We’ve been talking about smartphones for years now, and there’s this particular smartphone category I haven’t been talking about, Rugged smartphones. Just as the name sounds, these smartphones can survive under any condition, and they are dust-resistant, waterproof and shockproof phones. These types of smartphones are ideal for outdoors and construction sites, but just anyone can use them, especially if you’re the type that your phone gets damaged easily from accidents.
Although regular smartphones have improved over the years and are now more durable, however, that doesn’t guarantee it is damage-proof. Rugged phones are not completely safe either, but unlike regular smartphones, rugged phones are designed basically to withstand conditions that regular smartphones won’t survive in.
Interestingly most of these rugged phones can survive hot and cold water. Ulefone recently shared a video of its new rugged phone, which went through a hot and cold water test and was still in good shape after. It may surprise you to know that you can even use those phones as nutcrackers and still be in good shape. I’m not suggesting you do that anyway.
So, if you’re tired of damaging your phone from drops and mishaps and looking for a rugged smartphone, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best rugged smartphones you can buy now.
Best Rugged Smartphones 2023
Ulefone Armor X7
The Ulefone Armor X7 recently launched and is one of the best and cheap rugged smartphones available to buy now. It has a 5.0-inch screen and armour body and IP68 and IP69K ratings. It comes with a single 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. It also uses a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.
The phone is powered by MediaTek Helio A22 Soc paired with 2GB RAM and 16GB of storage. It runs the latest Android 10 OS out of the box and can take underwater photos. A 4000mAh battery with 5W fast charging houses it. Other features include a 3.5mm headphone jack, SOS, GPS, Dual sim, and 4G Volte.
Blackview BV9900 Pro
The Blackview BV990 Pro is a more expensive rugged phone, but that is understandable for the features it offers. It is powered by MediaTek’s Helio P90 Soc, paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. The 5.84-inch device comes with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 protection and has IP68 and IP69K ratings.
The device has a quad-camera setup, a 48MP main camera that can deliver 4K video recording, a 5MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP depth lens, and a Thermal imaging module. The BV9900 Pro houses a 4380 battery with 18W wired charging, 10W wireless charging and runs Android 9 Pie out of the box.
Other features you’ll find on this device include; Dual sim, 4G Volte, SOS, Heart rate monitor, Barometer, Game mode, Night mode, GPS and NFC.
Doogee S95 rugged phone is also one of the best right now, and it is more like an all-in-one rugged phone. The device features a 6.3-inch FHD+ teardrop notch display with Gorilla Glass protection. The device is rated IP68 and IP69K. It also uses a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
It boasts a 48MP main camera which can also shoot videos in 4K and 2K. The main camera is assisted by an 8MP super depth lens and an 8MP wide-angle lens + LED flash. Interestingly, the camera can capture 120o and has a 10X digital zoom. As for the selfie camera, there is a 16MP shooter.
The Doogee S95 is powered by MediaTek’s Helio P90 Soc P90 Soc, paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It runs Android 9 Pie and houses a 5150mAh battery with 24W fast charging support. The device also has an additional 3500mAh battery module with 10W wireless charging to give you extra power.
It also comes with an external HiFi speaker module if you’re the loud type ???? with 6W fast charging. The speaker has its own built-in battery, so you don’t have to worry about it drawing power from the device.
Other features include; Dual sim, 4G Volte, SOS, Breathing notification LED, G-sensor, Game mode, GPS, NFC etc.
The Oukitel WP6 comes with a whopping 10,000mAh battery that gives you up to 750 hours (32 days) on standby, 52 hours of calling, and 25 hours of non-stop browsing. The battery benefits from the Helio P70 enhanced power optimization, and more interestingly, the battery only needs 3 hours to charge using its 18W fast charging technology fully.
The 6.3-inch teardrop notch FHD+ display device comes with Corning’s Gorilla Glass protection, side-mounted fingerprint sensor and also rated IP68 and IP69K. The Helio P70 processor is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The device has a triple camera setup on the rear, a 48MP primary lens, a 5MP depth lens and an auxiliary lens + dual-LED flash. The teardrop notch holds a 16MP camera with AI and face unlock features.
Oukitel WP6 runs Android 9 Pie out of the box. The device is a dual sim device with 4G/LTE connectivity, Bluetooth 5.0 and more.
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Galaxy XCover Pro from tech South Korean tech giant Samsung. The 6.3-inch Galaxy XCover has a sleek design and runs Samsungs Exynos 9611 paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage.
The device has a dual rear camera, a wide angle 25MP primary lens and an 8MP ultrawide lens. It houses a 13MP selfies camera and uses a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
It runs OneUI 2.0 based on the latest Android 10 and is housed by a 4050mAh battery that comes with 15W fast charging. A 3.5mm headphone jack is present on the device, and t is lightweight, unlike the previous rugged smartphones we talked about earlier.
The device is rated IP68 and uses Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is pretty expensive too.
Bonus: Nokia 800 Tough
We all know the Iconic Nokia 3310 to be the most rugged phone Nokia ever built. The phone is so strong that it was even compared with the flagship iPhone 11 last year. The Nokia 800 Tough looks like it’s here to replace the 3310, it features a 2.4-inch screen, is rated IP68 and can be used as a single sim or hybrid dual sim.
It is powered by a Snapdragon 205 low-cost processor, Adreno 304 GPU paired with 512MB of RAM, and 4GB storage. It runs KaiOS and uses 4G/LTE.
Nokia also recently introduced its iconic express music feature phone, a 2G phone that cost about $43.
Nokia 800 Tough Price: $250
There are several other amazing rugged smartphones out there, and the above listed may vary in price depending on store and storage options for those with other memory versions. If you need my recommendation on any of the above-rugged phones, personally, the Doogee S95 is my best choice, it packs premium specs and is affordable.