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Finest rugged smartphones of 2024

There’s something supremely satisfying about proudly owning a smartphone that may take a beating. It is one much less factor to fret about, particularly in the event you’re placing your self in conditions which will require a bit extra consideration than regular. In any case, your telephone is the very last thing it is best to take into consideration when mountain climbing or on a job website. That is why rugged smartphones are helpful.



Water and dust IP ratings: What does IP68 actually mean?

Your telephones and units include a code to inform you how waterproof it’s – however what do these codes imply?

Most of right this moment’s rugged smartphones include a beefy exterior, giant batteries, and typically the occasional quirky further that’s tailored for a selected exercise. For instance, some rugged smartphones include FLIR thermal imaging cameras. Regardless of the purpose, we expect we will help you discover a good rugged smartphone.

Finest rugged smartphones: Our prime selections

Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro 5G

Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Professional

1. Finest general rugged smartphone

A hardy telephone that is not an enormous departure from the norm

The Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Professional is Samsung’s finest try at a rugged smartphone. It is a good try too, because it brings with it every little thing you want in a sleeker package deal than most.


  • Sleeker than most rugged smartphones
  • Fashionable facilities like 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and extra
  • MIL-STD-810H examined with an IP68 score

  • Smaller battery than many rugged telephone rivals
  • Designed for enterprise customers, so it isn’t the best to get ahold of

The Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Professional 5G is about your finest wager for a rugged smartphone. It comes with fairly good specs, trendy connectivity, and a sexy look. It additionally brings again some previous favorites, just like the detachable battery if you wish to swap it out for a brand new one. Even the cameras are fairly strong, which is good to see in a smartphone below $1,000.

There is not a lot incorrect with the XCover6 Professional. The largest disadvantage we discovered was that it isn’t fairly as sturdy as different rugged smartphones. Plus, the battery door could pop off whenever you drop it, which generally is a trouble in the event you’re someplace the place dropping issues is dangerous. Plus, there are some telephones on this listing with a battery that exceeds 10,000mAh. By comparability, the XCover6’s 4,050mAh feels a bit small.

Doogee V Max 5G

Doogee V Max 5G

2. Finest rugged telephone for prime sturdiness

Sturdy is as sturdy does

$389 $579 Save $190

The Doogee V Max 5G is a sturdy smartphone with a thick exterior, trendy options, an enormous battery, and an IP69K score.


  • One of many few sturdy smartphones price shopping for with an IP69 score
  • Sturdy battery
  • Throughout strong efficiency and specs for its value

  • Cameras aren’t as much as par with rivals
  • Runs Android 12, which is not the most up-to-date model

The Doogee V Max 5G is a severely good smartphone for its value. You get rugged issues like a sturdy chassis together with MIL-STD-810H and IP69K, which is nearly fully dustproof with glorious water resistance. It additionally comes with three cameras, specs highly effective sufficient to run no less than some trendy smartphone video games, and a 120Hz FHD panel, which is a rarity for rugged smartphones.

For its value, there is not a lot incorrect with it. Even the 22,000mAh battery, which is not a typo, is above and past what you may discover in comparable smartphones. The inner specs aren’t pretty much as good as flagship telephones, however for a telephone that prices lower than $600, it is onerous to complain about this one.

Nokia XR21 5G

Nokia XR21

3. Finest waterproof rugged smartphone

Swimming pools and seashores aren’t any match for the XR21

The Nokia XR21 is not the thickest telephone on the listing. Nonetheless, its IP69 score is among the many highest, making it an important machine to take with you in the event you intend to be close to water in any respect.


  • MIL-STD-810H and IP69K
  • Fashionable options like a 120 Hz display screen and 4 years of OS updates
  • Features a three yr guarantee, which features a one yr display screen substitute guarantee

  • Specs and digital camera are simply okay
  • Smaller battery than another rugged smartphones

The Nokia XR21 is able to go on an journey. It would not have the thicker chassis of another rugged smartphones, but it surely does embrace IP69K, which you’ll’t even discover with flagship smartphones. Meaning it is dustproof and waterproof as much as 1.8 meters. The 9K half means you may blast it with an influence washer and water nonetheless will not get in.


Best waterproof phones: Expert-tested and IP68-rated

From our hands-on expertise, these are the highest waterproof telephones that may face up to greater than the occasional splash.

By way of specs, it is a fairly run-of-the-mill mid-range telephone. It is highly effective sufficient to run apps, browse the online, and scroll via social media. Nonetheless, the telephone will begin to wrestle with higher-end cell video games in the event you’re into these. The cameras are additionally simply okay. Aside from that, it is a very affordable telephone for its value, and Nokia’s guarantee and OS replace promise are cherries on prime of the sundae.

Doogee V Max 5G

Blackview BV9200

4. Finest rugged telephone for underwater adventures

Made to go underwater

$300 $380 Save $80

The Blackview BV9200 is a fairly budget-friendly smartphone that options IP69K, a cool design, and a few trendy issues like a 120Hz display screen.


  • Digicam options an underwater mode, which tells you ways waterproof the telephone is
  • Finances pleasant
  • Spec efficiency is nice sufficient

  • Solely 4G connectivity
  • Runs Android 12, which is not the most up-to-date model

Blackview has some complicated naming schemes. For instance, the BV9900 was launched in 2020 whereas the BV9200 was launched in 2023. Confusion apart, the BV9200 is a reliable smartphone for its sub-$400 price ticket. It features a CPU package deal that may play most trendy cell video games on decrease settings. The 120Hz display screen provides a contemporary contact and the telephone comes with 66W quick charging and 30W quick wi-fi charging.


Best rugged laptops: Tough machines for extreme conditions

The most effective rugged laptops have a sturdy design to resist harsh temperatures and dangerous environments.

The actual story, although, is the waterproofing. It boasts IP69K mud and water resistance. Blackview leans into this by providing an underwater mode for its digital camera that you do not see on different smartphones. For its value, there merely is not a lot to complain about. Blackview made a reliable smartphone.

Ulefone Armor 16 Pro

Ulefone Armor 16 Professional

5. Finest funds rugged smartphone

Not a foul general package deal for $200

The Ulefone Armor 16 Professional is about as budget-friendly because it will get whereas nonetheless being a rugged smartphone. It isn’t probably the most highly effective smartphone, but it surely’ll get you there for about $200.


  • 9,600mAh battery is sort of giant for this value level
  • IP69K and MIL-STD-810G rated
  • Has an endoscope attachment (bought individually)

  • Underpowered throughout
  • Would’ve been cool to see a bundle with the additional equipment

The Ulefone Armor 16 Professional is an affordable smartphone. It prices round $200 in the event you purchase it from the official web site and round $160 in the event you purchase it from AliExpress. What you get is a telephone with a big battery, IP69K water and mud resistance, and a MIL-STD-810G score. By way of specs, it is underpowered, however that is anticipated at this value level. It will scroll via social media and browse the online, making it a good decide in the event you want one thing easy.

There are some surprises in terms of the Armor 16 Professional. For instance, there’s an optional endoscope attachment that you may get for an extra $70. It’s also possible to purchase it with some case, dock, and earbuds packages on the official web site. We’d’ve favored to have seen a bundle with the endoscope, although, as a result of that is so cool and helpful for a lot of instances a rugged telephone consumer may have.

Ulefone Armor 16 Pro

Unihertz Tank 3

6. Finest rugged smartphone for out of doors adventures

Essentially the most apropos identify

The Unihertz Titan 3 is among the beefiest rugged smartphones on the listing with good specs to match. You may have the ability to drop this out of a shifting automobile with out issues, though we do not advocate attempting that at dwelling.


  • Completely huge 23,800mAh battery ought to final days
  • Constructed-in camp gentle works nice as a flashlight
  • Android 13 and fairly strong midrange specs

  • Digicam efficiency is common
  • It appears like a brick in your pocket

The Unihertz Tank 3 is aptly named. It is a massive, heavy smartphone with loads of safety for no matter journey you propose to go on. A part of the majority is the absurd 23,800mAh battery that has a standby time of 1,800 hours, in line with Unihertz. Aside from that, you get a strong set of mid-range specs that ought to run apps and play many cell video games with out issues. It additionally comes with 5 cameras, though the efficiency on these is mediocre.

Along with first rate specs and an enormous construct, the Tank 3 additionally comes with an built-in camp gentle. It is customizable for heat or cool gentle and is definitely vibrant sufficient for use as a flashlight. The 120W wired charging can also be extreme, however we really feel it is necessary to prime up the huge battery shortly. This can be a nice telephone to take with you on multi-day excursions like tenting or mountain climbing.

Ulefone Armor 16 Pro

Doogee S100 Professional

7. Honorable point out rugged smartphone

Designed for out of doors use

$210 $420 Save $210

The Doogee S100 Professional was launched in 2023, and it is a shut competitor to the Unihertz Tank 3. It has first rate specs, trendy options like a 120Hz display screen, and an enormous battery.


  • 22,000mAh battery is not any joke
  • Thick chassis and an IP68 water and mud resistance score
  • This one additionally features a vibrant tenting gentle

  • Android 12 on a 2023 launch is not the perfect concept
  • Very heavy

The Doogee S100 Professional is a direct competitor to the Unihertz Tank 3. It additionally has a thick chassis with an enormous battery that may final for days between prices. It retains prices down through the use of the MediaTek Helio G99, which is nice sufficient for day-to-day duties in addition to some gentle cell gaming. It additionally comes with three cameras, an IP68 score, and a 120Hz display screen.

Sadly, the telephone would not help 5G, and it runs Android 12, so regardless of its comparatively latest launch date, it is nonetheless lacking out on some trendy tech. That mentioned, the shortage of 5G will certainly assist the already giant battery final even longer as 4G would not use as a lot battery lately. Total, we expect the Doogee V Max is the higher telephone, however this one is cheaper and has lots of the similar options.

Alternatively, you should buy a rugged case to placed on an everyday smartphone

One other potential choice is to purchase a cumbersome case to place in your present smartphone. In any case, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra or iPhone 15 Pro Max already has an IP68 water and mud resistance score, glorious specs, the newest Corning Gorilla Glass to withstand scratches, and trendy options like 5G. The one factor any trendy smartphone is basically lacking is drop safety. You should purchase drop safety.

Most of right this moment’s telephones have loads of cumbersome case choices, such because the Otterbox Defender, the place it will add a thick protecting layer. From there, you may have all of it, together with high-end specs, nice cameras, IP68, and a telephone that may deal with the occasional tumble. Try a few of Pocket-lint’s phone case collections to search out our rugged case picks, for iPhone 15 Pro Max, Galaxy S23 models, and Google Pixel 8.

The underside line: What’s the finest rugged smartphone?

For the cash, you may get probably the most mileage out of the Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Professional, the Unihertz Tank 3, and the Doogee V Max 5G. They provide the perfect mixture of value, efficiency, and ruggedness. The Blackview BV9200, Doogee S100 Professional, and the Nokia XR21 are additionally competent choices that embrace some further tech you may discover helpful. The Ulefone Armor 16 Professional brings up the rear of our suggestions for being very cheap.

Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro 5G

Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Professional

Editor’s Selection

Nonetheless, on the finish of the day, your finest wager is to purchase a contemporary smartphone like a Pixel, Galaxy, or iPhone, and slap a thick case on it. You get trendy options, software program updates, higher cameras, and extra highly effective {hardware} with the drop safety and IP score of rugged smartphones. That is what we’d advocate first.

How did we select the perfect rugged telephones?

Step one was figuring out sufficient trendy rugged smartphones to construct an inventory with. Many lists on the Web characteristic telephones from upwards of 4 or 5 years in the past, and we felt that these telephones have been too previous to be helpful right this moment. As soon as we selected the telephones, it was a matter of working them with our fantastic Pocket-lint editorial employees, watching and studying critiques, after which writing the article.

Are rugged smartphones definitely worth the funding?

It is largely subjective. Rugged smartphones usually have options that mainstream telephones keep away from having for numerous causes. For instance, on the listing above, we’ve telephones with 20,000mAh batteries, detachable battery covers, underwater cameras, tenting lights, and endoscopes. For people with area of interest use instances, such a telephone could possibly be rather more helpful than a contemporary flagship telephone.

Nonetheless, most rugged smartphones are mid-range when it comes to specs and options. A few of the above telephones do not even have 5G. So, in case your greatest concern is having probably the most highly effective potential telephone with nice cameras, then you definitely’ll need to go the route the place you purchase a contemporary flagship after which get a thick case.

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