Mobile & Tech

Can Your Phone Survive Fire and Rain? 5 Rugged Smartphones for Field Service

How rugged is your smartphone? Can it withstand wind, rain and 6-foot drops? Samsung recently announced the release of a new, more durable version of their popular smartphone, the Galaxy S4, adding to the growing market of tough and rugged smartphones. For field service technicians this means many new options to choose from when deciding which device is the best fit for the job. 

While things like battery life, size and weight are important to consider, when it comes to extreme conditions, field technicians can also vet their smartphone by finding out whether it is IP67 Certified or if it meets Military Standard 810. An IP67 Certified device can survive anything from a dust storm to submersion in a meter of water, and a Military Standard 810 device has passed the U.S. Military Standardized tests that cover everything from temperature to ability to withstand impact to humidity.

Interested in what’s out there in the rugged smartphone market? Here are a few to consider:

Kyocera Torque

Cost: $99 (with contract) or $500 (outright)
Operating System: Android 4.1
Battery Life: 18.9 hours
Rugged Device Specifications: IP67 and MIL-STD-810 Certified 
Weight:
 5.9 ounces
Unique Features: The Kyocera features an impact-resistant touchscreen as well as a Smart Sonic Reciever that enables users to hear phone calls even in the loudest environments. The Kyocera also features textured Android hard keys, reinforced housing and non-slip Dura-Grip that make this phone easy to use, rain or shine.

Android Rhino
Cost: $585 (wholesale)
Operating System: 
Android 4.1
Battery Life:
6 hours 
Rugged Device Specifications:
 IP67 and MIL-STD-810 Certified 
Weight:
 9.17 ounces  
Unique Features:
While extreme conditions are the Rhino’s specialty, this smartphone also comes equipped with Bluetooth, GPS navigation and an 8MP camera.

NEC Terrain

Cost: $99 (with contract) or $430 (outright)
Operating System:
Android 4.0
Battery Life:
10 hours
Rugged Device Specifications: 
IP67 and MIL-STD-810 Certified 
Weight:
 6.06 ounces
Unique Features:
The NEC Terrain is thick, durable with curved edges that make it comfortable to hold. It also comes with a QWERTY keyboard, perfect for those who prefer to type over using a touchscreen.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Cost: 
TBA 
Operating System: 
Android 4.2.2
Battery Life: 
17 hours 
Rugged Device Specifications:
IP67 Certified 
Weight:
 5.3 ounces  
Unique Features: 
The Galaxy S4 includes Samsung Smart Scroll and Pause, which allows the user to control the screen based on where they are looking without having to touch the screen at all. Samsung Air View and Air Gesture enable the user to hover their finger over the phone’s screen to make selections or wave a hand to answer calls.
Sony Xperia Go

Cost: $217
Operating System: Android 2.3
Battery Life: 6.5 hours
Rugged Device Specifications: IP67 Certified
Weight: 3.88 ounces
Unique Features: The Sony Xperia Go comes pre-loaded with a selection of adventure apps for the ideal active user. One key feature that differentiates it from the pack is its compactness — making it the most pocket-friendly choice.

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