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Smartphone review: Energizer Energy E520 LTE – a rugged smartphone for travel with kids?

Smartphone review: Energizer Energy E520 LTE – a rugged smartphone for travel with kids?

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How does your smartphone fare during every day life and travel with kids? Mine is regularly covered in sticky finger marks and has taken its fair share of bumps. In fact, it’s pretty much had it. I’m on my second screen, its battery life sucks – lasting half a day if I’m lucky – and it’s sloooooow. It’s really not a smartphone fit for our family adventures. Luckily for smartphone users who like to eat through their battery power, Energizer have released a suite of new handsets that promise to go on and on regardless of what travel and family life throw at them. We were sent the Energizer Energy E520 LTE rugged smartphone to review. Read on to find out if it lived up to the hype:

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The Energizer Energy E520 LTE 

Enegizer Energy E520 LTE smartphone on Lisbon ruban beach

Energizer Energy E520 LTE specifications:

  • Dimensions: 150.8 x 76.2 x 11.1 mm
  • Display resolution: 720 x 1280 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~282 ppi density)
  • Camera: 13 Mega Pixels
  • Video: 1080p@30fps (frames per second)
  • Security: finger print detection

The Energizer Mobile range includes 13 handsets, which range from a £14.99 to £400. The Energy E520 LTE retails at £299. The full range can be purchased online at Amazon UK and Laptops Direct.

Energy E520 LTE performance

The Energizer Energy E520 LTE operates on Android 7 making it simple to use and sync with your Google account. I had no trouble navigating around my favourite apps like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, although Facebook did seem a bit slower than I’m used to.

Something that zaps the energy of my regular smartphone is taking pictures and video to use in my social media posts and on YouTube. I thought I’d see how the Energy E520 LTE coped with taking a video during a day out at River Dart Country Park on Dartmoor in Devon. While Mr Tin Box and the girls went for a canoe ride I filmed away and took a few snaps with the 13 MP camera.

I thought the unedited still pictures compared really well to my regular phone.

Mr Tin Box and girls in canoe taken on Energizer Energy E520 LTE smartphone

Taken on Energizer Energy E520 LTE smartphone

Mr TB and kids in canoe take on iPhone

Taken on iPhone 6s

The video didn’t come out quite so well. The 30 frames per second image is pixilated and the camera kept refocussing making the footage judder in places.

However, a video I took with the phone the following week turned out really well. Yep, that’s the phone being used in a cruise ship pool without any other layer or protection! More on that later!


Energy E520 LTE battery life

I can’t remember the last time my regular smartphone’s battery lasted a full day. As a consequence I carry not one but two power packs to top up the juice if we are away from home for more than 24 hours. I get plenty of looks at airport security as I unload all my devices and power packs into several trays to be scanned.

Travel tech including the Energizer Energy E520 LTE smartphone

The Energy E520 LTE is a different beast altogether. I gave it a full charge before going a week-long cruise followed by a five day trip to Barcelona.

During this time I used the phone to capture videos and still photos, as well as checking in on my social media. Incredibly, the battery lasted 12 days on stand by and with light daily use.

If I’d been using it as heavily as I use my usual smartphone, for constant updates on social media and photo-taking, I have no doubt it would still have lasted days. 

The Energy E520 LTE smartphone’s specifications boast up to 17 days standby time, 31 hours talk time, 12 hours of music and 6.5 hours of video play. That’s mind-boggling!

How robust is the Energy E520 LTE?

According to a recent YouGov survey 45% of smartphone users said that longer battery life was their most wanted feature, followed by shatter proof screens (21%) and being water resistant (16%).

So how waterproof is the Energy E520 LTE? I put it to the test in a cruise ship pool, handing it over to my eldest daughter, Tot, to give it a dip.

Energizer Energy E520 LTE in pool

She also took a few videos and photos. I’ll not subject you to her camera skills and shots of my thighs, but will say that I was impressed with the quality of the images we got under water. The touch screen wasn’t quite as responsive when it was covered in water droplets but after a wipe dry regained its normal functionality.

What about dust? Our next test was to take the Energizer Energy E520 LTE to the beach during a port day in Lisbon. This time my three-year-old, Baby, took control. She planted the smartphone in the sand and generally got in covered in dirt – activities that would usually make me break out in a cold sweat.

And the phone took it all, continuing to work right up until the last bar of battery life several days later.

Tin Box Baby holdijng Energizer Energy E520 LTE

Sounds like the best smartphone for battery life and robustness, right?

Well, I did think so until I tried to recharge the phone at home. I just couldn’t get it to take a charge so sent it back to the team at Energizer Mobile to investigate.

It turns out that some water had got into the handset damaging the charger connector. There’s a rubber bung in the jack port where you can insert headphones and it’s likely this wasn’t closed properly, letting the moisture in. It’s an essential learning point for anyone purchasing the phone that you must ensure that all lids are closed firmly before you put it in water.

Energizer Energy E520 LTE – overall impressions

The Energy E520 LTE is perfect for anyone who uses their smartphone heavily for browsing the internet and keeping in touch with their contacts but hates losing power mid-adventure. It’s also a great option for anyone who has had to pay for multiple screen replacements or has a habit of dropping their phone in wet and dusty places.

So, will I be giving up my regular smartphone? I have to honest and say no. I love it that the battery life is epic and that I wouldn’t have to constantly worry about the kids picking up the Energy E520 LTE and dropping it or getting it wet. 

However, an important feature for me is the quality of the images. If it wasn’t for this and the fact that images and video are such an important part of my job then I’d be seriously considering the switch. The Android 7 operating system is really easy to use and I was able to navigate around my favourite apps easily.

The Energy E520 LTE is one of the more affordable devices in the range, giving great value for money if ruggedness and battery life are top of your smartphone wish list.

Energizer Energy E520 LTE on child's lap on beach

Win a Energizer Energy E520 LTE – CLOSED

We’ve teamed up with the lovely people at Energizer Mobile to offer Tin Box Traveller reader the chance to win a Energizer Energy E520 LTE smartphone worth £299. The closing date for entries is 23:55 on Wednesday 11 July, 2018. Simply read the T&Cs below and log into the Rafflecopter using your email address or Facebook account. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

  • UK entrants aged 18 and over only.
  • The winner will be asked for their delivery address and a phone number for the purposes of delivering their prize.
  • All entries must be received by the advertised closing time at 23:55 on Wednesday 11 July, 2018.
  • The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  • The winner will be chosen at random through Rafflecopter and will be notified as soon as possible after the draw.
  • The winner will be contacted by e-mail. If they do not reply within seven days another winner will be chosen.
  • Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prizes impossible due to reasons beyond my control, and accordingly I may vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to me.
  • English law applies and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts shall prevail.
  • By submitting an entry through Rafflecopter, all entrants are acknowledging and accept the terms and conditions for the giveaway.
  • The winning entry will be validated and if the instructions for entry have not been followed for that Rafflecopter entry a new winner will be chosen.
  • Each Rafflecopter entry is a single entry into the giveaway and stands alone as such. Any incorrect entries from the winner only make these entry methods invalid, not all the winner’s entries. The winning entry method from them will still be valid as long as it complies with our other terms and conditions.
  • Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • The competition may be added to a number of sites for the purposes of promotion.

Disclosure: this giveaway and blog post are a collaboration with Energizer Mobile. I received payment to compensate for my time writing the review and running the giveaway.

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Looking for a smartphone with a battery that goes on and on, and is up to the challenge of travel with kids? Here's our Energizer Energy E520 LTE review #smartphone #travelgadgets #outdoorgadgets #traveltech #outdoorlife

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Lorna Wils

Thursday 12th of July 2018

Long life battery, is the most important thing.

Philip Stone

Wednesday 11th of July 2018

Camera is number one dealbreaker

Claire little

Wednesday 11th of July 2018

good càmera

Michelle Wild

Wednesday 11th of July 2018

A long battery life.


Wednesday 11th of July 2018

Long Battery life & a strong tough case are important to me

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