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Top 5 best rugged smartphones available this year

13 December 2018 5

From last few weeks, we are enlisting the best of the best in the market to help out our readers. Not all customers are keen to grab the premium flagships or mid-rangers instead their daily routine requires a smartphone with rugged capabilities. These smartphones are not only waterproof they also can bear shocks which makes them the best option for outdoor activities where you don't require Hifi smartphone instead of a rugged smartphone.

The rugged smartphones are mostly IP68 certified, they can bear against extreme temperature as well as accidental shocks. The rugged smartphones of this year are not what you expect from a traditional rugged device instead this year manufacturers tried to bring something special for instance having the infrared camera or they can detect Volatile Organic compound.

There are a few aspects which are common in every rugged smartphone, for instance, they all have sturdy chassis with water and dust resistance capabilities. So if you are amongst those who want a rugged smartphone and confused amongst so many options. We already listed best bezel-less smartphones, best flagships, best phablets, and many others. Today we will enlist the best-rugged smartphone currently available in the market. Without any further ado, let's have a look at the best-rugged smartphones of this year. Starting with the best one.

AGM X2

The AGM X2 is indeed the best-rugged smartphone available this year. Mostly rugged smartphones available in the market doesn't have enough power under the hood but that's not the case with the AGM's X2. It not only impresses because of its ultimate ruggedness but also because of being a powerhouse under the hood. The company opted the Qualcomm's Octa-core chipset to run it with whopping 6GB RAM.

The camera sensors on rear and front are pretty impressive. The X2 camera results are so good that even in some scenarios it beats the Samsung's Galaxy S8 thanks to dual rear cameras. Apart from having the impressive hardware, the X2 can also be used as a volatile organic compound detector so it is targetted to the special niche of customers as well. It has USB Type-C connectivity port and also supports NFC. It doesn't support Dual SIMs.

The AGM X2 sports a 5.5-inches display with Full HD screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The Qualcomm's Snapdragon 635 SoC is powering the device with 6GB RAM and native storage is 128GB. The dual rear snappers are 12MP+12MP whereas the selfie-camera is 16MP. A gigantic 6,000mAH battery cell is on board to keep its lights on, it lacks wireless charging feature. As OS the device is pre-installed with Android Nougat. It can be grabbed for $489 which makes it one of the most expensive rugged smartphone available in the market.

Purchase AGM X2 for $489

Cat S41

Last year Caterpillar corp released S60 as the most rugged phone. It was indeed one of the best-rugged phones in the market. This year we have a couple of new rugged devices from Caterpillar including Cat S41 and S31. The S41 is the latest best from the company with solid hardware and bringing almost everything what you can expect from a truly rugged phone.

On the front-facing side, you will get physical buttons for back, home, and recent apps. It comes with 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. Like all rugged phones, it is an IP68 certified phone, according to the company it can survive up to 6.5 feet deep water for 60 minutes without any damage. The device features Military Standard 810G which ensures it can bear drop up to 6 feet on concrete. Other goodies are it can bear Vibration, pressure, salt mist spray and thermal shocks without any damage. The Cat S41 dimensions are 5.98 x 2.95 x 0.51 inches. The device physical buttons and display works efficiently even with wet fingers. Unfortunately, it lacks a fingerprint scanner.

In terms of specs, the Cat S41 features a 5-inches TFT display with Full HD screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The display aspect ratio is 16:9 and it is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Under the hood, the MediaTek MT6757 SoC is powering the phone with 3GB RAM and 32GB native storage. It supports memory expansion up to 256GB using MicroSD. As OS the device is pre-installed with Android Nougat 7.0.

The rear snapper is 13MP with PDAF, HDR mode and LED flashlight. Up front the selfie snapper is 8MP. The best thing is both the sensors are capable to shoot even under water. A gigantic 5,000mAH battery is on board to keep its lights on for more than 4 days on normal usage. On standby, it can last up to 44 days.

Grab CAR-S41 at $350

Galaxy S8 Active

Not everyone is a fan of traditional rugged phones thick ugly look instead there are many buyers who are looking for a stylish phone with rugged capabilities. If you are amongst those the Galaxy S8 Active is certainly a pretty good option for those buyers. It brings almost everything what you can expect from a top-tier flagship phone yet it brings extra goodies of rugged phones. In short, we can claim the S8 Active comes with the finest display, solid premium flagship and gigantic battery cell.

The Galaxy S8 Active is designed to look rugged. Unlike the flagship model, it comes with a flat display with thin bezels. The edges are refined with metal and rubber. Samsung stated the device comes with the military-grade body and IP68 certification. It can drown under 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. Being a MIL-STD-810G phone it is quite capable to absorb shock, pressure, temperature, and vibrations efficiently. On the front-facing side, you will get a full front-facing display with minimal bezels. It is protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5. However, the metal extends of the frame certainly helps it to absorb drops efficiently.

Instead of glass rear, the S8 Active comes with concrete like her which not only looks rugged but also it can bear drops efficiently. It has a fingerprint scanner on the rear which doesn't work underwater. In terms of specs, the S8 Active is featuring a 5.8-inches display with Quad HD+ screen resolution. The Qualcomm's Octa-core Snapdragon 835 is powering it with 4GB RAM. The built-in native storage is 64GB which can be further expanded using MicroSD. As OS it is pre-installed with Android Nougat 7.0. The rear snapper is 12MP with OIS and 4K recording. The S8 Active lights are kept on by a 4,000mAH battery.

Buy Galaxy S8 Active at $830

Sonim XP8

This year we haven't seen many OEMs bringing rugged phones except new phones from CAT. After a long delay of four years, Sonim is back once again with a new rugged phone XP8. The latest XP8 is the direct successor of XP7, it brings almost all goodies of its predecessor with few extra additions to be a worthy 2018 rugged phone.

Like its predecessor, the XP8 isn't meant for the regular users instead the company focuses on the workers of chemical plants, construction sites, electricians, firefighters and other jobs in hazardous conditions. The XP8 features FirstNet Ready certification, Push-To-Talk function so it can be utilized as walkie-talkie in case of emergency. Another prominent aspect of XP8 design is its three analog buttons for home, recent and back.

It features a dedicated red Alarm key which sends current location in case of emergency. There aren't many phones in the market with a removable battery, fortunately, XP8 comes with a removable battery and a dedicated slot for MicroSD. The XP8 has dual 100 dB+ speakers on the front. To protect the display against drops it comes with a protective lip. It is one of its kind phones which comes with IP68, IP68 and IP69K certifications which provides resistance against water up to 6.5 feet for 30 minutes.

As far as hardware specs are a concern the Sonim XP8 features a 5-inches IPS display with Full HD screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 is protecting the display. Under the hood, the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 chipset is powering the device with 4GB RAM. The Adreno 508 is on board as GPU. The device built-in storage is 64GB which can be further expanded using MicroSD. It is pre-installed with Android Nougat. The primary rear snapper is 12MP with PDAF whereas the selfie snapper is 8MP.

A 4,900mAH battery is on board to keep its lights on. The company claims the device can last 48 hours on normal usage. It comes with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4.0+ for fast charging. Last but not the least the company is offering 3 years warranty.

Grab Sonim XP8

Zebra TC75x


Last but not the least we have a compact rugged smartphone Zebra TC75x. Despite having a compact body it is the most expensive rugged smartphone announced this year because of its top-notch build quality and also it comes pre-loaded with business application suite. The Zebra TC75X is one of its kind devices in terms of features, build expertise from Motorola and price range. It can be grabbed for $2169 but you may mind better deal in coming days.

The Zebra TC75X is featuring 4.7-inches display with HD screen resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. The Qualcomm's Snapdragon 650 SoC is powering the device with 4GB RAM and built-in memory is 32GB. The primary rear snapper is 13MP whereas the camera on the front is 5MP. A 4,620mAh battery cell is on board to keep its lights on. As OS the device is running on Android Marshmallow.

​Grab Zebra TC75X for $2169

Conclusion

These are the best 5 rugged smartphones available for purchase in 2018, there are many others including Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1, CAT S60 and Ulefone Armor 2. In our view, the aforementioned are the best in their class ranging from top tier to mid-rangers and pocket-friendly options. If you think we miss any rugged smartphone eligible to part of the list, feel free to share it with fellow readers in the comments section below. Stay tuned.


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