Think back to your first mobile phone and your experiences with it, and I’ll bet most of your stories will have a similar theme to mine. Phones were far chunkier then, Snake was the game of choice, and sticky tape held many a battery in place due to multiple… accidents. Back then, I didn’t have to worry about my bulky old phone taking a few hits, because it was a life-proof device – and that’s exactly the feeling Hisense evoked in me during my review of the C30 Rock smartphone.

Technical specifications
Price and supplier information

The C30’s packaging art shows the phone positioned between dust and water, a clear indication that this phone is designed with ruggedness in mind. If you need proof of this, don’t stress – we did our own “super test” of its hardiness, which you can see in action here.

The launch event I attended last month highlighted the C30 Rock with a clever mix of stunning pop art and the brute strength of the Lions rugby squad. After way too many awkward selfies with the mighty Lions, I wondered how long the phone would last in a bucket of mud. Because from dust and water we get… you get the gist, right?

Friends and I dropped the phone from a standing height onto wood flooring, tiles and grass. We submerged it in a jug of soft drink, and eventually dumped it in the pool, where we left it for quite a while, making phone calls to it to see if my Kreepy Krauly would answer. Sadly, the touch-lock feature protects the screen when submerged, so we got no answer. There was never a moment where the phone failed or felt too flimsy to handle the abuse of our day-to-day “mishaps”. So, I did what any normal guy would do: I sent the phone to a construction site surrounded by heavy machinery.

A friend of mine is currently involved in building the new Centurion Mall, and I figured, since I’m not allowed to wander around construction sites, why not let him use the phone for a week, see what’d happen? The result? Not a scratch! This is despite the fact that I’ve not seen a phone in this friend’s hands without a cracked screen since the dawn of phones. His current phone is encased in a protective vault of sorts, and yet it still has a cracked screen. Hisense include a clear cover in the box, but this phone is too sexy to encase (even with a clear case), and honestly, it doesn’t appear to need it.

Nowadays most of us purchase a phone cover the very day we buy a new phone, and this is my point: back in the technicolour days, we purchased a new phone without needing to worry about protective cases, and we only needed to bother replacing it when it refused to switch on after years of constant abuse. Now, with the Hisense C30 Rock, technicolour is back, baby!

This dual-SIM phone boasts a Full HD, 5.2-inch display, 32GB storage, 3GB RAM, an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, and runs Android 7.0 (Nougat). The 16-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras offer sufficient imagery, and the camera software is backed up by an assortment of cool modes. Hisense has customised the Android OS, which performs smoothly and doesn’t feel resource hungry.

The fact is that the IP68-rated (together with a shockproof rating of IK04) Hisense C30 Rock smartphone is priced at a ridiculously low R4,500. For the price, you get a stunning, incredibly robust smartphone. The only reason I’m scoring this phone slightly lower than I’d like is due to the lack of certain features we’ve come to expect from other devices released during 2017, such as fingerprint security / retina scanning, a better-than-3000mAh battery, wireless charging and USB Type-C connectivity.

7The Hisense C30 Rock is a robust phone that’s well-suited for the weekend warrior, or the rock-climbing, river-rafting boardroom executive.

More stuff like this: