Best Rugged Smartphone 2022

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There are a whole host of reasons why people buy rugged smartphones that range from hazardous workplaces to personal preferences. Whatever your reason, we’re betting that Samsung S10’s durability is not enough for you and you want something significantly tougher. The good news is there are plenty of options for you to pick from, and here are a couple of the best ones.

1. CAT Phones S61

This manufacturer has a thick history in the rugged phone business, so it’s no surprise to see them take the top spot. CAT S61 is the best out there, albeit the high price may play a heavy role in its superior quality. In addition to its dedicated IP68 and IP69 protection, S61’s frame is also of synthetic construction for even more durability.

Features

  • Octa-core Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 16MP+8MP dual-LED flash FLIR camera
  • 810G rugged certification
  • Android Oreo
  • SAF/EST compatible
  • 64GB storage
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 1080p IPS with wet-glove support

Pros

  • Supports 4G bands
  • Up to 60 minutes waterproofing at 3m
  • Quality display with a thermal camera
  • The screen works with wet gloves
  • All-weather durability

Cons

  • High price
  • No 5G

Price: View on Amazon

2. OUKITEL WP5

The phone’s massive 8000mAh battery capacity is perhaps its biggest selling point. While it doesn’t boast of IP69 protection like CAT S16, its combined 20MP camera is a surprising win. The device also offers a massive -10 to 70⁰C operating temperature for more ruggedness.

Features

  • 32GB storage
  • Face/fingerprint security
  • 4G bandwidth
  • Android 10
  • 4GB RAM
  • Quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU

Pros

  • Power for ages of use
  • Runs the latest Android software
  • Expansive runtime
  • Reasonable price
  • Little to no bloatware

Cons

  • The processor reaches only 1GHz max
  • Doesn’t support CDMA

Price: View on Amazon

3. Blackview BV9500 Pro Rugged

While the phone’s Android 8.1 OS is relatively outdated, there are plenty of other attractions like its IP69K protection. There’s no reason to think BV9500 Pro will be worse than any of their earlier designs. Indeed, the CPU setup is an Octa-core Helio P23 system that can reach 2.5GHz clock speeds.

Features

  • MIL-STD-810G protection
  • 128GB memory
  • 6GB RAM
  • 16MP dual rear and 13MP selfie cameras
  • 10W wireless charging
  • 4G bandwidth
  • 5.7” 1080p FHD IPS
  • 10000mAh battery

Pros

  • Offers a two-way radio for free calls
  • Reasonable price
  • Impressive weight for a rugged build
  • The walkie talkie is a superb addition

Cons

  • No face ID
  • Doesn’t support microSD external memory
  • Navigating the settings is burdensome

Price: View on Amazon

4. Blackview BV5900 Rugged Smartphones

Unlike BV9500, this low-range model doesn’t include the walkie talkie function or IP69 waterproofing. However, its IP68 water protection and 4G LTE cellular are still better than most models with similar costs. The OS is also better up to date, and its MT6761 processor is relatively okay, although it’s no Snapdragon.

Features

  • -30 to 50⁰C operational
  • Android Pie
  • 5.7” FHD IPS
  • 32GB storage
  • 3GB RAM
  • 13MP dual rear and 5MP front cameras
  • 5580mAh battery
  • Quad-core 2.0GHz

Pros

  • Cameras can operate underwater
  • Cheap
  • Supports face ID
  • Extremely durable

Cons

  • Not compatible with CDMA carriers
  • The screen is only Corning Gorilla 3
  • Difficult setup

Price: View on Amazon

5. Ulefone Armor X3

It’s also a budget smartphone choice like BV5900, but with a slightly downgraded hardware. However, there are some positive features unique to Ulefone X3 like its IP69K waterproofing and underwater mode. The display is also better since it uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

Features

  • 32GB storage
  • 5.5” HD IPS
  • 5000mAh battery
  • 2GB RAM
  • -20 to 60⁰C tolerance
  • 3G cellular
  • Android 9.0
  • Customized emergency button

Pros

  • Offers a dedicated underwater mode
  • Cheap
  • Has face ID
  • Reliable picture and super-durable
  • The programmable button is a nice touch

Cons

  • Software is relatively slow
  • No 4G or 5G connectivity

Price: View on Amazon

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