More and more often, phones are being released with shiny glass backs, smooth metal frames, and other design elements to make them as attractive as can be. That’s great if you prefer form over function, but what about if you’re in the market for a smartphone that you don’t need to baby nonstop? Here are the best rugged Android phones we could find!
Rugged phones don’t always have to be expensive, and the Blackview BV5500 is a perfect example of just that. This rugged phone features a MIL-STD-810G and IP68 ratings, meaning that it’s drop-proof and you can submerge it in two meters of water for up to two hours. There’s also a big 4,400 mAh battery, a 5.5-inch HD screen, and dual rear cameras.
$130 at Amazon
Does it all
Do you know the Caterpillar brand that makes construction equipment? That same company also makes Android phones, and the CAT S61 is its best yet. The S61 can be submerged in water up to 3 meters for 30 minutes, is protected against salt and sand, and is pressure resistant. It also comes with a thermal camera, laser-assisted distance measuring, and an indoor air quality monitor.
$800 at Amazon
Ulefone Armor 3T
In a lot of ways, the Ulefone Armor 3T is the rugged phone of your dreams. It has a military-grade durability rating, is waterproof up to two meters with two hours of submersion, and has scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 5. The Armor 3T comes equipped with a working walkie talkie and has a seriously massive 10,300 mAh battery that should get you days and days of continuous usage.
$386 at Amazon
Ulefone Armor 6
If you want a rugged phone that doesn’t skimp out on features or specs, the Ulefone Armor 6 is the way to go. It’s got IP68 water/dust resistance, a rugged design, and protection against solar radiation, temperature, etc. You’ll also find a 6.2-inch Full HD display, 6GB of RAM, wireless charging, face unlock, and NFC for Google Pay. Even better, it comes with a 16-month warranty!
$410 at Amazon
If you’ve never heard of Blackview before, you’ll definitely want to start paying attention to it. The company’s BV9500 is one of its latest phones, and boy, is it something. The BV9500 runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, has a 5.7-inch 18:9 display, and a rugged body that’s ready for anything. The best part? Its 10,000 mAh battery is one of the largest we’ve ever seen.
From $346 at Amazon
Easier on the wallet
Want a Caterpillar phone but don’t have the cash for the S61? The S41 is another excellent pick that drops a few features in favor of a much smaller price tag. The CAT S41 is equipped with waterproofing up to two meters for 60 minutes, shock and drop-proofing up to six feet, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that’s resistant to even the worst of scratches.
$380 at Amazon
If we had to make a choice
Now that you know which rugged phones we recommend, which one is right for you? For most people, we’re inclined to recommend the Blackview BV5500. Blackview is one of the few manufacturers that continues to kick out quality rugged phones, and the BV5500 is a fantastic choice if you want a robust handset without spending too much cash.
It doesn’t have the fastest processor or the best screen, but if you just want a phone that can do the basics while offering that rugged design you desire, it’s hard to do better than this.
Another great choice is the Ulefone Armor 6. It’s a bit more expensive than the BV5500, but you benefit from better specs across the board, in addition to features such as wireless charging and NFC. So long as you can get over the infamous notch, it’s an excellent pick-up.
Lastly, if the battery is among your top concerns, the Blackview BV9500 with its huge 10,000 mAh power pack is absolutely worth keeping on your short list.