If you are always on the go and love outdoor activities, you need a smartphone that can keep up with you. A rugged phone is designed to withstand harsh conditions and is ideal for individuals who are always outdoors. The phone’s durability, battery life, antennas and specific outdoor tricks are some of the essential features to consider when choosing the best-rugged phone for the outdoors in the UK.
In today’s world, a smartphone has become an essential tool for almost every aspect of our lives, including outdoor adventures and exploration. For adventure and outdoors enthusiasts, having a rugged smartphone is not just a luxury but a necessity, especially when it comes to safety.
When embarking on outdoor activities, safety should always be a top priority. The best rugged smartphones are specifically designed to withstand the challenges and hazards that come with outdoor environments. One of the key advantages of a rugged smartphone is its durability. These devices are built to endure rough conditions, such as extreme temperatures, water exposure, dust, and drops. This durability ensures that your smartphone remains functional even in the harshest of circumstances, allowing you to rely on it for communication and assistance when you need it the most.
Imagine being on a hiking trail, up a mountain, kayaking, wild swimming or out bush crafting and accidentally dropping your smartphone on rocky cliffside, in a deep river, in the snow. With the best rugged smartphone, you can have peace of mind knowing that it can handle such impacts without shattering or malfunctioning, that it can handle the depth, the cold, the heat etc… In critical situations, where access to emergency services is limited, your rugged phone can be a lifeline. It can withstand the elements, allowing you to make emergency calls, send SOS messages, or share your GPS coordinates with rescuers.
The ability to withstand water is another crucial feature of rugged smartphones. Whether you’re crossing a river, caught in a sudden downpour, or engaging in water-based activities, having a waterproof smartphone ensures that it won’t be rendered useless if exposed to water. In case of an emergency, when every second counts, this water resistance can make all the difference.
Rugged smartphones also offer additional safety features tailored for outdoor enthusiasts. Some models come equipped with dedicated SOS buttons, allowing you to quickly call for help or notify your emergency contacts. Others have built-in thermal imaging cameras, which can be invaluable for detecting heat signatures in the dark, identifying potential hazards, or locating missing individuals.
Moreover, these devices often offer extended battery life, ensuring that your phone won’t die when you need it most. They may also have enhanced GPS capabilities and preloaded outdoor-specific apps, providing you with reliable navigation tools, weather forecasts, trail maps, and more.
What Makes a Phone Rugged?
A rugged phone, also known as a tough phone, is designed to withstand harsh environments and situations. Here are some essential features that make a phone rugged.
Best and most useful rugged smartphone features for outdoor use:
Water and Dust Resistance:
Rugged mobile phones with high IP ratings (Ingress Protection) can withstand water immersion and dust exposure. The most rugged phones need to be water-resistant and dust-resistant to withstand tough environments. The devices usually have an IP rating (Ingress Protection) that indicates how well a device can protect against water and dust. Look for a phone with an IP68 rating, which means it can withstand being submerged in water for up to 30 minutes and is also dust resistant. Tough waterproof smartphones will have a proper IP rating.
Military Standard Certification
Another feature that makes a phone rugged is military standard certification. MIL-STD-810G is a standard used by the military to test equipment for harsh conditions. It involves a series of tests such as drops, shock, vibration, high and low temperatures, and more. Look for smartphones with reinforced frames and rugged construction to withstand accidental drops and impacts.
Outdoor activities can be rough on phone screens. Consider devices with reinforced or shatterproof displays. Rugged phones usually have a Gorilla Glass design that makes the phone resistant to scratches and cracks. Gorilla Glass is a type of glass that’s chemically strengthened to increase its toughness and scratch resistance.
Long Battery Life:
Outdoor adventures often mean limited access to charging points. Rugged smartphones with large battery capacities, 5000mAh battery and above, ensure extended usage without the need for frequent recharging.
When you’re out in cold or wet conditions, having a smartphone with a glove-friendly touchscreen can be extremely useful. A glove-on working technology that allows you to use the screen even with gloves on.
Dedicated SOS Button:
Some rugged smartphones, come with a dedicated SOS button for emergency situations. It allows you to quickly call for help or send your GPS coordinates to pre-set contacts.
Enhanced GPS and Navigation:
Look for devices with strong GPS capabilities and pre-installed navigation apps. Reliable GPS performance is key and some phones are equipped with outdoor-focused navigation tools.
Powerful Cameras (Thermal Imaging, Night Vision, Main Camera)
For outdoor enthusiasts, a rugged smartphone with a built-in thermal imaging camera can be a valuable tool. Infa red cameras to detect heat signatures and identify potential hazards or wildlife. Rugged phones with powerful cameras such as thermal imaging and night vision cameras are a great feature to have when outdoors. The main camera should also be of high resolution to capture clear images and videos.
Push-to-Talk (PTT) Functionality:
Rugged smartphones with PTT functionality, enable instant communication with individuals or groups, similar to a walkie-talkie, which can be beneficial in outdoor team activities.
Look for smartphones that offer a range of outdoor-specific apps, such as weather forecasting, hiking trails, compass, or star maps.
These features can greatly enhance your outdoor experience and provide added durability and functionality to your smartphone.
Top Performance (RAM and Processor)
A phone with a powerful processor and enough RAM will allow you to run multiple apps and games smoothly. Look for a rugged phone with at least 6GB of RAM.
Top Rugged Smartphone Brands for 2023
Here are some of the best rugged phones available in the UK and their features:
Blackview BV9200 Rugged Smartphone
Introducing the Blackview BV9200: a rugged smartphone designed to meet your outdoor needs with impressive features. Let’s explore its key specifications and highlights:
- Device Name: Blackview BV9200
- RAM: It offers 8GB physical memory, expandable up to 14GB (including 6GB virtual memory) using original memory expansion technology.
- Storage Options: The phone boasts a massive 256GB of internal storage, and it also supports external storage of up to 1TB via a dedicated Micro SD slot.
- Cameras: Capture stunning photos with the BV9200’s impressive camera setup. It features a 50MP main camera with Arcsoft True-Chroma for improved image color fidelity. Additionally, there’s a 120° wide-angle 8MP camera for capturing wide shots and a super macro camera with a maximum of 1cm focus distance. On the front, there’s a 16MP camera that accurately reproduces diverse skin tones for clear and vibrant selfies.
- Fast Charging: The BV9200 supports 30W wireless fast charging, providing convenient and hassle-free charging. Additionally, it offers 66W fast charging, allowing you to charge the phone to 20% in just 5 minutes, ensuring uninterrupted gaming or important calls.
- Android Version: Running on the latest Android 12 operating system, the BV9200 offers enhanced security features, including the ability to check and set app permissions to prevent data leaks.
- Outdoor-Specific Features: The BV9200 is built to withstand rugged conditions. It has IP68 and IP69K professional military-grade certifications and upgrades MIL-STD-810H to improve durability and battery life. With the ability to withstand immersion up to 1.5m, water jet at 80°C, and drops from a height of 1.2m, it’s perfect for outdoor workers, explorers, bikers, motorcyclists, and fishing enthusiasts.
- Display and Protection: The phone features a 6.6-inch 120Hz display with intelligent adaptability to lower frame rate content, offering smooth viewing even during fast-moving games. The 1080*2408 resolution, 400PPI, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 ensure a better color gamut, realistic picture details, and protection against scratches and breaks.
- Other Features: The BV9200 provides additional features such as a glove mode for using the phone while wearing gloves, three card slots accommodating 2 nano SIMs and 1 TF card simultaneously, NFC support, a lanyard hook, GPS (Galileo, GLONASS, and Beidou), a liquid cooling system, and an underwater mode. The phone also comes with a 2-year warranty, ensuring quality and peace of mind.
Experience the Blackview BV9200, a reliable companion for your outdoor adventures, offering durability, powerful performance, advanced camera capabilities, and a feature-packed user experience.
Introducing the DOOGEE V20: a feature-packed smartphone designed to deliver an exceptional user experience. Let’s explore its key specifications and highlights:
- Device Name: DOOGEE V20
- RAM: The phone is equipped with 8GB of RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking and efficient performance.
- Storage Options: With 256GB of internal storage, the DOOGEE V20 provides ample space to store your files, apps, and media.
- Cameras: Capture stunning photos with the DOOGEE V20’s impressive camera setup. It features a 64MP AI triple camera, allowing you to capture the beauty of life in exquisite detail. Additionally, it boasts a 20MP night vision camera that excels in low-light conditions, delivering clear images even in the dark. The 3D HDR technology ensures high-definition scene details.
- Fast Charging: The DOOGEE V20 supports 33W fast charging, allowing you to charge up to 50% of the battery in just 30 minutes. Say goodbye to long charging times and enjoy uninterrupted usage.
- Android Version: The DOOGEE V20 runs on the latest Android operating system, providing a seamless and user-friendly experience.
- Outdoor-Specific Features: The DOOGEE V20 is built to withstand rugged conditions. It features an ultra-resistant Kevlar back with a carbon fiber-like texture, offering excellent toughness, high temperature resistance, and corrosion resistance. The phone is also IP68/IP69K waterproof and shockproof, ensuring its durability even in challenging environments.
- Display and Rear Screen: The phone boasts a 6.43″ 2K AMOLED FHD+ DotDisplay, offering a vivid and immersive visual experience. Additionally, it features an innovative independent rear screen of 1.05 inches, which conveniently displays time, incoming calls, music control, and other important information.
- Battery Life and Warranty: The DOOGEE V20 is equipped with a powerful 6000mAh battery, providing extended usage of 2-3 days without the need for frequent charging. Additionally, the phone comes with a 2-year warranty, offering peace of mind and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Experience the DOOGEE V20, a versatile and rugged smartphone that combines powerful performance, advanced camera capabilities, fast charging, and durability to meet your daily needs.
Ulefone ARMOR 16 PRO
Introducing the Power Armor 16 Pro, a rugged smartphone designed to provide a powerful and reliable user experience. Let’s explore its key features and highlights:
- Device Name: Power Armor 16 Pro
- RAM: With 4GB of RAM, the Power Armor 16 Pro enhances your working efficiency, ensuring smooth multitasking and seamless performance.
- Storage Options: The phone offers ample storage options with 64GB of internal storage and an expandable memory of up to 128GB. You’ll have plenty of space to store your apps, videos, images, and music.
- Cameras: Capture your favorite moments with the Power Armor 16 Pro’s high-quality camera. It features a powerful 36mm diameter speaker with an 11.5 CC sound cavity, delivering exceptional sound quality with a loudness of up to 122dB. Experience HiFi-quality sound like never before.
- Fast Charging: Equipped with a built-in glare flashlight, the Power Armor 16 Pro ensures that darkness won’t be an obstacle. With high brightness and no flickering, the flashlight is perfect for everyday use, emergencies, and outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and more.
- Outdoor-Specific Features: The Power Armor 16 Pro is built to withstand tough conditions. It meets IP68, IP69K, and MIL-STD-810G certification standards, making it resistant to water, high pressure, dust, drops, crashes, and extreme temperatures ranging from -20℃ to 55℃. It is an ideal choice for construction workers, adventurers, climbers, miners, and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Battery Life and Reverse Charging: Enjoy long-lasting usage with the massive 9600mAh battery of the Power Armor 16 Pro. With 528 hours of standby time and 52 hours of call time, you can surf the internet, listen to music, watch videos, and play games without the need for frequent charging. The phone also supports OTG reverse charging, allowing you to use it as a power bank to charge other devices.
- Android Version: The Power Armor 16 Pro runs on the latest Android operating system, providing a seamless and user-friendly experience.
- Performance: The Power Armor 16 Pro features a MediaTek Helio G25 chipset with an octa-core CPU and a frequency of 2.0GHz, ensuring smooth and efficient performance.
Experience the Power Armor 16 Pro, a rugged smartphone that combines a powerful speaker, reliable flashlight, military-grade durability, long-lasting battery life, ample storage options, and enhanced performance to meet your daily needs, especially in challenging outdoor environments.
AGM Glory Pro 5G Rugged Smartphone
Introducing the AGM Glory Pro, a rugged smartphone designed to deliver exceptional performance and durability in challenging environments. Let’s take a closer look at its standout features:
- Device Name: AGM Glory Pro
- RAM: The AGM Glory Pro comes equipped with 8GB of RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking and efficient performance.
- Storage Options: With internal storage of up to 256GB and expandable memory of up to 512GB via microSD (not included), you’ll have ample space to store your files, photos, and videos.
- Cameras: The AGM Glory Pro features a versatile camera system, including a 48MP main camera, a 20MP infrared night camera, a 16MP front camera, and a 2MP macro camera. Additionally, it is equipped with a thermal imaging camera capable of detecting objects within 5 meters, making it an excellent tool for troubleshooting and problem-solving.
- Fast Charging: Powered by a 6200mAh cold-resistant battery, the AGM Glory Pro offers long-lasting usage even in extreme environments, lasting up to 22 hours at -27°C. Additionally, it features a powerful 33mm 3.5W speaker with a volume of 110dB, ensuring that you never miss any important phone calls or notifications.
- Android Version: The AGM Glory Pro runs on the latest Android 11 operating system, providing a smooth and intuitive user experience.
- Outdoor-Specific Features: Built to withstand tough conditions, the AGM Glory Pro has been certified with IP68/IP69k/MIL-STD-810H ratings. It is drop-proof, dust-proof, and water-proof, surviving drops from up to 1.5 meters onto concrete and remaining submerged in water for 30 minutes. It offers reliable support for outdoor exploration and adventure.
- Display: The rugged smartphone features a 6.53-inch LCD screen with FHD+ resolution (2340*1080), providing a visually stunning and durable display. The floating framing and 10-point multitouch panel enhance the user experience.
- Network Compatibility: The AGM Glory Pro supports various network frequencies, including 5G NR: N1/2/3/5/7/8/28/41/66/77/78, ensuring fast and reliable connectivity.
Experience the AGM Glory Pro, a rugged smartphone that combines powerful imaging capabilities, long-lasting battery life, durability, ample storage options, a stunning display, and the latest Android OS. Join us on this great adventure and enjoy excellent customer service available 24/7.
In summary, a rugged smartphone is not just a gadget for the adventurous; it is a safety companion. Its durability, water resistance, and specialized features can greatly enhance your safety and peace of mind during outdoor activities. So, before you embark on your next adventure, consider investing in a rugged smartphone to ensure that you have a reliable and resilient device by your side, ready to assist you in any situation that may arise.