Choose a Rugged Smartphone Based on These Top Features


Nothing can be more frustrating than having your mobile handset break after a fall at the construction site, especially if you have most of the supplier contact numbers on the handset. A rugged smartphone, able to withstand falls in addition to water and dust is an essential work tool for anyone who works outdoors, participates in adventure sport or works with machinery.


The question is “How do you choose a rugged smartphone that’s right for your needs?” Read on to discover the top features to look for when you shop for mobile handsets. We also introduce some of the trendiest rugged smartphones to help you choose the handset that will meet your budget and function requirements.


  1. Strong screen to prevent cracks and breakage


It is not just about a screen protector or a strong case. It is about a high level of scratch resistance. Have you tried to read a text message through the blur of a scratched screen? Not only is it frustrating, it can make it difficult to identify key information. Mobile handsets with waterfall screens are especially prone to suffer screen cracks.


The secret lies in the glass strength. You want a phone that has a tempered glass screen, reinforced with the necessary chemical substances to give it the required snap and crack resistance. To get an idea of the screen strength, look at the manufacturer’s stated drop rate. How far can the phone fall before the screen breaks? Don’t confuse this with the water resistance of the phone.


The screen size also affects the smartphone’s ability to bend. A thicker screen is less likely to snap in two or to be cracked when someone by accident sits on it.


An example of an entry-level rugged smartphone that works with just about everyone’s budget is the Blackview BV5500. It comes with an IP68-certified screen that’s made from Gorilla Glass 3. It can be dropped 1,5 metres without breakage and the phone comes with plugged holes to minimise the risk of damage due to water or dust. It is 99% dustproof and is also waterproof to 1,5 metres. It is the ideal handset for construction workers and outdoor enthusiasts. Want a second opinion? Have a look at this review.


Ready to buy? See the features, prices and photos of the Blackview 5500 here.


  1. Protection against water damage


Water is the biggest enemy of electronics and this makes it an enemy of every smartphone on the market. From reading your text messages in the rain to taking calls while in the water put the phone at risk. Somehow, the toilet bowl seems to attract smartphones, not to even mention how easy it is to drop the handset in the sea while studying the marine life of rock pools.


The speaker and mic system is the most vulnerable because these are protected by a fine wire mesh to allow sound through. Here is where you may have to compromise on sound quality for the sake of having a completely waterproof handset. The best option is one with a rating of 7, but chances are that you will not necessarily see the ratings on the specifications. To this end, look for a rugged smartphone in which the charge and audio ports are properly sealed off from the rest of the phone’s components.


If you want a rugged smartphone for everyday use, small enough to take wherever you go, then the Blackview BV4900 Pro handset is for you. It is a little small for extensive outdoor work usage, but the smaller size makes it well-suited for the outdoor enthusiast. Well-priced and still in the average budget range, this handset comes with an IP68 and IP69 rating. It can withstand drops in water to 1,5 metres for up to 30 minutes at a time. The handset is also protected against drops, bumps and dust. The battery offers more operating time before having to be recharged. Learn more about this budget-friendly rugged smartphone here.


  1. Dust protection is essential


It doesn’t help if the screen is drop- and waterproof, but the audio jacks are exposed. If you work outside on construction sites, you will most likely encounter sand and dust the entire time. With the device pushed down into the pocket of your pants or shirt, the handset’s audio sections are vulnerable to dust penetration. Dust will not immediately damage the components, but dust build-up over time causes the audio quality to decline. You can also expect difficulties with charging and with connection. Water and drop proof features are important, but the handset must also have superb dust resistance. Look for a rugged smartphone that is 99% dustproof.


The Blackview BV9100 rugged smartphones have superb dust-proof features. Priced in the mid-range, these handsets offer great value for money. The handsets are 1,5 metre drop-proof and are 360-degree dust-proof. If you work in a dust-filled environment or are a farmer working out in the field where you are likely to encounter soil and dust, you will appreciate these rugged smartphones. These handsets are IP68 and IP69 waterproof rated as well. You can even take pictures underwater with these phones. Forget about getting an underwater camera for snorkelling if you can have this handset. View more information here.


What about other features?


Apart from water, dust and drop protection, what else do you want in a rugged smartphone? The extra features such as the ability to operate in extreme temperature settings, having thermal imaging capability, long battery life, and sporting an excellent front and back camera should also be considered. Make a list of the features you want and compare each handset with the essentials in addition to the other features you want in a handset. Once you have narrowed down the handsets that fit within your budget, read reviews for each.


Where to get the best-rugged smartphones


The Blackview brand is renowned for manufacturing handsets suitable for harsh work and outdoor environments. Make your way to the Rugged Smartphones online shopping section and choose the handset of your choice.