Smartphones have come a long way since they were first introduced into the market a few years ago, and although most current smartphones contain the same specs, there are some variations that are targeted at various styles of life.
For those people who are prone to often break smartphones made of glass or brittle plastic, there are some rugged and industrial-grade options that give a quality experience without the worry of having the smartphone breaking.
These are rugged smartphones, and they are designed for those that tend to have challenging, physical jobs or lifestyles, and to work through constant exposure to environmental hazards.
These top 6 smartphones have been tested rigorously against shock, water, dust, extreme temperature, and vibration.
1. Ulefone Armor 7E (2020)
With the quick advancement of rugged smartphone models made by companies like Ulefone, customers no longer have to sacrifice features for strength and durability when it comes to owning a rugged smartphone. The Ulefone Armor 7E has features that are competitive with conventional phones in the same price range, and it actually beats many of them on the low cost. The Ulefone Armor 6E is a 6.3-inch, dual-SIM phone running Android 10 (Pure Android with no ads) and is powered by the octo-core 2.2GHz MediaTek Helio P90 Processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. With MIL-STD-810G testing compliance and an IP68-rating, the Armor 6E can survive a 1.2-meter drop, be operated in temperatures from -20℃ to 60℃, and submersed up to 1.5 meters underwater for up to 30 minutes. The Samsung 48MP Triple Rear Camera is designed to work underwater and has a night mode, along with a bright flash with five LEDs. The 2340 x 1080 FHD+ IPS display is resistant to scratches and fingerprints, and the large 5,500mAh battery ensures whole-day use. The Armor 7E offers satisfaction with the latest features like a fingerprint sensor, face unlocks, wireless charging compatibility (Qi Standard), NFC, and a USB-C port. The Armor 7E is designed for global use with compatibility in most countries.
PROS: Affordable price, modern and competitive specs, and very rugged
CONS: No headphone jack
2. Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
The Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is designed for frontline workers and businesses. It is MIL-STD-810G-certified, drop tested to 1.5 meters, and IP68 water-resistant. The touch screen still works even with gloves, and the 6.3″ display is made of Gorilla Glass 5. The smartphone has two programmable buttons, which can be used for, scanning, push-to-talk, or other business applications. The phone is powered by a Quad 2.3GHz + Quad 1.7GHz Octa Core processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The 4,050mAh battery is replaceable and removable, an uncommonness in modern smartphones, but an important feature for those who expect to use the phone for a long time. The phone is also mPOS ready with NFC, and is capable of accepting credit card payments with contactless cards without using extra hardware. The phone is also equipped with Samsung Knox for protection against hackers.
PROS: Inconspicuous design, Android 10, removable battery, and dual SIM,
CONS: For the price, it has not much storage (64GB)
3. OUKITEL WP5
The Oukitel WP5 demonstrates that you don’t have to spend a high price to get a decent rugged smartphone. The WP5 has some unpredicted features at this price range: a massive 8,000 mAh battery, triple rear camera (13MP) with a quad flashlight, fingerprint sensor, and Face ID unlock. The WP5 is competently durable and is 810G-compliant and IP68-rated. It is drop tested to 1.5 meters and can withstand submersion 1.5 meters underwater for half an hour. Additionally, it is also resistant to extreme temperatures (-55C to 70C). The WP5 is designed for outdoor enthusiasts and industrial workers and at this price, it is a good choice as a second phone or a travel phone.
PROS: Very affordable, Android 10 (stock), and dual SIM
CONS: Only 32GB storage and not full HD (720×1440 HD+)
4. Ulefone Armor 9
A cheaper alternative to CAT phones, Ulefone’s flagship rugged phone has advanced specs plus a FLIR thermal imaging camera and a detachable waterproof endoscope. The endoscope has a 2-meter cable and LED lights around the camera. Various attachments are included: a reflecting mirror, protective case, magnet, and hook. The smartphone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P90 processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Armor 9 has a 6.3″ FHD+ IPS display and a 6,600 mAh battery. It has all the rugged features one would anticipate from Ulefone, including MIL-STD-810G testing compliance (low pressure, humidity, acidic atmosphere, and solar radiation) with drop testing to 1.2 meters, an IP68 water resistance rating, and an IP69K rating for protection against close-range high pressure and high-temperature spray downs. The rear camera features Samsung’s leading 64MP ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor with a 4-light flash, and it captures underwater photos and videos. A customizable side button can be set up for often-used apps or functions.
PROS: Dual SIM, Android 10, thermal camera, endoscope, and headphone jack
CONS: Heavy (320 grams)
5. Sonim XP8
Sonim is a serious contender in the rugged mobile industry, It holds the Guinness World Record for highest mobile phone drop (25 meters) with its XP3300 Force. Its rugged smartphones are often the go-to choice for professional use. Following the highly-regarded XP7, the Android 7.0-powered Sonim XP8 features MIL-STD-810G ruggedness and is a good choice for harsh outdoor environments and industrial workplaces. It is IP68 dustproof and waterproof and is also resistant to extreme temperatures, vibration, pressure, and oil, and chemicals. It offers superb shock and drop resistance and the FHD 5″ Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen can be operated even with either gloves or wet fingers. Useful features include 100dB+ speakers, dedicated push-to-talk and SOS buttons, removable 4,900mAh battery, NFC, and Quick Charge 4.0 USB-C port.
PROS: Removable battery, excellent durability, and loudspeaker,
CONS: Heavy at 335 grams
6. CAT S61
The CAT S61 has a thermal imaging camera and an indoor air quality monitor and also includes a laser-assisted distance measurement function and, making it useful for industrial settings and construction work. Other developments over the S60 include a Qualcomm SD630 Octacore 2.2GHz CPU, Android 8 (Oreo), 4GB RAM/64GB ROM, 4500mAh battery (Quick Charge 4.0 compatible), shock resistance (1.8-meter drop tested), Super Bright 5.2” Display (Full HD 1920×1080), Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 16MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, and 8MP front camera. The S61 features IP68 & IP69 dust and water resistance, vibration resistance, extreme temperature resistance, and MIL-SPEC-810G Category 4 Resistant to humidity and salt mist. The S61 offers outstanding upgrades over the S60 but comes at a significantly higher cost with a list price of almost $1000.
PROS: Unique specialty features and big upgrades over S60
CONS: High price tag.
Conclusion: So after I gave you detailed features of our top 6 rugged smartphones, what stands out to you? What are you going to choose? Any of the rugged smartphones mentioned above offers high-quality specs with military-grade durability. They are all designed to be with you whether you travel or simply going to your outdoor activity and work.