Best Rugged Phone In 202: Smartphones Which Can Take A Beating
Waterproof, shockproof, perhaps bombproof, phones for builders and industrial use
Looking for the best rugged phone? This guide will help you pick the one with the right features for you – and at the best price.
Durability is a feature everyone looks for in smartphones even the latest flagship phones from Apple and competitors have started getting a little fatter to give them better battery life but for some that isnt enough. It isnt only important how long a phone will stay on, but whether itll survive a tough day on the job or a vicious trek into the wilderness.
The best rugged smartphones take risk, danger, and outdoor use really seriously, with drop and shock-proof design, high levels of dust and water resistance and perhaps even features which will help in the field.
This is proven by standards including Ingress Protection 68 , or higher meaning your phone will be built to prevent water and dust getting in. The better the score here, the longer it resisted.
In the clatter of manual work, or extreme sport, phones get dropped. Rugged phones are drop tested, and the higher they can fall without breaking, the better the measure is the drop onto concrete , and its also worth looking out for the screen material. Gorilla Glass Victus, the latest version of the legendary protected screen.
Best Compact: Unihertz Atom Xl
Helio P60 is not a champ
This smartphone is packed full of surprises. In addition to being built tough, which we’ll get to, this phone has accessories that make it that much more exciting, especially if you’re an outdoors type of person. For starters, the 48-megapixel camera, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of on board storage are all fairly respectable. The Helio P60 processor and four-inch screen are not the greatest by today’s standards, but still enough to get everyday tasks done. Plus, the XL version of this phone comes with a removable antenna which allows you to turn your smartphone into a walkie-talkie.
You can tell this phone is durable just by looking at it. You’ll first notice the rubberized grip around the top, bottom, and back. Add to that the grippy backplate and aluminum side rails, and this is definitely a phone you can carry in your nail apron. The exposed screw heads just add to the air of toughness that surrounds this bad boy.
Kyocera Duraforce Ultra: The Toughest Verizon Phone
Most of our rugged phones rely on 4G LTE for the bulk of their service, but the Kyocera Duraforce Ultra is the way to go if you need top-end speeds. Its the only entry to support Verizons mmWave 5G network, even if it does come at a cost. This device is pretty expensive, and it comes with mid-range internals, including a Snapdragon 765G SoC, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Kyoceras main selling point is the connection speed, as we found that the 4,500mAh battery and the camera array were not the best. You wont find any extra camera features like night vision or thermal support, and the images themselves tend to come out soft. However, the phone is tough as nails with an and MIL-STD 810H certification.
Check out our full review to learn more about the Kyocera Duraforce Ultra.
Also Check: Cheapest Data Plans For Android
Unihertz Atom Xl: A Rugged Phone With Walkie
The Unihertz Atom XL follows the well-established footprint of the Atom L, with one fundamental change an antenna for walkie-talkie functionality. Its one of the smallest devices on our list, with just a 4-inch Gorilla Glass 3 display. While that may not be the toughest glass around, Unihertz does include a pair of plastic screen protectors right in the box. The Atom XL is also working with a Helio P60 CPU, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of expandable storage.
A single press of the Atom XL’s red button gives you up to 8km of walkie-talkie range.
Unihertz added a red button to the side of the Atom XL, which is the easiest way to activate Push-To-Talk when the antenna is installed. When the antenna is inactive, the button becomes a hotkey with short press, long press, and double-tap functions. The 4,300mAh battery isnt the largest on the list, though the smaller phone requires less power to keep the lights on. It also carries the most considerable bezels of any device on our list.
- Small screen with big bezels
- Not the latest MIL-STD rating
Check out our full review to learn more about the Unihertz Atom XL.
Advanced Rugged Smartphone With Thermal Camera And Endoscope
A more affordable alternative to CAT phones, Ulefones 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. Several attachments are included: a protective case, reflecting mirror, hook, and magnet. The phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P90 processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It has a 6.3 FHD+ IPS display and a 6,600 mAh battery. The Armor 9 has all the rugged features one would expect from Ulefone, including MIL-STD-810G testing compliance with drop testing to 1.2 meters, an IP68 water resistance rating, and also an IP69K rating for protection against close-range high pressure and high temperature spray downs. The rear camera features Samsungs leading 64MP ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor with a 4-light flash, and it supports underwater photos and videos. A customizable side button can be set up for frequently used functions or apps.
PROS: Android 10, thermal camera, endoscope, dual SIM, headphone jackCONS: Heavy
Also Check: Document Creator App For Android
Ulefone Power Armor 1: Huge Battery Great Overall Experience
The Ulefone Power Armor 13 might have the biggest battery weve ever seen in a smartphone. It has an impressive 13,200mAh battery, which far overshadows all popular phones with the best battery life. Ulefone claims it can handle up to five days on a single charge! It also helps that you get fast 33W charging and 15W wireless charging.
Other specs arent as impressive, but theyre pretty good in the world of the best rugged phones. It comes with a Mediatek Helio G95, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. The 6.81-inch Full HD+ IPS display is pleasant, and youll also get a quad-camera setup. In terms of ruggedness, it comes with IP68/IP69K and MIL-STD-810G ratings. Its also relatively affordable considering all you get.
Best Rugged Smartphones Of 202: Waterproof Shockproof And Ip68 Mobiles
ByDesire Athowlast updated 23 March 22
Our choice of the best rugged handsets available right now
The best rugged smartphones on the market offer extreme durability, massive batteries and a wealth of features specific to outdoor use cases. We’ve tested all the top handsets designed for intensive use and picked out the absolute best options.
The following rugged smartphones are dust and water-resistant, and sometimes are totally waterproof, with cases or shells that are tough enough so you can drop them on hard surfaces without them breaking. Some of these devices will survive any impact, bump or drop without bearing a scratch, making them ideal for use while outdoors or in dangerous environments.
Some of the phones on this list have even undergone stringent tests to ensure they meet military standards and can thus withstand extreme temperatures, shocks and more.
Also Check: Best Place To Buy Unlocked Android Phones
Kyocera Durasport 5g Uw Best 5g Rugged Smartphone Verizon And At& t
- Limited RAM and internal storage
- Android 11 OS
Display: 6.1 inches IPS LCD | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 | RAM: 4GB | Internal Storage: 64GB | Rear cameras: 48MP f/1.8 wide angle and 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera | Front camera: 8MP f/2.0 | Battery: 4500 mAh| Weight: 185g
The Kyocera DuraSport 5G UW, priced at $579.99, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 processor with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, two rear cameras, 6.1-inch IPS LCD Gorilla Glass 6 display, and a large capacity 4,500 mAh battery. It supports wireless charging so you dont need to remove the bottom USB-C port plug to top it off.
Rugged phones are built to withstand the elements of field work and with the new Kyocera DuraSport 5G UW we get the additional support of Verizons 5G network. This phone just arrived in our hands and we are working on a full review. Its much sleeker than the DuraForce Ultra that Kyocera offered previously for Verizon customers.
The phone is designed to withstand the elements and rough handling with IP68 dust/water resistance, MIL-STD 810H shock test certification, and action overlay data designed to enhance your outdoor adventures.
Leak: Next Samsung Galaxy Active At& t Rugged Smartphone
Here we have a look at the next Samsung Galaxy Active rugged smartphone on its way to AT& T.
Besides the image, we have very little information to share about this phone, although thats not to say theres nothing known about it.
For example, this exact phone was spotted earlier in the year at MWC 2019 and at the time, the phone was said to be like a Samsung Galaxy S9, but not quite. In other words, it draws on many of the specs of the phone but opts for a completely different design compared to the flagship Galaxy S line.
While a more rugged look and feel has been part of the Active smartphone line in the past, these Active versions have still tended to resemble their Galaxy S counterparts to some degree. That clearly appears to be less the case this time around as this phone does away with an all-screen look in favor of easy to use physical buttons.
One of the reasons for this is likely to be the fact this is unlikely to arrive branded as an Active version of Samsungs Galaxy S line. Last year there had been an expectation Samsung would launch a Galaxy S9 Active variant, although that never came to be in the end.
The report from earlier in the year suggested that expected Galaxy S9 Active had been somewhat repurposed for use by those outside of the general consumer market a more rugged phone aimed at government and agency use, such as by the fire and/or police departments. At the time, there was no specific mention this device would make its way to the U.S.
Also Check: How To Photoshop A Photo On Android
Best Rugged Smartphones Of 2022
Software on the best rugged smartphone is no slouch either, as most offer extra features that are vital in certain lines of work: some might have infrared cameras, sound level meters, and sometimes even VOC detectors.
So whether it’s your hobby or your profession that is leading you to wild or dangerous places, and has you needing a device that’ll last a long time with plenty of features, or simply makes you prefer hardy phones over fashionable yet fragile standard smartphones, the best rugged smartphone is what you need.
Finally, just bear in mind that while all ruggedized smartphones will be waterproof and dustproof , not all waterproof phones will be ruggedized. So think carefully while shopping for the best rugged smartphone for your needs, and make sure you look into all the features that these handsets boast.
So, read on to find out our top picks for the best rugged phones on the market right now.
We’ve also featured:
The Nokia XR20 is the first rugged smartphone to launch under the Nokia banner with the help of HMD Global which now owns the brand. Unlike other rugged smartphones that stand out due to their designs, the Nokia XR20 is meant to blend in with its slim profile and sleek look.
In terms of durability, the XR20 is IP68 certified, MIL-STD-810 rated and is the first rugged smartphone to feature Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The device also features a red emergency button along with a dedicated, non-customizable Google Assistant button.
Best Updated Phone: Cat S42
The CAT S42 is an impressively rugged phone, packing a bulky, hearty plastic exterior with covered ports as well as enhanced water, drop, and thermal shock resistance. Its so well-protected, in fact, that CAT advertises it as a phone you can simply wash with soap and water.
On the other hand, the CAT S42 features entry-level components akin to those of a much cheaper budget phone, which means it delivers sluggish performance, has a low-quality screen, and only takes decent photos in strong lighting conditions. Its usable, however, and the battery can provide two days of solid usage. Still, given the $300 price, the CAT S42 is only really ideal for those who require such extreme protection. Otherwise, youre better off buying a more powerful phone for around the same price and snagging a durable case for it.
“Its built to last: with modest use, you should be able to stretch the CAT S42 out across two full days on a single charge, or potentially more.” Andrew Hayward, Product Tester
Recommended Reading: Pos Card Reader For Android
Best Budget Rugged Smartphone
The Oukitel WP5 proves that you dont have to spend a premium price to get a decent rugged smartphone. The WP5 has some unexpected features at this price point: a massive 8,000 mAh battery, triple rear camera with quad flash light, fingerprint sensor, and face ID unlock. The WP5 is sufficiently 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 30 minutes. It is also resistant to extreme temperatures . The WP5 is designed for industrial workers and outdoor enthusiasts, and at this price it is a good option as a second phone or a travel phone.
PROS: Very affordable, Android 10 , dual SIMCONS: Only 32GB storage , not full HD
About Our Trusted Experts
Adam Doud has been writing and podcasting about mobile technology since 2013. He’s used every major phone platform since then including some that are no longer around any more. When he’s not obsessing over the latest smartphone to come from Apple, LG, Samsung, and others, he can be found behind the microphone on his podcast, the Benefit of the Doud.
Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based writer and reviewer who’s been covering technology and games since 2006. He’s previously been published in TechRadar, Stuff, Polygon, and Macworld. Over the course of his career he’s covered hundreds of gadgets, including smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, video games, and more.
Recommended Reading: How To Esign A Document On Android
Best For Construction: Cat S61
Ships with Android Oreo
CAT is not done in this category though because the S61 has a boatload of surprises packed in as well. We call this the best phone for construction because it is built tough. In addition to IP68 water resistance and Mil-SPEC 810G standards, this phone sports metal rails on each side and a grippy rubberized back as well. But the CAT S61 is not done! Because a construction phone needs to be handy around a construction site, this phone comes equipped with laser distance measurement, a FLIR thermal camera, and an air quality sensor and monitor. Not only will this phone keep you safe, it will help with your work as well.
Under the hood, you have a Snapdragon 630 processor, 64 GB of on board storage, 4 GB of RAM and a 4,500 mAh battery with Quick Charge 4. That’s a lot of power in this 5.2-inch little package. Unfortunately, unlike its counterpart on the list, this phone ships with Android Oreo, which is older, but still a good operating system. The extra sensors and tools are nice, but if you’re worried about security, an older operating system is no good.
G Rugged Smartphone Verizon And At& t Best Price
What is the best 5G rugged smartphone that works with Verizon and AT& T network? Kyocera DuraForce, Ulefone Armour 10 and Sonim XP8 are notable in this line up. They are chosen due to extreme durability, massive batteries and a wealth of features specific to outdoor use cases. Where to find best price for 5G rugged smartphone Verizon and AT& T?
Consumer Reviews is supported by its audience. This website contains Paid Links. As an affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchase. Find More
Doogee S97 Pro: The Best Budget Rugged Phone
Doogee may not have the name recognition of either Nokia or Cat, but it knows how to make durable devices. The S97 Pro is the latest offering, and it replaces the still-solid Doogee S96 Pro. Its large and in charge with a hefty rubber and metal construction that comes in three colors Orange Tiger, Red Lava, and Silver Black.
You shouldnt find yourself hurting for power at any point with the S97 Pro, thanks to its Helio G95 chipset and unbelievable 8,500mAh battery. That behemoth of a battery charges at 33W as well, so you should only have to spend about 75 minutes to get back to full strength.
There’s no way you can burn through this beastly 8,500mAh battery in a hurry.
Doogee bid farewell to the 3.5mm headphone jack this time around, though the pair of customizable smart keys on the side should make navigation easier. The phone itself is IP68 and IP69K certified, and we put it through splashes and drops from up to five feet without any damage.
- Not the latest MIL-STD rating
Check out our full review to learn more about the Doogee S97 Pro.
At& t And Sonim Announce The Xp8 A $699 Ultra
We don’t often see much into the world of ultra-rugged smartphones and tablets as “normal” consumers, though we catch glimpses from time to time from the likes of CAT and such. These devices take many steps beyond the Galaxy S Active series in terms of durability. Since AT& T seems to be fond of these phones, it and Sonim have announced the XP8 for use on FirstNet. This phone looks like one solid piece of technology and, despite its middling specifications, it will cost a whopping $699.
Read Also: Cheap Large Screen Android Phones