Best Rugged Android Phone Android Central 2021
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 they 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? 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
- Massive battery: Blackview BV9500 Plus
- Only for pros: Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
- Endless tools: CAT S61
- Excellent value: OUKITEL WP5
- Everything you need: Blackview BV5900
- Feature-rich: Ulefone Armor 8
- Ruggedly stylish: Ulefone Armor X8
- Thermal imaging: Ulefone Armor 9
- Wireless charging: DOOGEE S95
- Affordable CAT: CAT S42
- More for less: OUKITEL WP8 Pro
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 can 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 5,800 mAh battery.
Big batteries are essential for any rugged phone, and among all of them, the Blackview BV9500 Plus takes the cake in this regard. You'll find an absolutely massive 10,000 mAh in the BV9500 Plus, allowing for multiple days of use on a single charge. Other goodies include IP68 dust/water resistance, dual rear cameras, and a 5.7-inch screen.
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. It has a 6.3-inch display, a replaceable 4,050 mAh battery, and two customizable buttons.
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.
Rugged phones tend to deliver pretty good value across the board, but of course, there are some that 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, 8,000 mAh battery, drop resistance, temperature protection, and more.
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 5,580 mAh 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.
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 5,580 mAh 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.
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. With a sleek carbon fiber backside and yellow accents, the X8 is one of the better-looking phones on this list. It's also rather powerful, featuring an octa-core processor, 64GB of storage, and a 5,080 mAh battery.
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.
One look at the DOOGEE S95 is all it takes to see that this is a rugged Android phone that means business. Design-wise, the S95 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 5,150 mAh battery. DOOGEE even goes out of its way to offer 10W Qi wireless charging!
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 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.
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's a 6.49-inch Full HD+ display, a 5,000 mAh 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 of 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 5a 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 Blackview BV9500 Plus is the way to go. With a huge 10,000 mAh battery, you can use the BV9500 Plus 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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