Best rugged Android phone Android Central 2021
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 overall, but if you're especially accident-prone, these devices are kind of perfect. Here are the best rugged Android phones we could find!
- Ready for 5G: Ulefone Armor 10 5G 128GB
- Massive battery: Blackview BV9800 Pro 128GB
- Only for pros: Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
- Endless tools: CAT S61 64GB
- Even bigger battery: OUKITEL WP5 32GB
- Everything you need: Blackview BV5900 32GB
- Feature-rich: Ulefone Armor 8 64GB
- Ruggedly stylish: Ulefone Armor X8 64GB
- Thermal imaging: Ulefone Armor 9 128GB
- Wireless charging: DOOGEE S96 Pro 128GB
- Affordable CAT: CAT S42 32GB
- More for less: OUKITEL WP8 Pro 64GB
Ready for 5G: Ulefone Armor 10 5G 128GBStaff Pick
5G is one of the hottest talking points for smartphones right now, and lucky for you, the tech has already made its way to the rugged niche. The Ulefone Armor 10 5G is one of the first rugged phones to offer 5G, ensuring you get the fastest data speeds possible. On top of that, the Armor 10 5G also delivers 128GB of storage, a large 6.67-inch display, and a generous 5,800mAh battery.
Massive battery: Blackview BV9800 Pro 128GB
Big batteries are essential for any rugged phone, and among all of them, the Blackview BV9800 Pro takes the cake in this regard. You'll find an absolutely massive 6,580mAh in the BV9800 Pro, allowing for multiple days of use on a single charge. Other goodies include IP68 dust/water resistance, MIIL-STD 810G certification, dual rear cameras aided with a thermal sensor, and a 6.3-inch screen.
Only for pros: Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
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, it has a 6.3-inch display, a replaceable 4,050 mAh battery, and two customizable buttons.
Endless tools: CAT S61 64GB
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.
Even bigger battery: OUKITEL WP5 32GB
Rugged phones tend to deliver pretty good value across the board, but of course, some do this better than others. One such example is the OUKITEL WP5, which delivers so many specs/features at a ridiculously low price. There's a 5.5-inch HD+ display, drop resistance, temperature protection, and the biggest battery of the bunch, coming in at a whopping 8,000mAh.
Everything you need: Blackview BV5900 32GB
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 BV5900. With a 5,580mAh battery, you can use the BV5900 to your heart's content without worrying about running out of juice. It also has a 5.7-inch HD+ display, dual rear cameras, expandable storage, IP68 dust/waterproofing, and a MIL-STD-810G durability rating.
Feature-rich: Ulefone Armor 8 64GB
If you want a rugged phone that doesn't skimp out on features or specs, the Ulefone Armor 8 is the way to go. On the ruggedness side of things, it's equipped with an IP68 dust/water-resistance rating and MIL-STD-810G military-grade durability. You also get a huge 5,580mAh battery, triple rear cameras, NFC for Google Pay, and a customizable side button that can be reprogrammed to do whatever you'd like. Given how cheap the Armor 8 is, that's quite the package.
Ruggedly stylish: Ulefone Armor X8 64GB
Most people might think that rugged phones need to sacrifice aesthetics, but as evident by the Ulefone Armor X8, that doesn't have to be the case. The X8 is one of the better-looking phones on this list, with a sleek carbon fiber backside and yellow accents. It's also rather powerful, featuring an octa-core processor, 64GB of storage, and a 5,080 mAh battery.
Thermal imaging: Ulefone Armor 9 128GB
Ulefone is best-known for its affordable Android handsets, but did you know the company also makes some higher-end options? Take the Ulefone Armor 9, for example. It's filled with solid specs across the board, including a Helio P90 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 6,600 mAh battery. It also has some pretty unique features, including a thermal imaging camera and a waterproof endoscope.
Wireless charging: DOOGEE S96 Pro 128GB
One look at the DOOGEE S96 Pro is all it takes to see that this is a rugged Android phone that means business. Design-wise, the S96 Pro has it all — IP68 dust/water-resistance, MIL-STD-810G durability, and protection from solar radiation, temperature extremes, and more. We're also fans of the 128GB of storage, 6GB of RAM, and the beefy 6,350mAh battery. DOOGEE even goes out of its way to offer 10W Qi wireless charging!
Affordable CAT: CAT S42 32GB
Want a Caterpillar phone but don't have the cash for the S61? The S42 is another excellent pick that drops a few features in favor of a much smaller price tag. The CAT S42 can be repeatedly submerged in water (including hot water and soap), has a military-grade durability rating, and has a large battery that promises up to two days of use per charge. Thanks to the 5.5-inch screen size, it's also easy to use with one hand.
More for less: OUKITEL WP8 Pro 64GB
Once again, proving that it knows how to make a great rugged phone for less, OUKITEL has a killer device on its hands with the WP8 Pro. Taking a look at the spec sheet, it's impressive how cheap the WP8 Pro really is. There is a 6.49-inch Full HD+ display, a 5,000mAh battery, triple rear cameras, and 64GB of storage. We're also thrilled to see things like a waterproof design and military-grade durability.
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 Ulefone Armor 10 5G. It has all the durability features you'd expect from a phone in this category, impressive specs, and that 5G connectivity. There's just so much to like here, and even when compared side-by-side with something like the Pixel 4a 5G, it holds its own surprisingly well.
Another great choice is the Ulefone Armor 8. It's a seriously great value considering its price, delivering features like three rear cameras, a big battery, NFC, and more.
Lastly, if the battery is among your top concerns, the OUKITEL WP5 is the way to go. With a huge 8,000mAh battery, you can use the WP5 as much as you want without having to live with battery anxiety. This is a fantastic choice for people who work tough jobs without easy access to a power source.
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