In Rugged smartphones phones are creating a revolutionary change in the android phone arena. According to a report published by Bullitt Group Research, “Up to 34% of consumers in Western Europe experience damage in their phones.” This means that a lot of people have poor product experience because of damage.
To reduce costs and improve the quality of services, many businesses that require workers in the field are using rugged Android smartphones. In this article, we have put together a wide list of rugged smartphones that offers superior functions but also extreme durability.
Qualities of A Great 2020 Rugged Android Smartphones
Ideally, when it comes to rugged smartphones you are looking for a durable device. Accidents like being drenched in water, smothered with dust, or falling from a height on hard surfaces are common problems.
The ideal rugged smartphone should withstand drops from any angle, impacts, or bumps. If possible, it should have no scratches while maintaining the functionality of a regular smartphone. The features of a rugged smartphone mean that it reduces the chances of experiencing downtime. It means continuous efficient delivery of services no matter what the circumstances are.
The rugged Android smartphones that we put together here are proven to have endured rigorous tests. These devices are made to meet military standards that can withstand extreme temperatures, shocks, drops, as well as, exposure to dust and water.
You will also want to consider the IP rating of a 2020 Android rugged smartphone. Previously, we have put together an extensive explanation on IP Ratings, if you want to know more check it here.
Industries that Can Benefit from Rugged Android Smartphones
Almost every industry can benefit when using rugged smartphones. Android is considered the top operating system in the world. When combined with rugged hardware, it can support a variety of tasks from the most demanding industries like mining, construction, warehouse management, delivery, healthcare, and more.
Thanks to the flexibility and user-friendliness of an Android operating system, it allows any team member to seamlessly use it while at work.
We have put together a list of the best rugged smartphones in the market this 2020 that runs on Android.
Quick Peek At The Best Rugged Smartphones of 2020:
- Cat S61 rugged smartphone
- Conker ST60 – 6″ Rugged Android Smartphone
- Land Rover Explore rugged smartphone
- Ulefone Armor 7 rugged smartphone
- Unihertz Atom XL rugged smartphone
- Doogee S95 Pro rugged smartphone
- Blackview BV9500 Pro rugged smartphone
- Doogee S90 rugged smartphone
- AGM X3 rugged smartphone
- Elephone Soldier rugged smartphone
Cat S61 rugged smartphone
OS: Android 8.0 (Oreo) | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Screen size: 5.2-inch | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4500mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP | CPU: Snapdragon 630
The only smartphone with an IP69 Rating on our list
More on the expensive side
Only Android 8.0
For quite a while, the Cat S61 rugged smartphone held the title of being the best rugged smartphone that you can buy. Don’t get us wrong, we still highly recommend this rugged smartphone even if it is already getting dated.
By being the only rugged smartphone with an IP69 rating on our list, it surely can take on the rest of the competition.
Combined with its unique features such as its laser-assisted distance measurement tool, indoor air quality sensor, and its surprisingly robust polycarbonate and rubber exterior, it is no wonder that it has been previously regarded as one of the best rugged Android smartphones.
Conker ST60 – 6″ Rugged Smartphone
Latest Android 10 OS & security update
Large 6.1 Display
OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.1″ display | Resolution: 720 x 1520 | CPU: Mediatek MT6762D Octa-Core | RAM: 4GB RAM | Storage: 128GB Storage (Expandable up to 128GB) | Battery: 4100 mAH | Rear camera: 13MP Sony IMX 214 AF | Front camera: 5MP Samsung 5E2 Mega FF
Second, on our list as the Best Rugged Android Smartphone of 2020, we proudly listed the Conker ST60. This smartphone not only boasts a rugged and durable exterior but it also offers an outstanding set of features.
The flagship rugged smartphone from Conker offers a bright and clear 6.1″ display with a waterdrop notch for the front camera and an 18:9 narrow bezel. Having a clear and bright display is very important as it improves the way you see your screen under daylight. The Conker ST60 comes has an IP68 rating which means it is waterproof up to 3 meters, dust proof, sand, and dirt resistant.
Another notable feature of the Conker ST60 is its dedicated button for its PPT or Push-to-Talk function allows you to seamlessly communicate with other smartphone users just like two-way radio or commonly known as a walkie-talkie. It is made mainly with the operations of a business in mind, making it the top rugged Android phone on this list.
Land Rover Explore
Outdated Android OS
OS: Android Nougat | Screen size: 5″ TFT FHD | Battery: 4,000mAh | Resolution: 1920×1080 | CPU: Deca Core 2. 6GHz 64 Bit MTK Helio X27 | RAM: 4GB RAM | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 8MP | Storage: 64GB ROM
Yes, Land Rover Explore comes from the same company that manufactures cars and SUVs. The brand manufactured their first Land Rover smartphone way back in 2009 and has slowly improved its smartphone lineup.
The Land Rover Explore has been proven to survive drops up to 1.8m and is IP68 certified. It can be submerged up to 1.5m for 30 minutes on fresh and saltwater. The screen on this rugged smartphone takes on a more conventional style with a 5-inch TFT display. People who love their Land Rover cars will also love this rugged smartphone as its overall design is reminiscent of its vehicle counterpart.
Ulefone Armor 7 rugged smartphone
Inappropriate Lanyard Placement
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie) | Screen size: 6.3-inch | CPU: Helio P90 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 8MP | Front camera: 16MP | Resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels | Battery: 5500mAh
Making it to the fourth spot of our Best Rugged Smartphones of 2020 is the Ulefone Armor 7 rugged smartphone. This entry features a greatly built rugged smartphone at a very keen price for individuals who are on a budget. This rugged smartphone offers admirable features for its price and can be considered as an entry smartphone.
Although its features are impressive, we had encountered some problems with the design of the smartphone. The camera bump at the back extends too far that it is at risk of getting severely damaged if dropped and we’re also not a fan of the placement of the lanyard.
Unihertz Atom XL rugged smartphone
OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 4-inch | CPU: Helio P60 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4300mAh | Rear camera: 48MP | Front camera: 8MP | Resolution: 1136 x 640 pixels
Screen has Oleophobic Coating
48MP Rear Camera
Absence of covers on the ports
Fifth on our list is this tiny phone from Unihertz. Atom XL is by far one of the best from this brand. Although the Atom XL is the “extra-large” version of its predecessor, the screen on this device is actually really tiny coming at 4 inches. However, it does pay back with its massive 4300 mAH battery and its outstanding 48MP rear camera.
Some of the drawbacks that we found on the Unihertz Atom XL rugged smartphone are its outdated CPU which is an old Mediatek Helio P90 and the absence of a cover on its headphone jack and USB Port. It is a great Android rugged phone but its limited screen size may not be convenient for most companies.
Doogee S95 Pro rugged smartphone
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie) | Screen size: 6.3-inch | CPU: Helio P90 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 8MP | Front camera: 8MP | Battery: 5150mAh | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels
Triple camera setup
Older Android OS
User reports of HW failures
The Doogee S95 Pro rugged smartphone may not be at the top 3 of our lists but it doesn’t mean it’s not a great rugged smartphone. This rugged smartphone is well built with combined protection from its rubber and metal frame, it can surely take a beating. It also features a fingerprint sensor, three rear cameras, and an SOS button for emergency cases.
With its massive battery of 5150 mAH, you can expect the Doogee S95 Pro rugged smartphone to last you a day while you’re outdoors.
Blackview BV9500 Pro rugged smartphone
OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 5.7-inch | Battery: 10000mAh |CPU: MT6763T Octa Core | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Rear camera: 13MP | Front camera: 16MP
Massive battery life
Bulky and heavy
Outdated Android OS
Blackview is a brand that has been offering a range of rugged smartphones. The Blackview BV9500 Pro rugged smartphone has the most massive battery life on our list. You are looking at maybe using this device for over a day with a single charge.
Price is another product This solidly built rugged smartphone is more expensive compared to other products on this list. However, it comes with unique features that do not come with others in our list such as a PTT or Push-to-talk feature. While the specs are solid, it is fast becoming outdated in features and design.
Doogee S90 rugged smartphone
OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 6.18-inch | Resolution: 2246 x 1080 pixels | CPU: MT6771 (P60) 4*Cortex-A73 2.0GHz + 4*Cortex-A53 2.0Ghz | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5050mAh | Rear camera: 16+8MP | Front camera: 8MP
Bang for the buck
The screen has a very large notch
Design is bulky
Older Android SW version
With the launch of the Doogee S90, the company has also made it clear that it will be different from other rugged smartphones on the market. Well, they have certainly delivered.
The Doogee S90 comes with a modular design that lets it users build their own handset that is best suitable for their needs. It comes with several mods that you can attach to the device such as the Game Mod, Walkie-Talkie Mod, Night Vision Camera Mod and the Power Mod.
Due to its modularity, the Doogee S90 sits on the bulkier side of our list as it needs to cram up all the necessary components to run all the mods.
AGM X3 rugged smartphone
OS: Android 8.1 | Screen size: 5.9-inch | Resolution: 2160 x 1080 pixels | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 4100mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 20MP
Great HW spec
Triple Camera Sensors
Android version is outdated
AGM X3 is the third rugged phone released by its Chinese maker. At one point, it was also considered one of the best rugged smartphone in the market. AGM X3 is the brand’s attempt to break away from its usual market in East Asia. According to the company, this is the most rugged smartphone available on the market.
Looking into the specs, you can expect IP68 certification and tested with MIL_STD 810G standards. This smartphone is also lighter and thinner compared to other competitors.
Furthermore, this device is light and also comes with a long list of features. AGM X3 comes with a steeper price compared to other brands. As a result, if your cost is a major consideration, you may rethink getting this phone.
Elephone Soldier rugged smartphone
OS: Android 8 (Oreo) | CPU: Helio X25 | Resolution: 2560 x 1440 pixels | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 5000mAh | Rear camera: 21MP | Front camera: 16MP | Screen size: 5.5-inch | RAM: 4GB
Very Affordable Price
Offers Unique Features
User reports poor battery performance
Android version is outdated
The Elephone Soldier rugged smartphone is at the last of our list but it’s certainly not the least. This rugged smartphone comes with unique features that you can compare it to a Swiss Army Knife.
Additionally, this device comes with a physical compass, a flashlight, a Pogo connector (without documentation or clear purpose?!) and a lot more.
The Elephone Soldier is kind of outdated with the use of an old CPU Chipset, screw proliferation, micro USB port, and the phone can get hot when used continuously.