Which are the most rugged smartphones?

The powerful combination of performance and functionality has ensured the dominance of smartphones in the cellphone market. One doesn’t have to be a gadget guru to figure out that smartphones are here to stay. The one possible area where there is ample room for improvement is their physical resilience. The most popular of smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy SIII and HTC One X are rather fragile and can be damaged quite easily. All of us know someone who has a broken or a water damaged smartphone.

Slowly but surely, the niche of rugged smartphones is beginning to emerge. In an earlier post, we explained the meaning and significance of rugged cameras. Similarly, there seems to a rising demand for smartphones which are water resistant and physically shockproof. While one should not have unreal expectations, it is still possible to have a certain level of protection against physical damage. In the recent past, some smartphones have been specifically designed to offer such features. Let’s have a quick look at them-

1. Samsung Rugby Smart- The external design of this rugged smartphone by Samsung meets military specifications. Among other features, it is shock resistant, it can withstand extremes of temperature and it can be submerged under 3 feet water for as long as 30 minutes. The great news is that the technical performance is not compromised by these rugged features. The phone is powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread and TouchWiz 4.0. Surprisingly, it is quite light (it weighs about 4.4 ounces) and slim for a rugged smartphone. All in all, the Samsung Rugby Smart manages to find that fine balance between physical durability and technical performance.

2. Sony Xperia Go- Sony launched two cellphones, Xperia Go and Xperia Acro S in the rugged phone category. The Xperia Go comes with all the features characteristic of a rugged smartphone- it is dustproof, shock-resistant and it can be safely submerged in water one foot deep for close to thirty minutes. All these features have earned the phone an IP 67 certification, which is basically a standard for rugged phones. It offers all these features along with a 3.5 inch display and 1 GHz Android Gingerbread processor. In the past, rugged phones were often associated with heavy and bulky designs. However, that trend has been broken by rugged smartphones like the Xperia Go, which sports a sleek design and is only 0.5mm thicker than Apple iPhone 4S.

3. Motorola Defy Plus- Motorola Defy was one of the pioneers of the rugged smartphone genre. It’s sequel, the Motorola Defy Plus comes with a better processor (1 GHz) and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. This smartphone has a protective frame on the side and the front and has an IP 67 certification. The USP of this phone is its physical durability which makes it ideal for adventure holidays and extreme sports.

These were just some of the rugged smartphones which have created quite a stir in the cellphone market. Till a few years ago, people used to dream of phones which could withstand such extreme conditions. Now, thanks to the giants strides made in the field of technology, a rugged smartphone is a reality. Besides the ones already mentioned, other smartphones like Samsung Galaxy Xcover and Sony Ericsson Xperia Active also fall within this category.

Editor in Chief : Arie Struik

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