There are a lot of amazingly designed phones out there, but you have to admit, most smartphones are pretty fragile. In terms of taking a beating, the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy aren’t meant to take the heat. This could be a problem for you if you are an avid outdoor type and you need to have a phone that can stay on after you drop it more than a few times.
If you do outdoor work such as a park ranger, construction worker, or any other type of physically demanding job, you know what I mean. Our cellphones are at risk of being dropped, pushed, spilled, stepped on, anything, it can happen. And if our phones die every time something like this happens then we’re going to be spending a lot of money replacing them!
This is why we wanted a phone that had a bit more “endurance” built in. What phones meet this test?
A phone that boasts fifteen years with one dual A battery? I’m already interested! Granted, the actual talk time is only ten hours or so, but this is a phone designed to avoid most of the time and is used only for emergency calls. As simple as that. If you are the type of person who works outdoors all day, every day then this is for you. There’s no need to charge, battery replacement is a snap, and you don’t have to worry about people interrupting you with calls while you’re on scaffolding or performing physically demanding tasks that require your full attention.
Rugged Outdoor Mobile DSS
The phone can handle two SIM cards to access multiple networks, great for outdoor enthusiasts who don’t always know if their network can get a reliable connection in a certain area. The phone is encased in water-resistant plastic, and has built-in shock absorbers that we love. But it’s very basic, no smartphone features here. The phones themselves are cheap, but having a two phone plan (if you decide to use both SIMs) can add up if you’re not shopping around.
B2100 Extreme Solids
Apart from the basic camera (1.8 MP), this phone lacks any really noteworthy features. If “basic” and “reliable” are words you look for when shopping for a cell phone, then this is the one for you. Also, the super long battery life is perfect for people who will be outside and away from the phone charger for a long time. It’s not filled with shock absorbers (dang), but it still holds up to spills pretty well.
Sitemaster JCB Toughphone
It is, swallow, “military approved” and “pressure tested.” Gosh, I’m impressed! I’ve read reviews and testimonials calling this the “world’s most durable phone”. I can’t claim to endorse this, but the specs would make it seem accurate. It can withstand multiple falls from great heights, can be completely submerged in water for minutes, and even survives being left in the freezer to freeze. Basic features, but alive. And live. And live.
Builder edition especially. This is a more fully featured phone. It’s not an iPhone, but the Android OS features Gingerbread does give you a lot of the smartphone capabilities you might need. This one can handle drops, spills, and is dust, water, and scratch-resistant. Reports of this phone crashing and surviving are also out there. Still, as tough as it’s going to be, this isn’t a Sitemaster Toughphone. And the smartphone features mean your plan will be a bit more expensive compared to some of the more basic phones on this list.
If you are the type of person who spends a lot of time outdoors then you will love the phones on this list. It’s not all quite the pinnacle of modern mobile technology, but you’ll love the toughness this phone has. If you’re in a situation where your phone frequently comes into contact with risk, maybe you should consider investing in one of these babies. Even so, I suggest you also get something like ProtectYourBubble.com phone insurance because just in case you have a major accident even these things can’t be dealt with, knowing that you are protected is invaluable.
Laura Gin is a professional writer and blogger. He writes regularly on tech topics and after researching this list, he was convinced that he needed a phone with built-in “shock absorption”.