Rugged phones are meant to be tough and are basically designed with durable materials to sustain damages when mishandled. All the phones listed in this article qualify the proof tests of water, dust and shock resistance, and have the capability to sustain the rough usages by outdoor cellphone users.
It is a fact that none of the current rugged phones are built slim while they give you the complete freedom of handling your phone, so be prepared for bulkier sized devices or wait for slimmer ones to arrive.
In the article it is marked that the listed phones have IP-67 or IP-68 rating. IP stands for International Protection rating which rates the degree of protection of a device. The first digit after “IP” indicates the solid particle (dust) protection, which can go upto a maximum of 6 indicating the highest solid particle protection. The second digit measures the protection level from water – A value of 7 means a protection up to 1 meter under water and a value of 8 indicates protection beyond 1 meter under water.
The phones listed in this article are ranked based on their respective ReviewGist Scores. ReviewGist Score is rank which a particular gadget earns based on the product’s ratings from the various expert review sources around the web. This list has also been narrowed down to provide you the most recently released product recommendations.
1. Kyocera Torque
Kyocera’s Torque is a strong and powerful phone with mid-range specs, perfectly suitable for its usage in rough environments. Torque deploys all the necessary features of today’s smartphone by enclosing them in a tough body. Notably, this waterproof and dust proof phone has a neat IPS LCD 4 inch touchscreen, runs the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and has the 4G LTE network support. Exclusively available from Sprint, Kyocera introduces an innovative feature with Torque – the Smart Sonic Receiver technology which eliminates the traditional earpiece and transmits the voice directly into your ear drum.
The other beneficial features of Kyocera Torque include expandable memory up to 32GB and frontal stereo speakers. Torque is found to be withstanding dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog and humidity, and read on to know what reviews have to say about the phone.
Summarizing the phone’s review, CNET states that Kyocera Torque stands apart from other similar smartphones by delivering a strong durable design without sacrificing the features. In a similar view, PCMag review too notes that with its design, excellent voice performance, solid specs, and LTE support, the Kyocera Torque for Sprint is the best push-to-talk smartphone. Added, the reviews also criticize about the bulky body, average camera and moderate performing speed as being few downsides of this phone.
Among the current line of tough phones in the market, Torque catches the eye by combining Android with sturdy features. Kyocera Torque can be suggested as a near perfect smartphone in the market right now and you could get a subsidy if you are buying this phone from Sprint.
2. Caterpillar CAT B15
CAT B15 is a sturdy smartphone offering from Caterpillar which runs the pure version of the latest Android Jelly Bean operating system enclosed in an aluminium body and a toughened rubberized casing. This water, shock and dust proof phone has dual SIM card support and is extremely adaptable to almost any kind of environment. Built to withstand all the knocks and scratches, CAT B15 is a smartphone which is loaded with pretty useful features like memory expandability and scratch-proof Corning Gorilla glass touch screen. Read on to know what reviews say about this phone.
With middling specs and acceptable features, CAT B15 has got moderated reviews from majority of the review sources. CNET review underlines the phone’s quite useful usage in construction sites and applauds the application productivity which the smartphone offers in the same place. TrustedReviews suggests that in fact there are plenty more reasons to like this phone as it looks good by ruggedized standards, comes with the silky smooth Jelly Bean Android OS and has a half decent camera and good battery life.
CAT B15 is the phone for you if you are very keen about using the Jelly Bean version of Android operating system on a really tough phone. Dual SIM support is there, but may be disappointed with the unimpressive camera, a dull 4 inch touch screen and bulky body.
3. Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
Samsung’s Galaxy Android smartphone product line also had started accommodating well-built phones and it was pretty much evident again with the the release of Xcover smartphone. Xcover 2 flaunts the features similar to any other rugged Android smartphone in the market but runs a higher version of Android OS: 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Even though the phone is bulky, it is comparatively a bit thinner than and lighter than the models in this article. Galaxy Xcover 2 is rated to be water and dust proof, read on know what reviews say about this phone.
Since, Xcover 2 has been launched recently, there are not many reviews available yet, but some of the early reviews suggest that the smartphone has some decent features but with a few drawbacks like lesser battery life and a dull 4 inch TFT LCD touch screen. PhoneArena review concludes that Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 is a niche product – sitting at the intersection between people who need a hardy phone (be it for work or for play) and the people who need a smartphone. CNET’s early hands-on review suggests that if you want a phone that looks more butch than the average shiny, glossy smartphone trinket – and you don’t mind a bit of extra bulk – then this could be the phone for you.
Galaxy Xcover 2 is a pretty good 3G phone released very recently into the market. And apart from its comparatively lesser battery life and unimpressive screen, there could be nearly no reasons to avoid choosing this smartphone.
4. Sonim XP Strike
Sonim XP Strike is a niche industrious phone from Sprint which is competing with the other smartphones in this list of other such phones. XP Strike is a feature phone running the proprietary BREW MP OS but the phone features a Qualcomm processor, a decent 2 Megapixel camera with flash and a memory expandability option. Being a bulkiest model when compared to other phones in the list, and having an average battery life, XP Strike stands as our choice because of its sturdy body build, useful basic features and positive reviews. Read on to know what reviews say about this phone.
It should be noted that other some rugged features and other simple options, there isn’t much to be expected from this phone. CNET review concludes that Sonim XP Strike is built like a brick, and it performed excellently both in call quality and taking a few knocks against the floor. PCMag rates this phone good and confirms the same that It doesn’t do much more than make calls, but the Sonim XP Strike is Sprint’s toughest push-to-talk cell phone.
Sonim XP Strike is the phone with a hefty 3-year warranty which means that the phone is built quite strong. Apart from its sturdiness, you wouldn’t expect more from the phone, but if you need the combination of features and design, you definitely have some cool smartphone options.
Note: This list of top phones was compiled in July 2013. As we continuously scan for the products available in the market to match them with their expert reviews, check out the page here to find the most updated product recommendation.