Best rugged Android phone 2022

Nokia XR20 standing upright on a table with its back shown off
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

More often, phones are designed with shiny glass backs, smooth metal frames, and other sleek elements to make them as attractive as possible. 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?

These aren't phones we'd usually recommend if you're shopping for the best Android phone (opens in new tab) overall, but if you're especially accident-prone or just have a job that requires you to carry around rugged tech, these devices are kind of perfect. We've tested and reviewed hundreds of phones and these are the best rugged Android phones we could find!

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Nokia XR20 on a table

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)
All the 5G

Reasons to buy

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Extremely robust build
+
Customizable buttons
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3 years of platform and 4 years of security updates
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Much better looking and lighter than most rugged phones
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Wireless charging
+
Bright display for outdoor use

Reasons to avoid

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Not the best processor
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Buttons aren't tactile

Back in the day, Nokia phones were known for being simply indestructible, but those were the days of "feature phones," and smartphones are a different beast. Nevertheless, the Nokia XR20 is here to try and reclaim the throne of the best rugged Android phone with its ultra-rugged design, IP68 rating, and military-grade water and dust resistance. Nokia also left the headphone jack and SD card slot in, which is a big plus.

The phone offers dual biometric unlocking and will be supported until 2024 with major Android OS updates. Since most rugged phones hardly get more than the one platform upgrade, the Nokia XR20 is leaps and bounds ahead of its competition in that regard. The battery specs are great, with 18W wired and 15W wireless charging, and the primary sensor shoots decent images.

Unlike most rugged Android phones on the market, the XR20 doesn't embrace the heavy-duty aesthetic and opts a light, more mature form factor. Although the Snapdragon 480 chipset inside can be a little underwhelming, it does bring 5G compatibility to the table. Overall, Nokia's offering is the most worthwhile rugged phone that you can get.

Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro held in a gloved hand

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro

Only for pros

Reasons to buy

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IP68 and MIL-STD 810G water and dust-proofing
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Removable battery
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Extra customizable key
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Screen responds in rough conditions
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Headphone jack and expandable storage

Reasons to avoid

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Not the best cameras
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Battery life is disappointing
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Uncertain software support

These days, most Samsung phones are fragile slabs of metal and glass, but the XCover Pro is a wonderful departure from that trend and gives you a high-quality Samsung handset in a super durable package. The XCover Pro features a military-grade design, with Samsung ensuring it can withstand healthcare, manufacturing, and other types of environments with ease.

In addition, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro has a super responsive 6.3-inch IPS LD display that you can easily use in harsh environments or with gloves on. The XCover Pro also has a replaceable 4,050mAh battery paired with 15W fast charging.

You get two customizable buttons along with a side-mounted fingerprint reader. Samsung's rugged device is powered by the Exynos 9611 SoC and 4GB of RAM. You can expand the internal 64GB storage to upto 512GB via microSD. If you want a heavy-duty phone from a reliable manufacturer, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is your next best bet after the Nokia XR20.

AGM H5 Pro leaning against a car tire on the ground outdoors

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)
Fantastic audio

Reasons to buy

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Unbelievably loudspeaker
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Clean stock Android 12
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IR night vision
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8GB/128GB memory
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IP68/IP69K rating
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Unreal 7,000mAh battery

Reasons to avoid

-
Strictly average cameras
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No 5G and only works with T-Mobile
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Won't get any OS updates

With a 109dB loudspeaker, the AGM H5 Pro sports the loudest speaker on any Android phone. It is cheaper than most rugged phones out there, combining a stock Android experience with an extremely durable design rated IP68 and IP69K. Since there's an IR sensor built-in, you can shoot videos and photos with night vision which is really cool.

Although the camera setup isn't the best, you'll be satidfied with the AGM H5 Pro's memory specs since they can take any flagship Android phone head on. If 128GB isn't enough, you can always increase it by taking advantage of the microSD card slot. You'll be blown away by the gigantic 7,000mAh battery, but charging it back up will task you.

AGM's H5 Pro comes with a clean stock Android 12 build right out of the box so it's easy and fun to use. Sadly, the phone won't get any more OS upgrades down the line.

Ulefone Power Armor 13 held in one hand

(Image credit: Ulefone)

Ulefone Power Armor 13

Swiss army knife

Reasons to buy

+
Insane 13,200mAh cell
+
Wireless and reverse wireless charging
+
Plenty of storage
+
IP68 water and dust resistance

Reasons to avoid

-
No more platform upgrades
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So-so cameras
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Lacks 5G compatibility

When looking for the best rugged phone, you want something that lasts all day, has plenty of extra tools to make life easier, and has enough power under the hood. The Ulefone Power Armor 13 delivers on all fronts as it offers an infrared distance measure feature while being powered by the MediaTek Helio G95.

On top of that, the Power Armor 13 also delivers 256GB of storage, a large 6.81-inch display, and an incredible 13,200mAh battery. This heavy-duty phone touts IP68 water and dust resistance and an enduring design that is compliant with the MIL-STD-810G standard.

Impressively, the Ulefone Power Armor 13 features 33W wired, 15W wireless, and 5W reverse wireless charging. This means you can top up another accessory or phone that charges wirelessly with your Power Armor 13. While the Mediatek Helio G95 is a decent chipset, it leaves 5G off the table. The other downsides of this phone include its cameras that aren't anything to write home about and the lack of future OS upgrades.

Thermal camera of CAT S62 Pro in use

(Image credit: CAT)

CAT S62 Pro

Endless tools

Reasons to buy

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Advanced FLIR Thermal Imager
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MIL-STD-810H rating
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Resistant to chemicals like bleach
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6GB RAM and 128GB storage
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Great SD 660 processor
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Dual SIM and SD card slots

Reasons to avoid

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Doesn't work with Verizon or Sprint
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Comes with Android 10
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No 5G support
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No headphone jack

Do you know the Caterpillar brand that makes construction equipment? That same company also makes Android phones, and the CAT S62 Pro is its best yet. The S62 Pro can be submerged in water up to 3 meters for 30 minutes, sports the gold standard MIL-STD-810H rating, and has been drop-tested up to 6 feet on steel.

Pop the hood and you will find solid gear inside. The CAT S62 Pro has the Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM, and an expandable 128GB memory. You get Android 10 out of the box which is cumbersome but it is upgradeable to Android 11.

The rugged Android phone from Caterpillar also comes with an extremely thermal camera, courtesy of the FLIR Thermal Imager. You'll be able to keep using the phone even if you have gloves on since the screen is designed to be used in rough scenarios.

Blackview BV8800 held in white gloved hands

(Image credit: Blackview)

Blackview BV8800

Everything you need

Reasons to buy

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Gigantic battery with fast charging
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90Hz display
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Heavy-duty IP68, IP69K, and MIL-STD-810H ratings
+
50MP camera with night vision

Reasons to avoid

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Doesn't have SD card slot or audio port
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Incompatible with CDMA carriers
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Lacks 5G and future updates

Blackview is one of the leaders right now when it comes to rugged Android phones, and if you want one with a huge battery, you'll want to check out the chunky Blackview BV8800. With an 8,380mAh battery, you can use the BV8800 to your heart's content without worrying about running out of juice. And when it does run out, you can grab any 33W USB-C charger to refuel.

The Blackview BV8800 boasts a 6.58-inch IPS LCD panel with a 90Hz screen refresh rate to make things snappier. This durable device has various IP ratings to verify its resistance to the elements. These include IP68, IP69K, and MIL-ST-810G dust/waterproofing durability ratings.

Blackview's rugged Android phone comes in three bold color combos and you get a 50MP main camera with night vision. Unfortunately, the BV8800 only works on T-Mobile so you might have to change your operator if it's CDMA. This phone also lacks 5G support, a headphone jack, and expandable storage.

If we had to make a rugged choice

Now that you know which rugged phones we recommend, which one is right for you? All of the phones listed here are great picks for anyone interested in the rugged niche. Still, if we had to pick a winner, it would be the Nokia XR20. It has all the durability features you'd expect from a phone in this category, impressive specs, and a decent battery. There's just so much to like here, and even when compared side-by-side with something like the Pixel 6a, it holds its own surprisingly well.

The Nokia XR20 has the ability to unlock the phone using your face or with the physical fingerprint scanner. What makes this phone unique compared to the rest is that Nokia has confirmed that it will be supported with Android OS updates until 2024. That means we could potentially see Android 15 arrive on this rugged phone.