In recent years, rugged phones have gained popularity due to their ability to withstand harsh environments and rough handling. These devices are built to endure extreme temperatures, drops, shocks, and even water immersion, making them ideal for individuals who work in challenging environments, such as construction workers, hikers, and emergency responders.

The growing popularity of rugged phones is transforming many industries, as these devices offer a level of durability and reliability that conventional smartphones cannot match. They are especially useful in fields where communication is critical, such as military operations or search and rescue missions.

With their rugged design, these phones can keep individuals connected and productive in harsh environments, helping them to complete their tasks safely and efficiently.

When it comes to Android smartphones, several rugged devices are worth considering. These phones are built to withstand tough conditions and are perfect for people who work in challenging environments. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top rugged Android smartphones that stood out in 2021 and what makes them unique.

Despite the external appearance of rugged phones being unattractive in the past, the industry has made significant strides in producing slimmer and lighter devices, while maintaining excellent features. As a result, the demand for rugged smartphones has been consistently increasing, and it is expected to grow further as the world faces challenges due to COVID-19.

We will be sharing the features that made these rugged devices stand out in the market, making them the top choices for this list.

Why You Should Choose A Rugged Android Smartphone

When selecting a rugged smartphone, there are several things to consider. One of the most critical decisions is the operating system the phone will run on, and rugged Android phones are an excellent choice for many reasons.

Firstly, they offer a high level of customization and flexibility, which is challenging to find on other platforms. In industries that require specialised software, the Android device’s extensive range of apps and customizable settings are beneficial. Moreover, rugged Android phones often have better internal storage than other operating systems because they typically support microSD cards, allowing users to expand storage capacity as needed.

When it comes to durability, rugged Android phones often meet military-grade standards and are capable of resisting extreme temperatures, drops, shocks, dust, and water immersion. These phones also often have high IP ratings, indicating that they can withstand being submerged in water for an extended period.

Additionally, the rear cameras on a rugged Android phone are often higher quality than those found on other rugged handsets, making them ideal for taking high-quality photos and videos in challenging environments. Furthermore, many rugged Android phones come with unique features such as large batteries that can last for several days on a single charge.

If you need a phone that can handle even the toughest conditions, a rugged Android phone is an excellent option.

The top ten best-rugged phones

  1. Blackview BV9500 Plus 
  2. Conker SX5L – Long-range Scanning
  3. Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2
  4. CAT S60 Tough Smartphone
  5. AGM Glory Pro –
  6. Ulefone Armor 7E Rugged Smartphone
  7. Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1 Rugged Smartphone
  8. Conker SX50
  9. CAT S62 PRO Samsung XCover Pro Rugged Smartphone
  10. Samsung XCover Pro Rugged Smartphone

Blackview BV9500 Plus

  • Multi-language support – Supports over 20 languages including English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, French, Arabic, Russian, and more.
  • 5.7 INCH 18:9 HD+FULL IPS SCREEN – Comes with a 500-nit IPS display and Full HD Plus resolution. The Corning Gorilla Glass screen also adds protection. 
  • Helio P70 Octa-Core processor – Delivers outstanding overall performance for running applications.

A key factor to consider when using the best-rugged phones is their battery life, particularly for outdoor or operational use. The Blackview BV9500 Plus stands out with its impressive 10000 mAh battery, which can last for days on a single charge. It also boasts quick charging technology that’s over 2 times faster than the standard 5V/2A charging rate.

In addition to its impressive battery life, the BV9500 Plus has an IP68 rating, meaning it can withstand being submerged in up to 3 metres of water for up to 60 minutes. What sets this rugged smartphone apart from others is its unique design, as most manufacturers tend to stick to a consistent look for all their models. With the BV9500 Plus, Blackview has created a device with a distinctive exterior. Android 9.0 OS – A fresh and fast platform to help your employees be connected and productive even on the go. 

Conker Sx5L

  • Hot Swappable Batteries – teams can charge all day – 3-shift Capable
  • Long-range barcode scanning up to 10cm to 14.4 metres

If you’re looking for a rugged Android device with long-range scanning capabilities, the Conker SX5L is an excellent choice. It’s powered by a 3,900mAh hot-swappable battery, which makes it easy to charge and improves productivity for your team. While the SX5L’s battery capacity may not be huge, the hot-swap feature more than makes up for it. The Conker SX5L also boasts complete water and dust resistance, an extremely durable design, and drop protection. Whether your team members are scanning items up close or on high shelves, you can expect unrivalled scanning performance and superior manageability with the Conker SX5L.5″ Android – Can be used with just one hand. This device is also IP Rated and offers dust and water resistance.

Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2 Rugged Smartphone

The Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2 is the latest smartphone from a popular Japanese manufacturer that understands the need for a rugged yet elegant device. Despite the challenges of producing slim rugged phones, Kyocera has managed to make it a reality.

One of the standout features of the DuraForce Pro 2 is its scratch-proof and super wide-view camera that allows for 4K action recording. It runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system, ensuring excellent performance without any lag. The decent screen size of this rugged handset also makes it easy to use in the field, making it a perfect choice for teams that are constantly on the go.

Kyocera has equipped the DuraForce Pro 2 with a 5-inch IPS LCD that features up to 16 million colours, a pixel density of 441 ppi, and a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. All in all, the Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2 is a solid choice for those in need of a rugged smartphone with impressive features.

  • 5 inches Full HD Display – The decent screen allows your employees to do their jobs at ease even when outdoors. 
  • 13-megapixel camera – Comes with an LED flash, auto scene detection, underwater, sports, and night camera. It also offers 1080p HD video in slow motion and time-lapse modes.

CAT S60 Tough Smartphone

  • Thermal imaging – A unique feature that allows users to identify insulation gaps, and electrical faults, or monitor machinery performance. 
  • Extreme robustness – Resistant to high water pressure jets and can survive water depths of up to t metres for up to an hour. 
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4 – The strongest protection from Corning allows employees to use the device even with wet fingers or when wearing gloves. 

In its second year on our list of the best-rugged smartphones, the CAT S60 remains a strong contender as one of the best-rugged devices in 2021. CAT is a popular brand worldwide, known for its robust construction equipment. However, they understand the demand for a powerful communication tool, which is why they’ve released rugged phones that fit the bill. The CAT S60 is one of the best smartphones in their line-up.

The CAT S60 comes with a range of features that allow industries to improve their operations. Its IP68 rating means the device can survive being submerged underwater for up to 60 minutes. The combination of thick aluminium and plastic gives the phone added resistance, making it tough and durable. Additionally, this durable phone comes with a thermal camera designed by FLIR, making it a powerful tool for a variety of industries.

The AGM Glory Pro

This rugged device boasts a solid rubber frame that provides excellent protection. The frame has a slight deviation at the corners, ensuring the smartphone can survive drops from different angles. On the back of the device, you’ll notice a large circular area where the manufacturer has positioned the cameras, which gives the phone a unique design reminiscent of the Leica phone.

In the centre of this circular area, there is a protrusion to embed a large speaker. This has been one of the main selling points of the AGM Glory Pro, as it can reach up to 110dB, making it one of the loudest speakers on a rugged phone. However, during our tests, the sound quality wasn’t as clear as we would have liked. Nonetheless, the speaker is undoubtedly very loud, and it could have been better positioned, perhaps on the front of the phone. From the speaker, a piece of plastic goes to the top of the rugged smartphone and ends with two powerful lights.

  • Qualcomm 5G
  • 6200 mAh Battery a good large capacity
  • Android 11
  • 110 dB Speaker

Ulefone Armor 7E

The Ulefone Armor 7E Rugged Smartphone is a powerful device equipped with an octa-core MediaTek MT6779 Helio P90 processor. Its 6.3-inch LPS LCD panel boasts a 1080 x 2340-pixel resolution which ensures a bright display when used outdoors. Furthermore, the Armor 7E has a 5500 mAh battery with 15W fast-charging capabilities.

With IP68 certification, this phone is dust resistant, water-resistant, and has excellent protection even after accidental drops. The device is integrated with various sensors such as Fingerprint sensors, gyro, accelerometer, proximity compass, baroreceptor, heart rate metre, and coulomb metre, making it a versatile tool for various industries.

  • Octa-Core Android 9.0 – Ensures reliable performance at all times for users. The Helio P90’s performance is 4.6 times improved from its predecessor.
  • IP 68 – Built robustly to withstand rough handling and harsh conditions. 
  • Triple Rear Camera – 48MP + 2MP + 2MP Samsung camera that allows automatic light and tone adjustment.

Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1 Rugged Smartphone

Panasonic is a leading brand in the rugged phone market and its Toughbook FZ-T1 smartphone is a prime example of its excellence. This device boasts top-of-the-line performance and features that set it apart from other rugged devices on the market.

The Toughpad FZ-T1 comes with a thick case that includes a barcode reader section, yet it still fits comfortably in your hand thanks to its matte finish. The device features a unique design with a combination of grey plastic and black rubberized material, making it a great choice for those seeking a less industrial look.

MIL-STD-810G certification ensures that the Toughbook FZ-T1 can withstand exposure to dust, water, heat, and extreme temperatures. The device is equipped with a quad-core Qualcomm 210 MSM8909 chipset and an integrated Adreno 304 graphics card to ensure smooth operations.

  • Android 9 Pie – An easy-to-use and highly reliable operating system 
  • IP 68 Rating – Ensures the phone has no damage even when dropped from heights of 5 feet or more. 
  • Excellent Battery Life – 8 to 16 hours of continuous data use. 

Conker SX50

  • Long battery life – 4,000 mah battery up to 9 hours of playback time in 4 hours of charge time. 
  • 5″ toughened screen – Adds more protection to an already robust device. 
  • Optional barcode scanner – To help specific industries’ mobile workforce to collect and share data. 

Conker, a UK-based device manufacturer, has recently introduced a small but powerful smartphone, which is listed as one of the top rugged phones of 2021 due to its reliable performance inside and out. The fully rugged SX50 sets a new benchmark for outdoor rugged smartphones and is an ideal device for field workers in a range of outdoor scenarios.

Weighing only 250 grams, the SX50 is the smallest device in Conker’s SX line, but it does not fall short in terms of functionality. With its simple design, this rugged device is an excellent choice for those who work in tough conditions, as it is completely dust, drop, and water-resistant with an IP67 rating. The Conker SX50 was built to endure various challenging working environments.


CAT continues to assert its dominance in the rugged phones market with the CAT S62 Pro. This rugged smartphone is suitable for a range of industries, including construction, mining, warehouse, delivery, and more. One of the main selling points for the S62 Pro is the thermal imaging camera, as well as other improvements that make it better than its predecessors.

The FLIR Lepton 3.5 thermal camera is an improvement from its predecessor (which used a Lepton 2.5). Furthermore, it comes with the new MyFLIR PRO app which is an added feature for industries needing this specific feature. Unlike its rugged predecessors, the CAT S62 Pro comes with rounded corners and is fairly larger. Nevertheless, compared to other CAT devices, it is lighter at just 8.75 ounces.

This device is built to withstand a lot of demanding and punishing work. Furthermore, it has been tested against drops, wind, vibration, salt mist, sand, dust, and extreme temperatures. Having a rating of IP69 means it can be submerged down to 10 feet underwater for 60 minutes without sustaining damage. Octa-core Qualcomm SDM660 Snapdragon 660 chipset – This is an upgrade versus the Snapdragon 630 chip of the CAT S61. 

  • 5.7 inches and 1080 x 2160 pixels Display – The powerful display ensures this rugged smartphone is easy to operate anytime and anywhere. 
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6 – One of the latest technologies from Corning Glass ensuring added protection to the IPS LCD.

Samsung XCover Pro Rugged Smartphone

The final device on our best-rugged smartphone list for 2021 is the Samsung XCover Pro. While this device is considered a premium option compared to others on the list, it is still a highly recommended rugged smartphone. Its sleek design makes it an excellent choice for those looking for a device that is both rugged and stylish.

The XCover Pro boasts a military-grade design that can withstand tough environments such as manufacturing, warehouse, and healthcare facilities. It has an IP67 rating, making it resistant to dust, water, shock, and more.

  • Edge-to-edge screen – Wherever your job takes you, you will never have to worry. Samsung Galaxy XCoverPro is rugged yet elegantly designed. It features a 6.3″ edge-to-edge display featuring Corning Gorilla Glass 5 – allowing your workers to easily see what is necessary.
  • Seamless communication – Programmable buttons to support push-to-talk function, scanning, and other business-related applications. 

Using rugged phones can bring numerous advantages to your business. In addition to their versatility, rugged devices are also known for their dependability, cost-effectiveness, and security. The top rugged smartphones of 2021 mentioned above offer a variety of useful features and benefits that can help your business thrive.

Conker Rugged Android Devices

Conker is a UK-based technology company that designs and manufactures rugged Android devices for businesses in various industries. The company’s devices are built to withstand harsh working environments and are designed to offer high performance, reliability, and security.

Conker offers a range of rugged Android devices, including tablets, handhelds, and wearables. Each device is built to meet the needs of specific industries and is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. The company’s devices are used in a variety of sectors, including warehousing, logistics, field services, construction, and manufacturing.

One of the standout features of Conker’s devices is their durability. The devices are built to withstand extreme temperatures, drops, and other hazards that are common in industrial environments. They are also water and dust-resistant, making them ideal for use in outdoor settings.

In addition to their rugged design, Conker’s devices also offer high performance and reliability. They are powered by the latest processors and offer ample storage and memory. They also come with a range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data, ensuring that workers can stay connected and productive at all times.

Security is another area where Conker’s devices excel. The company’s devices come with a range of security features, including encryption, secure boot, and remote wipe capabilities. This ensures that sensitive data is protected and that devices can be easily wiped in the event of loss or theft.

Overall, Conker’s rugged Android devices offer businesses a reliable and cost-effective solution for their mobile workforce needs. With their rugged design, high performance, and security features, they are an ideal choice for businesses in a range of industries.

To find your ideal rugged android device, get in touch today!