These are the best rugged, most durable smartphones right now (April 2022) - PhoneArena

These are the best rugged, most durable smartphones right now (April 2022)

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These are the best rugged, most durable smartphones right now (April 2022)
Smartphones are usually brittle and fragile — computers in our pockets that we need to handle with care. There's a good reason why most people have cases and screen protectors on theirs.

For most people, slapping a rugged case on their phone is protection enough. But there are those that need a little bit extra — they need a phone that has been built from the core out to be tough and enduring. Be it due to their specific working environment or choice of extreme hobbies.

Most manufacturers shy away from the niche of "professional smartphones", but few specialize in those and even excel at delivering useful new features. Here are the best rugged phones around, designed to withstand serious shock and to resist the elements!

Best rugged smartphones, a summarized list:

AGM Glory


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The AGM Glory is built for adventurers and professionals. The phone is specifically designed to last a full day in -27°C (-16.6 °F), up to 10 hours in -30 °C (-22 °F), or 1 hour in -40 °C (-40 °F). It also has the biggest loudspeaker you can find on a smartphone, which is sure to come in handy — even if it's so you pack one less Bluetooth speaker for your trip.

The phone is sold in a few tiers, with the top model sporting an IR night vision camera and a thermal imaging camera with great resolution.

Nokia XR20


Nokia XR20

Nokia XR20


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The Nokia XR20 pulls off a MIL-STD 810H military grade standard while still managing to look like a sleek contemporary smartphone. The screen on the front is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus and the MSRP should be around $550 when the phone hits the US market through official channels.

Its processor is on the weak side and its dual camera hasn't impressed reviewers overseas, so maybe that price tag is a bit on the inflated side.

Motorola Defy


Motorola Defy (2021)

Motorola Defy (2021)


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The Motorola Defy is your typical Moto midranger, but in a rugged housing. You can expect all the things that make Moto phones beloved — pure Android, gestures, and timely software updates. The body is IP68 certified for dust- and water-resistance and the screen is protected by a Gorilla Glass Victus panel. There's a lanyard loop on the side for some of the more extreme cases you might find yourself in with this phone.

Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro


Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro

Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro


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Samsung finally decided to release a new rugged phone and the Galaxy XCover Pro is the most modern-looking phone in its class. It has a hole-punch display as the trend this year requires and its protective shell isn't too big to the point of being ugly. Despite that, the XCover Pro is compliant with a bunch of military standards for durability, so you can be confident in its ability to withstand abuse. 

The specs aren't too shabby either, an octa-core Exynos chip paired with a 4/64 RAM-storage combo and a decent battery. Sure, compared to other phones at that price it's not great, but rugged phones aren't known for their high-end specs. Compared to the rest of the devices here, that's still a pretty good deal.

CAT S62 Pro


CAT S62 Pro

CAT S62 Pro


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CAT hasn't given up on rugged phones and keeps releasing new models of its ultra-durable phones. The CAT S62 Pro is more than a regular phone in a tough protective shell. It also has some extra features like a thermal camera, which some people will find very useful while on the job. But even if you don't have a need for one, it's still a pretty neat feature to have. Unfortunately, the S62 drops a couple of features the S61 had like the laser measurement sensor and the air-quality sensor. 

Unlike most phones on this list, the CAT S62 Pro comes with Android 10 and will even get Android 11 at some point. If you care about software features and not only extreme durability, this is the phone to get.

Kyocera DuraForce Ultra 5G


Kyocera DuraForce Ultra

Kyocera DuraForce Ultra


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It's high time rugged phones started to get 5G connectivity and the DuraForce Ultra 5G is among the first. It also brings about wireless charging, which is more rarely seen on these shielded smartphones. It has outstanding ingress protection and a sapphire shield to protect the device from more than one nasty drop. Glove mode and wet mode help it work under the more stressful conditions of a professional's workday and you have a 2-year warranty with an Advanced Replacement program for a peace of mind.

It doesn't sport fancy things like a FLIR camera, but the camera is capable of shooting pictures or video in underwater mode.

Blackview BL6000 Pro


Blackview BL6000 Pro

- high-res camera, barometer, air pressure
Another new entry with 5G connectivity. Blackview has been specializing in rugged smartphones since its inception, and the BL6000 Pro is the latest iteration of its aimed-towards-professionals line.

Blackview is known for emphasizing on camera sensors. The main camera on the BL6000 Pro has a 48 MP Sony sensor with underwater mode for photos and videos. The phone is also equipped with barometer and air pressure sensors for useful readings out in the wild. It only has a single speaker, but Blackview says it emphasized on low frequency response and loudness to create depth.

Doogee S96 Pro


Doogee S96 Pro

- real night vision camera
The Doogee S96 Pro has an interesting selling point. Aside from being ultra-protected for the most testing of environments, it sports a 20 MP night vision camera. No, this is not some normal camera with over-the-top exposure. It actually uses infrared projectors and a 20 MP ultra-light sensor to capture images with an up to 20 meter range in complete darkness. Aside from that, the phone's main sensor is a 48 MP Samsung-made unit.

The phone comes with a 6,350 mAh battery and even supports 10 W wireless charging.

Unihertz Atom XL


Unihertz Atom XL

- compact, walkie-talkie feature
We know Unihertz from making extra-small feature phones for the modern minimalist. But it also has a few rugged phones on hand. The Atom XL is still fairly compact, despite its name, and comes with a detachable antenna for a DMR walkie-talkie feature. So, even when out of range of cell phone towers, you can still stay in touch with the team.

It's not really a performer, but its 4,300 mAh battery will make sure you don't run out of juice anytime soon.

Sonim XP8


Sonim XP8

Sonim XP8


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The Sonim XP8 is one tough phone. In fact, its maker is so confident in the reliability of the XP8 that it is offering it with a 3-year warranty. The phone's 5-inch display is puncture-resistant, while the thick, ruggedized body can withstand serious drops. As one of the very few phones with IP69 certification, the Sonim XP8 can withstand not only immersion in water but also being sprayed with high-temperature water jets. It has a battery that will last you for days, but there's one glaring problem with it. It's a very old model. Ancient chip and Android version aren't a recipe for great performance. The only reason we have it on our list is that it's one of the few rugged phones that you can get from a major carrier.

CAT S42


CAT S42

CAT S42


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If the high-end CAT phones are too expensive for you, you can get one just as tough for about half the price. Of course, there are some drawbacks, like the 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, but there are always compromises with cheaper phones. At least when it comes to durability, you can be sure you're getting one of the toughest phones out there. What's even better, you can actually get it from the US Amazon, unlike its more expensive cousin. 

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