If you work in a hands-on industry, or just simply have butter fingers, then a rugged smartphone might be the best option for you.
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Take a look at the following tough phones which could withstand the highest of falls, soggiest of puddles and scratchiest of scratches.
Update: Caterpillar CAT S60 review - By far the toughest phone yet.
In 2017 we will likely see less true tough phones hit the market, due to the improved toughness of our everyday smartphones. Most new smartphones are using Corning Gorilla Glass 4 or Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Gorilla Glass 5 will survive 80% of drops from 1.6m high.
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IP certification against dust and water ingress is also becoming commonplace. With IP certification, the higher the second number is, the more protection it offers against water.
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Take a look at the IP certification for the latest flagship smartphones:
Below you can discover the best tough phones of last year.
The Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 looks like a traditional smartphone, which moves it towards being the perfect smartphone for extreme sports enthusiasts. IP67 certification testifies towards its protection against dust and water.
With nano-technologies employed, owners don’t even need to insert rubber bungs into the audio and USB jacks in order for it to be waterproof. There is also an Aqua Mode for using the 5MP/2MP cameras underwater.
In our Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 review, we detailed how the phone works when the owner is wearing gloves. This tough phone also features a 4.5” display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, Samsung’s S Planner app, an Android OS with Google Voice Typing and a battery that can provide up to 13 hours of Wi-Fi internet use.
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The Caterpillar CAT S40 is a true rugged tough phone that has been tested to meet MIL-SPEC 810G and IP68 certification. The CAT S40 can deal with extreme temperatures ranging from -25°C to 55°C.
The CAT S40 is dust proof and waterproof, surviving for up to 60 minutes at a depth of one metre. This rugged shockproof phone can survive drops of up to 6ft (1.8m) and is even more practical with a sunlight readable display, protected behind Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
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We can’t pretend that the Sony Xperia Z5 is as tough as the CAT S40 but it is still an extremely durable smartphone and as one of the latest phones to hit the market, this is the best choice for all but the most accident prone.
Our Sony Xperia Z5 review highlights in detail the full story, which includes the IP68 water and dust protection. The aluminium body has toughened rounded edges to protect against drops and the display is protected behind tempered glass.
The 5.2” display has an amazing resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and the whole experience is powered by Android Lollipop and an octa-core processor. On the side is a fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button and this enables pick up and unlock in one move.
The 23MP camera is pretty much the best on the market, tough phone or not. Video recording at 4K quality is possible and selfies are handled by a secondary 5MP camera. The Sony Xperia Z5 also boasts High-Res Audio and fast charging where 10 minutes provides up to 5.5 hours of usage.
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Discover all of our smartphone reviews here.
Written by: Michael Brown