Last November I was in Paris for the launch of the latest Crosscall model, the Action-X3, a smartphone that is suitable for unpredictable environments.
So ideal for climbers, mountain bikers, snowboarders, skiers, surfers etc. In recent months I have used the Action-X3 during skiing, mountain biking and as a screen for controlling and taking pictures with the Mavic Pro drone.
Through Crosscall, the Action-X3 is placed as a waterproof and shockproof with a very long battery life outdoor smartphone with innovative technology. The smartphone is easy to confirm, recharge and transfer your data; all in one go thanks to the magnetic X-Link system. Enjoy optimal sound in noisy locations and excellent video and photo quality even without light. The device weighs 213 grams.
Ergonomics & Design
The Crosscall models have a recognisable design and the characteristic thicker edge. Similarly the Action-X3. However, this is considerably thinner, lighter and narrower. This makes it possible to use it well both during exercise and within an office environment.
Falls are no problem. We have dropped it on different surfaces, and the Action-X3 is still intact.
The display is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Can be operated wet or with gloves. This is one of the aspects that makes the Action-X3 particularly suitable for outdoor activities. Just like the power that the screen can have. Up to 230 kg before it breaks. I take this for ‘true’ because I have not tested.
The Action-X3 has some noteworthy certifications, such as the IP67 (water and dust resistant), IK02 (resistant to energy influences), MIL-STD-810G (shock/fall resistant).
An hour in two meters deep water should not be a problem for the Action-X3, as well as 24 hours in low water. The latter have tested in the sink in the kitchen. No air bubbles are seen, and the device still functions properly. It is essential to close the covers of the headphone output and USB-C port properly.
The volume and screen lock buttons on Action-X3 are easy to operate with gloves. Personally, I am very pleased with the customizable button. By pressing and holding down for a moment, the camera, SOS message or other application can be activated. I used the button mainly to open the DJI GO 4 App.
The Action-X3 also continues to function at cold temperatures. I use a smartphone – usually my iPhone – for flying with the Mavic Pro.
This works well in environments where the temperature is well above zero. If the temperature drops below zero, the iPhone will drop out frequently, and the battery will be empty in no time. I used the Action-X3 at temperatures around -8 degrees Celsius without any problems.
The device is equipped with a 5 inch, 1280×720 pixels HD screen, protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This keeps the screen stays in wet weather and easy to operate and function; also with gloves on, both liners and thick winter sports gloves.
Interface & Navigation
The Action-X3 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8937 processor, a 5-inch screen (720 x 1,280 pixels), 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage memory that can be expanded with a microSD card up to 128 GB. The main and selfie camera respectively have a 12 and 5-megapixel resolution. 4G and dual SIM. The Action-X3 is equipped with a 3,500 mAh battery. The device runs on a stock version of Android 7, so you can count on quick updates of the software and uses the navigation logic as we know Google. Such as the usual notification and shortcut panels, the application menu and the Google apps package, such as Youtube, Gmail, Drive, Maps etc.
Crosscall has an integrated application that contains all sensor values; the X3 sensors. This gives access to compass, accelerometer, GPS, proximity meter, light sensor data, Bluetooth, network and a battery discharge current sensor.
Photo & Video
The device is equipped with a 12-megapixel camera and 5-megapixel front camera. I mainly used the primary 12 MP camera on the back of the device. The camera on the front of the device is a lot less advanced and has a fixed focus distance. I used the smartphone in different (light) situations and videos and photos shot in the sun, against the sun, with clouds, in the evening, with moving objects, landscape and portrait.
The camera app of the Action-X3 is simple and exactly what you need. You can turn the flash on or off, turn on HDR, choose a colour filter, choose the size of the photos, adjust exposure, white balance, ISO and set a countdown timer. In the dark, colours are slightly valued. Nevertheless, the Crosscall Action-X3 is capable of delivering an impressively excellent photo and video with little motion blur.
Sound & In-Ear headset
The sound of the Action-X3 is fine. Not excellent but sufficient to music or call on the speaker in room strength. The Action-X3 comes with a waterproof (IPX6) in-ear headset with ‘L’, ‘M’ and ‘S’ sized caps so that everyone can use it. My experience is that the earplugs stay in place while exercising and give a good sound quality.
The battery lasts a day or two or three without being charged. That is considerably more than that I am used to from my iPhone, which I have to put on the charger every day.
An arsenal of accessories is available for the Action-X3. Especially interesting for the active persons. The device is thus equipped with an integrated mount; the so-called X-Link system. This system consists of a magnetic connector at the rear on which a variety of accessories can be connected.
There is the X-POWER – a battery with 5000 mAh – the X-CAR for charging in the car and the X-BIKE, which has a guaranteed pulling power of 50 kg. So that the device does not bounce off every bump.
The X-DOCK is a docking station that allows files, photos and videos to be transferred to and from the laptop. Very useful because it offers a lot of conveniences because you do not have to open the cover of the USB connector.
The Action-X3 is a must for active outdoor and action athletes among us. The device is fully equipped and does not deter water and/or shocks. The price is what you can call competitive compared to for example Apple and Samsung. The Crosscall Action-X3 has been available in the Netherlands since the end of November and costs € 349, -. This is excluding accessories.