1123 Points ∼91% -9%
System (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
2889 Points ∼89%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
1396 Points ∼43% -52%
CAT S40
792 Points ∼24% -73%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
3238 Points ∼100% +12%
Ulefone Armor X
1491 Points ∼46% -48%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
2889 Points ∼89% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 10281, n=442)
2241 Points ∼69% -22%
Overall (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1352 Points ∼99%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
706 Points ∼52% -48%
CAT S40
477 Points ∼35% -65%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1370 Points ∼100% +1%
Ulefone Armor X
206 Points ∼15% -85%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1352 Points ∼99% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 4308, n=445)
1132 Points ∼83% -16%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
3605 Points ∼95%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
2635 Points ∼69% -27%
Ulefone Armor X
1416 Points ∼37% -61%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
3605 Points ∼95% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 14362, n=139)
3810 Points ∼100% +6%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
4927 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
1855 Points ∼38% -62%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
3818 Points ∼77% -23%
Ulefone Armor X
1847 Points ∼37% -63%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
4927 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (1099 - 10558, n=186)
3955 Points ∼80% -20%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1739 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
629 Points ∼36% -64%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
828 Points ∼48% -52%
Ulefone Armor X
662 Points ∼38% -62%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1739 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4265, n=187)
1171 Points ∼67% -33%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1668 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
952 Points ∼57% -43%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1353 Points ∼81% -19%
Ulefone Armor X
585 Points ∼35% -65%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1668 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 3669, n=291)
1548 Points ∼93% -7%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
892 Points ∼85%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
85 Points ∼8% -90%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
600 Points ∼57% -33%
Ulefone Armor X
87 Points ∼8% -90%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
892 Points ∼85% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 5220, n=291)
1052 Points ∼100% +18%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
995 Points ∼99%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
107 Points ∼11% -89%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
685 Points ∼68% -31%
Ulefone Armor X
107 Points ∼11% -89%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
995 Points ∼99% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 4732, n=299)
1008 Points ∼100% +1%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1610 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
955 Points ∼59% -41%
CAT S40
454 Points ∼28% -72%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1505 Points ∼93% -7%
Ulefone Armor X
581 Points ∼36% -64%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1610 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (524 - 3642, n=322)
1452 Points ∼90% -10%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1103 Points ∼78%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
157 Points ∼11% -86%
CAT S40
29 Points ∼2% -97%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
921 Points ∼65% -17%
Ulefone Armor X
129 Points ∼9% -88%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1103 Points ∼78% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 8312, n=322)
1421 Points ∼100% +29%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
1186 Points ∼97%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
193 Points ∼16% -84%
CAT S40
37 Points ∼3% -97%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1008 Points ∼82% -15%
Ulefone Armor X
156 Points ∼13% -87%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1186 Points ∼97% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 6378, n=330)
1223 Points ∼100% +3%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
10223 Points ∼84%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
11459 Points ∼94% +12%
CAT S40
6789 Points ∼56% -34%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
11176 Points ∼92% +9%
Ulefone Armor X
10195 Points ∼84% 0%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
10223 Points ∼84% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (735 - 36494, n=477)
12140 Points ∼100% +19%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
17173 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
3985 Points ∼23% -77%
CAT S40
4014 Points ∼23% -77%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
10023 Points ∼58% -42%
Ulefone Armor X
3585 Points ∼21% -79%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
17173 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2396 - 113380, n=477)
15561 Points ∼91% -9%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
14919 Points ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
4661 Points ∼31% -69%
CAT S40
4415 Points ∼30% -70%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
10258 Points ∼69% -31%
Ulefone Armor X
4188 Points ∼28% -72%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
14919 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2841 - 64405, n=478)
13454 Points ∼90% -10%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
32 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
6.8 fps ∼21% -79%
CAT S40
5.2 fps ∼16% -84%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
21 fps ∼66% -34%
Ulefone Armor X
5.9 fps ∼18% -82%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
32 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 177, n=503)
26.9 fps ∼84% -16%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
33 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
11 fps ∼33% -67%
CAT S40
12 fps ∼36% -64%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
31 fps ∼94% -6%
Ulefone Armor X
9.2 fps ∼28% -72%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
33 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=506)
23.5 fps ∼71% -29%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
16 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
2.6 fps ∼16% -84%
CAT S40
1.8 fps ∼11% -89%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
10 fps ∼63% -37%
Ulefone Armor X
2.7 fps ∼17% -83%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
16 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 88.2, n=426)
14.3 fps ∼89% -11%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
19 fps ∼100%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
5.4 fps ∼28% -72%
CAT S40
6.2 fps ∼33% -67%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
17 fps ∼89% -11%
Ulefone Armor X
5.1 fps ∼27% -73%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
19 fps ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=428)
14.5 fps ∼76% -24%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
12 fps ∼96%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
1.6 fps ∼13% -87%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
6.9 fps ∼55% -42%
Ulefone Armor X
1.6 fps ∼13% -87%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
12 fps ∼96% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 60, n=289)
12.5 fps ∼100% +4%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
13 fps ∼87%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
3.9 fps ∼26% -70%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
15 fps ∼100% +15%
Ulefone Armor X
3.3 fps ∼22% -75%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
13 fps ∼87% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 110, n=291)
12.6 fps ∼84% -3%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
6.8 fps ∼80%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4.1 fps ∼48% -40%
Ulefone Armor X
0.9 fps ∼11% -87%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
6.8 fps ∼80% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 35, n=220)
8.47 fps ∼100% +25%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Land Rover Explore
7.3 fps ∼89%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
8.2 fps ∼100% +12%
Ulefone Armor X
1.6 fps ∼20% -78%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
7.3 fps ∼89% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (0 - 50, n=223)
7.79 fps ∼95% +7%

Legend

 
Land Rover Explore MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4 Samsung Exynos 7570 Quad, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
CAT S40 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Blackview BV9000 Pro Mediatek Helio P25, ARM Mali-T880 MP2, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
Ulefone Armor X Mediatek MT6739, PowerVR GE8100, 16 GB eMMC Flash

The Land Rover Explore is one of the fastest competitors for surfing the Internet—though users will still have to wait for media content from time to time.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
48.9 Points ∼100% 0%
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
48.863 Points ∼100%
Average of class Smartphone (11 - 224, n=361)
33.6 Points ∼69% -31%
Blackview BV9000 Pro (Chrome Mobile 53)
32.424 Points ∼66% -34%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4 (Chrome 58)
20.988 Points ∼43% -57%
Ulefone Armor X (Chrome 66)
18.148 Points ∼37% -63%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
9798 Points ∼100%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
9798 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 35255, n=497)
5005 Points ∼51% -49%
Blackview BV9000 Pro (Chrome Mobile 53)
4155 Points ∼42% -58%
Ulefone Armor X (Chrome 66)
3151 Points ∼32% -68%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4 (Chrome 58)
3133 Points ∼32% -68%
CAT S40 (Google Chrome 43.0.2357.93)
2052 Points ∼21% -79%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
CAT S40 (Google Chrome 43.0.2357.93)
33490.8 ms * ∼100% -686%
Blackview BV9000 Pro (Chrome Mobile 53)
16298.4 ms * ∼49% -282%
Ulefone Armor X (Chrome 66)
15875.7 ms * ∼47% -273%
Average of class Smartphone (718 - 59466, n=516)
11897 ms * ∼36% -179%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4 (Chrome 58)
11130 ms * ∼33% -161%
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
4261.4 ms * ∼13%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
4261 ms * ∼13% -0%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Land Rover Explore (Chrome 67)
156 Points ∼100%
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
156 Points ∼100% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (27 - 362, n=246)
99.4 Points ∼64% -36%
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4 (Chrome 58)
61 Points ∼39% -61%
CAT S40 (Google Chrome 43.0.2357.93)
38 Points ∼24% -76%

* ... smaller is better

With our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference microSD card, the Land Rover smartphone reached normal transfer rates. The internal eMMC storage medium's transfer rates are also typical. Compared to other devices in the Land Rover Explore's price range, these transfer rates are actually somewhat slow. On today's market, high-end smartphones are often equipped with much faster UFS 2.1 storage devices.

Land Rover ExploreSamsung Galaxy XCover 4CAT S40Blackview BV9000 ProUlefone Armor XAverage 64 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-16%
-45%
40%
-12%
24%
-9%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
66.3 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
55.66 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-16%
68.46 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
62.57 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-6%
52.1 (19.6 - 74.7, n=50)
-21%
44 (6.38 - 87.1, n=276)
-34%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
75.2 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
68.97 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-8%
76.7 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
2%
81.54 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
8%
70.5 (21.1 - 86.9, n=50)
-6%
62.3 (10.8 - 96.5, n=276)
-17%
Random Write 4KB
11.2
11.9
6%
5.39
-52%
12.72
14%
10.17
-9%
15.4 (3.4 - 71.1, n=57)
38%
13.5 (0.14 - 164, n=552)
21%
Random Read 4KB
28.7
21.8
-24%
14.93
-48%
72.6
153%
14.7
-49%
48.1 (11.4 - 149, n=57)
68%
34.5 (1.59 - 173, n=552)
20%
Sequential Write 256KB
104.5
73.6
-30%
64.3
-38%
174.62
67%
82.85
-21%
160 (40 - 216, n=57)
53%
72.1 (2.99 - 228, n=552)
-31%
Sequential Read 256KB
237.3
181.6
-23%
137.88
-42%
244.73
3%
255.34
8%
266 (115 - 704, n=57)
12%
211 (12.1 - 832, n=552)
-11%

Games - The Land Rover Explore is good for gaming

For those who are recovering from a recent mountain-climbing adventure it is also possible to play games on the Land Rover Explore. Even brand-new games, such as the freshly released Asphalt 9, run smoothly—though the frame rate comes in at just below 30 fps. PUBG Mobile stutters on occasion; Shadow Fight 3, on the other hand, runs flawlessly above 30 fps. Ultimately, the Land Rover Explore is not the perfect gaming device, but it can certainly please users with intermediate requirements.

Touchscreen- and position sensor-based controls worked perfectly in our tests.

Asphalt 9
Asphalt 9
PUBG Mobile
PUBG Mobile
Shadow Fight 3
Shadow Fight 3
PUBG Mobile
 SettingsValue
 Smooth25 fps
 Balanced24 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Shadow Fight 3
 SettingsValue
 high42 fps
 minimal42 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Asphalt 9: Legends
 SettingsValue
 High Quality29 fps
 Standard / low29 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!

Emissions - Land Rover Explore with front speaker

We measured a maximum temperature of 43.1 °C (109.6 °F) on the Land Rover Explore's case. This temperature is acceptable but could prove to be uncomfortably warm in the summer. In idle mode, the smartphone warms slightly to a maximum of 33.3 °C (91.9 °F), though this level of warmth is hardly palpable.

Max. Load
 42.5 °C
109 F
41 °C
106 F
39.6 °C
103 F
 
 43.1 °C
110 F
41.2 °C
106 F
39.9 °C
104 F
 
 43.1 °C
110 F
41.8 °C
107 F
40.1 °C
104 F
 
Maximum: 43.1 °C = 110 F
Average: 41.4 °C = 107 F
39.5 °C
103 F
41.4 °C
107 F
41.1 °C
106 F
39.7 °C
103 F
40.9 °C
106 F
42.9 °C
109 F
40.1 °C
104 F
41.8 °C
107 F
43.1 °C
110 F
Maximum: 43.1 °C = 110 F
Average: 41.2 °C = 106 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.3 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
Heat development front
Heat development front
Heat development back
Heat development back

Speaker

Speaker test Pink Noise
Speaker test Pink Noise

The speaker on the front can hardly be overlooked, given that it is covered with a large grille designed to mimic the grille on the front of Land Rover cars. The sound is good and reasonably loud. High tones are somewhat overrepresented, which can be bothersome at high volumes. Low mid-tones are present, though somewhat less audible than on high-end smartphones.

Speakers or headphones can be connected via Bluetooth or plugged into the 3.5 mm jack. Both function flawlessly and plugs hold securely in the jack.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2025.625.52527.1323125.4304025.230.45031.733.86322.827.1802125.810019.525.312517.72716016.832.720016.738.225015.241.531514.245.340013.653.350013.455.463012.760.280012.363.5100011.865.4125011.964.9160011.365.7200011.365.4250011.366.2315011.267400011.467.1500011.168.4630011.370.6800011.468.41000011.460.11250011.458.71600011.565.3SPL59.950.12478.4N12.96.60.541.3median 11.8Land Rover Exploremedian 63.5Delta1.610.231.634.125.433.425.332.332.927.633.628.131.634.428.430.12736.520.833.42241.221.347.620.852.121.255.219.457.419.560.317.765.417.968.617.87017.370.617.47216.771.317.269.718.27117.972.417.666.317.761.417.857.917.95818.149.218.246.63080.41.347.4median 17.9Samsung Galaxy XCover 4median 60.31.310.7hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Land Rover Explore audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.5% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.6% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 11% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 84% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 42% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 52% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Samsung Galaxy XCover 4 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.4% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.3% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 31% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 57% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 60% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 33% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life - Mediocre battery life, except with additional pack

Turned off or in standby, the smartphone's energy consumption is quite low. The maximum power usage in idle mode, on the other hand, is rather high (3 watts). The bright display explains this disparity. 8.6 watts under maximum load is also the highest energy consumption rate among our comparison list.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.2 / 0.4 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.2 / 1.5 / 3 Watt
Load midlight 4.5 / 8.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Land Rover Explore
4000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
2800 mAh
CAT S40
 mAh
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4180 mAh
Ulefone Armor X
5500 mAh
Average MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
24%
8%
2%
3%
0%
19%
Idle Minimum *
1.2
0.56
53%
1.2
-0%
1.04
13%
1.22
-2%
1.2
-0%
0.869 (0.2 - 3.4, n=582)
28%
Idle Average *
1.5
1.57
-5%
2
-33%
2.14
-43%
2.07
-38%
1.5
-0%
1.698 (0.6 - 6.2, n=581)
-13%
Idle Maximum *
3
1.68
44%
2.1
30%
2.17
28%
2.14
29%
3
-0%
1.954 (0.74 - 6.6, n=582)
35%
Load Average *
4.5
4.6
-2%
4.3
4%
5.11
-14%
4.92
-9%
4.5
-0%
3.98 (0.8 - 10.8, n=576)
12%
Load Maximum *
8.6
5.92
31%
5.3
38%
6.37
26%
5.4
37%
8.6
-0%
5.61 (1.2 - 14.2, n=576)
35%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

At 8:49 hours, the Land Rover Explore's battery life in our WLAN test is not spectacular—but if you connect the hefty Adventure Pack with a full charge, the smartphone easily lasts a good 19 hours here.

The quick-charge device included in the Land Rover's box fully charges the smartphone in less than 2 hours. The Adventure Pack has its own power connection and needs to be charged separately from the smartphone.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 49min
Land Rover Explore
4000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy XCover 4
2800 mAh
CAT S40
 mAh
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4180 mAh
Ulefone Armor X
5500 mAh
Battery Runtime
26%
16%
9%
60%
Reader / Idle
1388
1429
1139
WiFi v1.3
529
668
26%
611
16%
579
9%
845
60%
Load
205
370
277
H.264
681
629

Pros

+ great accessories
+ modular design
+ bright display

Cons

- battery life mediocre without additional battery
- display seems breakable

Verdict - Modular and practical for outdoors

In review: Land Rover Explore. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.
In review: Land Rover Explore. Test device courtesy of notebooksbilliger.de.

Simply as a smartphone, cost-wise you could say that the Land Rover Explore does not offer enough for its price: Its performance is weaker than other smartphones in this price bracket, and its display seems a little too exposed to survive a serious tumble unscathed. The battery life leans toward the mediocre, and the camera is no better than average. But the Land Rover Explore comes with a ton of accessories, and that makes all the difference. With its Adventure Pack, the Land Rover Explore converts into a behemoth in the realm of battery life—but it also weighs a total of 356 grams (0.78 lbs) and is quite bulky. The integrated GPS antenna did very well in our practical test, but the lack of precision in Google Maps is irritating.

The Land Rover Explore is a well-designed rugged smartphone with lots of accessories.

If desired, the display can get very bright, and you can operate the screen with gloves on. The device is water- and dust-proof and offers all the important functions you need from a ruggedized smartphone. The lack of protective covers on the connections could prove to be a problem—imagine needing to clean out the USB port after a mud bath. Because the manufacturer plans to release many exciting expansions for the Land Rover Explore—all of which will connect via the docking port on the back of the device—lovers of the great outdoors will probably find it worthwhile to take a closer look.

Land Rover Explore - 08/01/2018 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
41 / 60 → 68%
Weight
88%
Battery
91%
Display
82%
Games Performance
44 / 63 → 70%
Application Performance
53 / 70 → 76%
Temperature
85%
Noise
100%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
70%
Average
73%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Land Rover Explore Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2018-08- 4 (Update: 2018-08- 4)