Your guide

rugged phones

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

Smartphone design has changed quite a lot over the past few years. We now have phones that are extremely sleek, with all-glass builds, and large displays with minimal bezels across the price spectrum. Unfortunately, most mainstream phones aren’t ideal for those that work in more intense environments, like construction. That’s where a good rugged smartphone can make all the difference. Here are the best rugged phones you can buy!

The best rugged phones:

Editor’s note: We will continue to update this list of the best rugged phones you can get as more become available.


1. BlackView BV9900

blackview bv 9900 - best rugged phones

BlackView is becoming an increasingly popular name in the world of rugged phones. The latest and greatest from the company — the BV 9900 — features impressive specs and features. More importantly, it can survive in almost any environment.

In terms of protection, the phone comes with IP68 and IP69K ratings for dust and waterproofing, a MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection, and can withstand temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) and as high as 55 degree Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit). It can also be charged wirelessly, supports NFC, and comes with a UV meter and hygrometer. Decent specs and a surprisingly good camera setup round out one of the best rugged smartphones currently available.


BlackView BV9900 specs:

  • Display: 5.84-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P90
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 16, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,380mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

2. Doogee S95 Pro

doogee s95 pro rugged phone

The Doogee S95 Pro comes with all the specs and features expected from a high-end rugged phone. You get IP68 and IP69K rating for dust and waterproofing and a MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection with this phone. It also comes with good mid-range specs, a large battery, and a surprisingly good camera setup.

However, what makes this phone stand out from the crowd is its modular capabilities. Two modules are available right now. The battery module, as the name suggests, lets you tack on an additional 3,500mAh unit to the phone and is ideal for those planning long outdoor trips. You can also get a speaker module that comes with its own battery to allow for up to 10 hours of playback. A built-in kickstand on the speaker module lets you have a great hands-free media viewing experience.


Doogee S95 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.3-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P90
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,150mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

3. Ulefone Armor 7

Best rugged phones - Ulefone armor 7

Joining the growing list of decently-specced rugged smartphones with good cameras is the Ulefone Armor 7. You get the similar hardware and protection features that are available with Doogee S95 Pro. The phone is completely dust and waterproof and should comfortably survive most accidental bumps and drops. It also comes with an air pressure sensor and a heart rate monitor.

The standout feature of the Armor 7 is the huge battery that is packed into the relatively sleek phone. While the Armor 7 definitely looks like a rugged phone, it does come close to mainstream devices in the fact that it comes with an impressive 93.9% screen-to-body ratio. A raised bezel and reinforced corners help keep that screen safe though.


Ulefone Armor 7 specs:

  • Display: 6.3-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P90
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 16, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 5,500mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

4. Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro

samsung galaxy xcover pro rugged phone

After a couple of years, Samsung returned to the rugged smartphone segment last year, but not with an Active iteration of an S-series device. Instead, after launching a successor its entry-level rugged phone in 2019, Samsung decided to bolster its Xcover rugged portfolio with an impressive mid-range offering this year.

The Galaxy Xcover Pro comes with everything we’ve come to expect from a Samsung mid-ranger, including a solid processor, decent cameras, and good battery life. Of course, the key selling point is how rugged the phone is. Like the other phones on this list, you get a MIL-STD 810G certification and an IP68 rating. The battery is also removable and the back cover opens on impact to keep the phone and the battery safe.


Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.3-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Exynos 9611
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Cameras: 25 and 8MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 4,050mAh
  • Software: Android 10

5. Unihertz Atom XL

Unihertz Atom XL

The company that is known for making extremely small and rugged phones in an age where 6.3-inch displays are average has a brand new device on offer. The Unihertz Atom get the XL treatment, with the screen size jumping from 2.45-inches to a whopping 4-inches. It gets even more rugged this time around too, with an IP68 rating for dust and waterproofing and a MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection.

The Atom XL offers a unique walkie-talkie function with an impressive range of up to 8km. It’s one of the few rugged phones to come with the latest version of Android out of the box. It also gets an upgraded camera setup that is good enough to take on some mainstream mid-range devices out there. Overall, the Atom XL is quite an impressive upgrade over its predecessor and is one of the best rugged phones you can get.

Keep in mind that you can’t get your hands on the Atom XL just yet. You can, however, pre-order it via the company’s Kickstarter campaign by clicking the button below.


Unihertz Atom XL specs:

  • Display: 4-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P60
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

6. Cat S52

the rugged cat s52

Caterpillar, best known for its huge construction vehicles and machines, also sells a series of rugged phones. The company hasn’t refreshed its high-end offerings in a while, but it has a great new device available that blurs the lines between rugged and mainstream phones — the Cat S52.

In terms of specifications, the S52 features entry-level hardware and comes with quite a sleek design compared to previous Cat phones. It’s not any less protected, though, with its IP68 rating for ingress protection and MIL-STD 810G certification for impact protection.


Cat S52 specs:

  • Display: 5.65-inch, HD+
  • SoC: MediaTek Helio P35
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Cameras: 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 3,100mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

That concludes this roundup of some of the best rugged phones you can get that can stay safe in any condition.