10 Best Rugged Smartphone: Shock & Waterproof Mobile Reviews

Best Rugged Smartphone

WHAT IS A RUGGED PHONE?

A Rugged phone is a ‘super’ Smartphone. It can withstand tough environmental factors. So, it is a great option especially for people who work in extreme conditions like firefighters, mountaineers, divers, etc. 

What makes them rugged are the superior materials they are made of. Although most of the components are similar to a Smartphone, rugged phones are designed differently.

It is made keeping durability in mind. It is sealed almost completely. Generally, thick plastic is used for its construction, instead of glass. Along with plastic, rubber parts are used for substantial strength.

A tempered screen cover is used to avoid cracks. The components of the phone are enclosed in protective cases. The exterior strength of the rugged phone is excellent.

Often, for enhanced strength, multilayered construction is used to make an ordinary phone the best rugged smartphone.

WHY USE RUGGED SMARTPHONES?

It’s a known fact that regular smartphones are extremely flimsy. It damages easily and fixing it means spending a lot of money. 

As the name says, rugged phones are very robust. Dropping them from large heights will not cause damage to them. They can absorb shock, so it won’t crack easily.

It is dustproof, so you can enjoy a day at the seaside without worrying about your phone. While you are there, you may want to swim too, right? Go ahead, rugged phones are waterproof as well. 

Many people don’t know a whole lot about rugged phones. And those who do know still cling on to their old phones. The reason behind this is the belief that rugged phones have bad specifications.

It used to be somewhat true earlier but now rugged phones have come a long way. Some of the best rugged smartphones are no longer bulky and hideous looking. 

Many models are aesthetically pleasing now. They are sleeker and lighter. Like a regular Smartphone, rugged phones have great functional features too.

Many of them have triple or quad cameras, ample storage, solid battery life, etc. Plus, they have other notable features like thermal scanning.

10 Best Rugged Smartphone Reviews:

Let’s review some best rugged smartphone models to help you decide.

1. Blackview BV6300Pro Rugged Cell Phone:

The model is marketed as the world’s slimmest rugged Smartphone. It is easy to see why. The Blackview BV6300Pro model has a body of 11.66mm and weighs around 230g.

It’s a welcome change from other rugged phones that are so bulky, they almost look ugly. At face value, it almost looks like a regular Smartphone due to its appealing, sleek body.

But don’t be fooled, it’s a rugged android phone. It can withstand water, drops, or weights. 

It comes with 4 back cameras and a front camera. The main back camera is 16 MP, which is similar to many regular android phones.

The other back cameras are an 8MP ultra-wide camera, a 2 MP camera, and a 0.3MP auxiliary camera. The front camera of 13MP can be used for face unlock. 

The model has a large storage capacity of 128 GB ROM and 6 GB RAM. It has a remarkable battery life of 4380mAh that can perform 18W fast charging and 10W wireless charging. Android 10 is the OS used in the Smartphone. 

The Blackview BV69300Pro has an excellent IP rating of IP69K, which means it can withstand high-pressure water and dust.

The specification also includes MIL-STD-810G, which is a US military standard for durability. It has a supreme octa-core processor speed of MediaTek Helio P70. It is one of the best-rugged smartphones of 2020.

Pros
  • Four back camera AND A front camera
  • One of the best-rugged smartphone
  • Slim design
Cons
  • Lags occasionally

2. Ulefone Armor 9E Rugged Smartphone:

It is one of the most rugged cell phones with a storage capacity of 128 GB ROM, 8 GB RAM, and an extra 1TB memory. 

The best part of its 64 MB camera is the underwater photography function. Other than that, the back panel includes an 8 MP, 2MP, 2MP camera. The front camera is of 8MP.

The IP (Ingress Protection) rating of this Smartphone is IP68, which means great resistance to external factors. It is one of the best waterproof phones. 

Like Blackview BV6300Pro also, Ulefone Armor 9E is also MIL-STD-810G specified. It has a 6600mAh battery life with 18w fast charging ability. It uses navigational systems like GLONASS, GPS, BEIDOU, etc.  

Ulefone Armor 9E has an Endoscope port that can be used to inspect the inner structure of objects. However, the endoscope camera is sold separately.

Pros
  • Supports Endoscopes
  • Remarkable battery life
Cons
  • Some might find it too large and heavy.

3. Ulefone Armor 8 Rugged Phone:

This is another great model from Ulefone. The body is tinted with alluring orange color. Ulefone Armor 8 has 4 GB RAM and 64 GB ROM, which is considerably lower than the previous two rugged smartphones we saw.

The processor is HelioP60 octa-core and the operating system is Android 10. Other than being a drop-proof and waterproof cell phone, it is fire resistant as well.

  • Battery capacity is 5580mAh.
  • Screen size is 6.1 inches. 
  • Triple rear camera is 16MP+5MP+2MP. 

Along with the Smartphone, you will get a charger, data cable, screen protector, SIM card remover, etc. Armor 8 is IP68K and IP69K specified, which means it can resist water, shock, and dust pretty well. 

It has dual SIM card slots. The sensors used in this rugged Smartphone are a Pedometer to measure the number of steps taken, a gyroscope for maintaining orientation, a proximity sensor, a gravity sensor, etc. The model supports fingerprint and facial recognition.

Pros
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Storage capacity is less than others.

4. Ulefone Armor 3W Rugged Smartphone:

Ulefone Armor 3W was released in 2019. It is comparable to some of the best-rugged smartphones.

This model has an unsurpassed battery life of 10300mAh battery along with fast charging capabilities. It has a display of an 18:9 ratio.

It has dual SIM card slots.  

Android 9 is the OS with Mediatek MT6771 Helio P70 octa-core processor. 

Pros
  • Distinct design
  • Excellent long-lasting battery life
Cons
  • The fingerprint scanner could have been better.

5. Ulefone Armor 7E Rugged Smartphone:

Ulefone Armor 7E is one of the best-rugged cell phones. The MediaTek Helio P90 processor is used here. 

It has two screens, a 6.3-inch screen, and a waterdrop screen. 

The storage capacity is remarkable, 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM. The operating system used to run is Android 9. 

The camera has a solid resolution of 16MP selfie camera, 48MP back camera, 2MP camera, and another 2MP camera. 

It has a battery life of 5500mAh. It includes an outdoor package and a heartbeat sensor. Other than that, the rugged phone comes with a data cable, OG, SIM card remover, charger, user manual, etc.

Pros
  • Ample internal storage
  • Good camera specifications
Cons
  • Android 10 is not available in the model

6. Ulefone Armor 9 Rugged Phone:

Ulefone Armor 9 has an attractive black design. The display size of this model is around 5.5 inches. It has a storage capacity of 8GB+128 GB. The battery supports 6600mAh.

Android 10 is the operating system used here. It has a triple camera, an 8MP front camera, and 64MP back camera along with two 2MP mini cameras. The model supports thermal imaging.

Pros
  • Outstanding battery strength
Cons
  • Even though the mobile supports an endoscopic slot, the endoscopic camera needs to be bought separately.

7. Blackview BV9800 Pro Rugged Phone:

The model has a distinct grey color. The screen size is 6.3 inches. It has an outstanding battery life of 6580mAh, which will last for a long time. The model has remarkable storage of 128GB ROM and 6GB RAM.

The processor used here is Helio P70 Octa-core. It provides the feature of thermal imaging. It is one of the most rugged smartphones on Verizon.

Pros
  • Great battery life
  • Huge ROM
  • Thermal imaging
Cons
  • Quite heavy

8. Ulefone Armor 8 4G LTE Dual SIM Rugged SmartPhone:

The Ulefone Armor 8 is orange-tinted and is military specified. 

  • The rear camera has a resolution of 16 MP, 5MP, and 2Mp. 
  • 8MP is the resolution of the front camera.
  • Screen size is 6.1 inches. 
  • Battery life of the Ulefone Armor 8 is 5580mAh. 

Helio P60 Octa-core is the processor in this model. The operating system used to run it is Android 10. The internal storage is 4GB RAM and 64 GB ROM.

Navigational systems like Glonass, GPS, Galileo are used. Face and fingerprint identification software is used. 

Pros
  • Triple camera
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Average internal storage size

9. Kyocera DuraFORCE E6810 Pro Rugged Smartphone Verizon:

The model comes in a black finish with curved edges. It is not the best rugged smartphone out there, but it is budget-friendly.

Instead of a Gorilla screen, it makes use of a Saphire shield. Kyocera DuraForce is 810G specified. The front camera is 5MP. 

It runs on Android 7 Nougat. The processor is Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-core. The internal storage is 32GB. It is lightweight at 4.8 ounces.

Pros
  • It is affordable
Cons
  • The resolution of the front camera is less than others.

10. CAT S52 Dual SIM Thinnest Waterproof Rugged Unlocked Phone:

The screen size of this model is 5.68 inches. It weighs around 7.4 ounces

It has a single back camera. 

The front camera is 8MP while the back camera is 12MP. The processor is MediaTek Helio P35.

  • The storage capacity of this model is 4GB RAM+64GB ROM. 
  • It has a battery of 3100mAh, which is not a lot. 
  • It comes with a display of 1400*720.
  • Android 9 Pie is the operating system used in the model. 

It has NFC (Near Field Communication) and OTG as well. The screen is covered with a strong Gorilla protector. 

Pros
  • It has an aesthetically pleasing design
Cons
  • Unlike many other best rugged smartphones, this model has only one rear camera

FAQ’S

What is the MIL-810G standard? 

It is a military standard used to test the performance of many products, including rugged phones. To make the best-rugged smartphone, it is checked for its resistance against environmental conditions like water, dust, shock, etc. 

To get MIL-810G certification, the manufacturer must subject the phone to various guidelines. If you are intending to buy a rugged phone, make sure it is certified. But, MIL-810G specification for commercial products is not completely regulated. So, the rugged phone’s durability cannot be 100% guaranteed.

What is the IP rating of rugged smartphones?

IP rating stands for Ingress Protection. The IP rating will tell you what protection your phone has against external factors. Often you will come across code like IP68 or IP69K when reading about the best rugged smartphones.

The first digit will tell you the level of protection that it offers. For example, 0 means no protection, 1 means protection from bigger objects, 2 means protection against smaller objects like stones, etc.

3 states protection against tools(>1mm), 4 means it offers protection against entry by solid objects, 5 means protection against light dust. 6 is the highest digit, it means protection against dust in general.

The second digit of the code specifies the product’s resistance against various amounts of pressured water.

So, in IP68, 6 states good resistance against dust, while 8 means protection against water submersion.

In IP69K, 6 states dust resistance while 9K states resistance against water under pressure.

Which are the brands that manufacture rugged phones?

Some well-known brands that manufacture best rugged smartphones are: 

  • Cat- It had started as a brand named Caterpillar, an equipment manufacturing company. Now, the Cat brand has many successful rugged phone models.
  • Samsung rugged phone– Samsung is famous for its Android phones. But did you know that it manufactures rugged phones as well? Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is both MIL-810G and IP68 specified.
  • Motorola rugged phone– Moto Z2 Force sets a tough competition against other rugged phones. It is tough, durable, and can withstand drops from huge heights.
  • Verizon- Even though Verizon Communications was formed in 2000, it has attained tremendous growth already. Verizon has some of the leading rugged phones of 2020.
  • What are the differences between a rugged phone and a regular Smartphone? Which one to buy?

Regular smartphones are more conventional. 

They have better specifications than a rugged phone and more affordable as well. 

Rugged phones, on the other hand, generally do not have as many features as a regular Smartphone. However, they offer unsurpassed reliability. Best rugged smartphones are resistant to factors like water, dust, shock, fall, fire, etc.

What are the features to look for while buying rugged phones?

Check whether it is MIL-810G and IP68 certified or not. Look for its camera specifications. Pay special attention to the OS, many rugged phones offer Android 10 nowadays.

Make sure the storage space is adequate and the battery life is long-lasting (at least 3000mAh). Pick the most durable phone in the price range.

What is the thermal imaging camera in rugged phones?

Thermal means heat energy. The camera can detect an object or a person even in the dark due to the heat emission. The best rugged smartphones make use of sensors to make this happen. The camera can color code the image into different shades depending on the heat emitted.

Best Rugged Smartphone Video Reviews:

YouTube Channel: Top 10 Zone

About Mobile Arrival

Mobile Arrival is an aspiring blogger, a gadget and smartphone geek, and a motorcycle enthusiast. He dreams of starting his own motorcycle and travel blogs and tech youtube channels someday.

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