Rugged Smartphone 2019 Buying Guide
Construction sites are dangerous places for
smartphones, unless you pick the best and most durable model.
Based on the number of smartphones you see
with spiderweb-cracked screens, you might think every model out there was an
expensive and fragile waste of money, particularly if youre active on a
jobsite. Drops and bumps, water sprays, dust, extreme temperatures, and
vibrations are all threats to an otherwise essential technology tool.
Luckily, not all smartphones are delicate
flowers. There are strong options available for construction contractors,
engineers and skilled tradespeople who cannot afford to compromise on
ruggedness. Whether you need something weatherproof, impact-resistant,
optimized for multimedia, ready for collaborative projects or all of the above,
you just need to know where to look.
What makes a smartphone rugged?
To call a phone rugged, not to mention
waterproof or water-resistant, it should have a variety of certifications to
its name. That means a third party has conducted tests to prove whether the
device can withstand some pretty serious abuse. There are generally two types
of these certifications: IP and MIL-STD.
The IP (Ingress Protection) rating on a
smartphone is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission, which
determines if a device performs after exposure to dirt, dust and water. The
ratings for dirt range from 1 to 6, and 1 to 8 for water. The max rating for
particulates would be IP6, and a max rating for liquid would be IP8. That would
mean an IP68 phone is completely resistant to dirt damage and can be left
underwater indefinitely, at a depth determined by the manufacturer.
The MIL-STD (Military Standard) specs are
set by various arms of the U.S. Military and Department of Defense. The numbers
associated with MIL-STD indicate far more than just protection from water and
dust. For instance, MIL-STD-810Gs certifies that something can withstand
nuclear radiation, drops onto concrete, and exposure to rapid freezing or heat.
These certifications can be much more nuanced, but most commonly in rugged
smartphones, youll note they are listed under an umbrella designation of
MIL-STD-810G, which has a number of subcategories.
It is worth noting that a smartphone
lacking one of these certifications may still be able to take a beating. For
instance, companies such as Panasonic and Xplore are more focused on making
sure their devices can be dropped than they are on them being able to handle
really cold weather.
Best rugged smartphones
The ioutdoor X (about 229$ Aliexpress) is
IP68 certified to offer protection against dust, shock from a 6-foot fall onto
concrete, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar
radiation, salt fog, humidity and water immersion. The Android phone sports a
big storage 6GB+128 GB, and 18:9 full screen, NFC, which is is a
state-of-the-art smartphone with fashion design suit for daily use.
The Sonim XP7 ($579) is another smartphone
to consider for jobsites. Its more tank than entertainment center, and it
comes with a three-year, no-questions-asked warranty. Its Gorilla Glass 2
screen doesnt match the Brigadiers for imperviousness, but it runs Android
and is IP69 rated.
The Crosscall Trekker-X3 was built to live
outside. It is IP67 rated, meaning it can survive a full range of outdoor
conditions. It does far more than deliver your email and apps, too. It comes
with a built-in thermometer, hygrometer, barometer and magnetometer. The box it
comes in doubles as a wireless charger.
If you want to buy our ruggedphone,please get it on our official Alistopre.