The Best Rugged Smartphones to Buy In 2023

Having a list of available rugged cell phones to buy would be helpful in helping you make a buying decision. Being able to compare the available options would be great. Trust us here at MobilityArena to help you with your buying decisions. We have compiled the most extensive list of rugged smartphones to buy in 2023, so you can compare and make your choice.

The figures don’t lie; most people do not care for rugged smartphones. They would rather buy a regular smartphone that catches their fancy and buy a protective case to is it with, to shield it from falls and hits. But there is a small subset of cell phone users who need phones that can withstand really tough environments, people whose daily lives requires a phone that can take a few knocks, hits, and drops without breaking. These individuals want no less than the best rugged smartphone possible.

Best rugged smartphones

What To Look For In A Rugged Smartphone

At the core of requirements, a rugged smartphone is one that has dust and water resistance and is also able to withstand shocks and drops without falling apart. These are essential needs. Some go further and get certified for military standard use, meaning they are certified to take some beating out in extreme conditions. Some rugged cell phones also have pressure resistance, heat resistance, as well as support underwater camera usage. And a smaller set of rugged smartphones have extra features built in to help outdoor people navigate and measure, among other tools.

There are not a lot of those phones in the market, for the same reason that not a lot of people are particular about them. But there are enough, and we have compiled a list of 12 leading rugged smartphones in the market today and followed it up with our recommendations for the best models you can buy in 2023.

List of Rugged Smartphones Available To Buy In 2023

Which phone brands make rugged phones? Among the mainstream brands, we have Samsung and Nokia. And that is it. Beyond these top brands, other phone makers that produce and sell rugged phones include: Doogee, BlackView, AGM, CAT, Unihertz, Kyocera, and Ulefone.

AGM G2 Guardian

The G2 Guardian is an outstanding outdoors smartphone for a number of reasons. First, it has a Thermal Monocular Long Detection camera with a range of 500 metres. That means this camera can pick distinct heat signatures of humans within that range – which is something no other smartphone’s camera can do.

Secondly, its thermal camera is auto-focus, something that other smartphone thermal cameras do not have. The option to use manual focus is also present. Thirdly, its unusual Qualcomm QCM6490 chipset is slightly below Dimensity 1200 in performance and above Dimensity 1100, making it the second most powerful rugged smartphone on this list.

AGM G2 Guardian 5G rugged smartphone
AGM G2 Guardian is the overall best rugged smartphone you can buy today
  • Rugged features: IP68/69K dust and water resistant for up to 1.5m for 30 minutes; MIL-STD-810H; drop-to-concrete resistance, up to 1.5m; thermal monocular camera
  • Weight: 405g
  • Operating System: Android 12
  • Network: 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM
  • Display: 6.58 inches, 2340×1080 pixels, IPS LCD screen, Gorilla Glass
  • CPU: Qualcomm QCM6490
  • RAM: 8GB / 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • MicroSD card: up to 512GB (dedicated)
  • Battery: 7000mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 18W wired charging, 10W wireless
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Rear cameras: 108 MP main sensor + 256×192 Thermal Monocular Long Detection autofocus camera (10mm lens) + 20 MP Infrared Night Vision lens + 2 MP macro lens
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: from $899

Unihertz Tank

This rugged smartphone is built like a tank, so the name does not mislead in any way. Its standout features are the massive 22,000mAh battery that keeps the phone going for days under intensive use, and the 66W fast charging. If you also ever need a weapon for self-defence, if you throw it like Captain America throws his shield, or like Thor throws Mjolnir. It is as hard-hitting and as indestructible as either of them.

  • Rugged features: IP68 dust and water resistant; MIL-STD-810H; drop-to-concrete resistance, up to 1.5m; Shock resistance.
  • Weight: 560g
  • Network: 4G, 3G, 2G
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio G99
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Display: 6.81-inch, 2340×1080 pixels, IPS LCD, Panda Glass MN228 protection
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Micro SD card support: No
  • Battery: 22,000mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 66W wired charging, Reverse wired charging
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Rear cameras: 108MP Main Camera + 20MP Night Vision Camera
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: $399.99. You can order your Unihertz Tank here. Disclosure: MobilityArena earns a commission if you order via this link. Read our Unihertz Tank review.

Nokia XR20

Nokia is a known brand in many parts of the world, especially in the UK, Europe, Oceania, Asia, and Africa. The brand has a small but loyal following too, in the USA. The Nokia XR20 is available in all these regions.

Nokia XR20 brings Gorilla Glass Victus, MIL standard casing, and IP68 waterproof and dustproof standard to the game.
Nokia XR20
  • Rugged features: MIL-STD-810H military-grade durability, IP68 dust and water resistant (up to 1.5m for 60 minutes), Drop-to-concrete resistance from up to 1.8 m, Gorilla Glass 5 display.
  • Weight: 248g
  • Network: Dual SIM card / 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM
  • Display: 6.67″ 1080 x 2400 pixels, IPS LCD
  • CPU: Snapdragon 480 5G (8nm)
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Micro SD card support: up to 512GB
  • Battery: 4630mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 18W wired charging, 15W wireless
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Rear cameras: 48MP + 13MP
  • Colors: Granite Grey, Ultra Blue
  • Price: United States $519 / Europe €306 / United Kingdom £250

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 6 Pro

If you are resident in the United States and looking for a rugged smartphone, and cost is not a factor, the Xcover 6 Pro by Samsung is a good choice, as Samsung is popular here.

  • Rugged features: IP68 water and dust resistance to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes.; MIL-STD-810H;
  • Weight: 235g
  • Network: Single and Sual SiM card options / 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM
  • Display: 6.6 inches, 1080 x 2408 pixels, 120Hz, PLS LCD, Gorilla Glass Victus protection
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Micro SD card support: up to 1TB
  • Battery: 4050mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 25W fast charging (USA); 15W fast charging (International)
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Rear cameras: 50MP + 8MP
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: USA $600 / UK £499 / Europe €509

Unihertz Titan Pocket

The Titan Pocket is the least rugged smartphone on this list, as it lacks multiple features that are present in the others. But it sits in a special place for lovers of the old BlackBerry Bold and Curve models. If you are one of the few people who still fancy a hardware QWERTY keyboard on your phone, this is the best rugged smartphone that you can buy in 2023 that has one. That is what has earned it a place on this list.

Unihertz Titan Pocket rugged smartphone
  • Rugged features: Shock and drop resistance.
  • Weight: 218g
  • Network: Dual SUIm cards / 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Display: 3.1 inches, 716 x 720 pixels, IPS LCD, Corning Gorilla Glass
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio P70  
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Internal Storage: 128GB
  • MicroSD Card: up to 256 GB (hybrid)
  • Rear camera: 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP  
  • Battery: 4000 mAh 
  • Charging: 5W standard charging
  • Price: $299 You can order your Unihertz Titan Pocket here. Disclosure: MobilityArena earns a commission if you order via this link.

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 5

  • Rugged features: IP68 water and dust resistance of up to 1.5m for 30 minutes; MIL-STD-810H;
  • Weight: 218g
  • Network: Single and Dual SIM card options / 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM
  • Display: 5.3 inches, 720 x 1480 pixels, PLS LCD
  • CPU: Samsung Exynos 850
  • RAM: 4GB  
  • Internal Storage: 64GB with
  • MicroSD: Yes (dedicated slot)
  • Battery: 3000 mAh
  • Charging: 15W fast charging
  • Rear camera: 16MP lens  
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Colors: Black.
  • Price: Canada C$ 598 / Europe €225 / UK £200

CAT S62 Pro

  • Rugged features: IP68/69 water and dust resistance; MIL-STD-810H; Drop-to-concrete resistance of up to 1.8m;
  • Weight: 248g
  • Operating System: Android 10
  • Network: Single and Dual SIM card options / 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM
  • Display: 5.7 inches, 1080 x 2160 pixels, IPS LCD, Gorilla Glass 6
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Micro SD card support: up to 256GB (dedicated)
  • Battery: 4000mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Rear cameras: 12MP lens, thermal imaging
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: USA $520 / Canada C$ 795 / UK £549 / Europe €499

Doogee V20

  • Rugged features: IP68/69K water and dust resistance; MIL-STD-810G; Drop-to-concrete resistance; pressure resistance; heat resistance (from -67 °F to 158 °F)
  • Network: Dual SIM / 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM + CDMA
  • Weight: 296g
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Display: 6.43″, 1080x 2400 pixels, AMOLED, Gorilla Glass protection
  • CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Micro SD card support: up to 512GB (hybdrid)
  • Battery: 6000mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 33W fast charging; 15W wireless; Reverse charging
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Rear cameras: 64MP main lens + 8MP ultrawide lens + 20MP infrared night vision
  • Colors: Black, Red, Silver/Grey
  • Virtual toolkit: Sound meter, gradienter, protractor, magnifier, and a handful of other useful tools
  • Price: Europe €440

UleFone Power Armor 16 Pro

While it packs a wallop in terms of rugged features, the Power Armor 16 Pro is let down by an underwhelming processor. But it is also the most affordable of the rugged phones to buy in 2023. If you are pressed for cash, take a look at this model. It won’t win any performance awards (it doesn’t even come close), but it is extremely pocket-friendly.

  • Rugged features: IP68/69K water and dust resistance to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes.; MIL-STD-810G; Underwater photography (dedicated mode to take photos and record videos submerged)
  • Weight: 405g
  • Network: Dual SIM Cards / 4G, 3G, 2G GSM
  • Operating System: Android 12
  • Display: 5.93 inches, 720 x 1440 pixels, IPS, fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio G25
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Micro SD card support: up to 128GB (hybrid slot)
  • Battery: 9600mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 18W wired charging
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Rear cameras: 16MP main lens + 2MP Depth sensor
  • Colors: Orange, Black
  • Price: $269.99

UleFone Armor 12 5G

With a high-performance Dimensity 1200 5G chipset, the Armor 12 5G is easily the most powerful of the rugged smartphones to buy in 2023. And UleFone did not let all that raw power go to waste; they matched it with adequate RAM and a host of features that puts this phone at the top of the table.

UleFone Armor 12 5G is the most powerful of the rugged smartphones to buy in 2022
UleFone Armor 12 5G is the most powerful of the rugged smartphones to buy in 2023
  • Rugged features: IP68/69K water and dust resistance to a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes.; MIL-STD-810G; Underwater photography (dedicated mode to take photos and record videos submerged)
  • Weight: 296g
  • Network: Dual SIM cards / 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM + CDMA
  • Display: 6.52 inches, 720 x 1600 pixels, IPS, oleophobic fingerprint-resistant coating
  • CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 1200 5G
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Micro SD card support: up to 1TB
  • Battery: 5180mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 18W wired charging, 15W wireless
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Rear cameras: 48MP main lens + 8MP ultrawide lens + 2MP macro lens + 2MP depth sensor
  • Colors: Black, Gray
  • Speakers: Dual
  • Price: $399.99

AGM Glory Pro

AGM Glory Pro 5G rugged smartphone
AGM Glory Pro features a thermal imaging camera.
  • Rugged features: IP68/69K dust and water resistant for up to 1.5m for 30 minutes; MIL-STD-810H; drop-to-concrete resistance, up to 1.5m; thermal camera
  • Weight: 370g
  • Operating System: Android 11
  • Network: 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G / GSM
  • Display: 6.53 inches, 2340×1080 pixels, LPS TFT
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • MicroSD card: up to 512GB (hybrid)
  • Battery: 6200mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 18W wired charging, 15W wireless
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Rear cameras: 48MP main lens + 20MP infrared night lens + 2MP macro lens
  • Colors: Black
  • Price: $800

Blackview BL8800 Pro

  • Rugged features: IP68/69K dust and water resistant; MIL-STD-810H; drop-to-concrete resistance, up to 1.5m
  • Weight: 367g
  • Network: 5G, 4G, 3G, 2G
  • Display: 6.58-inch, 1080 x 2408 pixels, IPS LCD
  • CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Micro SD card support: No
  • Battery: 8380mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 33W wired charging, Reverse wired charging
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Rear cameras: 50MP main lens + 5MP thermal-assisted lens, 2MP depth sensor
  • Colors: Black, Green, Orange
  • Price: $299.99

Oukitel WP21

  • Rugged features: IP68; IP69K; MIL-STD-810H
  • Weight: 398g
  • Network: 4G GSM
  • Operating System: Android 12
  • Display: 6.78-inch, FHD+, 120Hz refresh rate, AMOLED
  • CPU: MediaTek Helio G99
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • MicroSD Card Support: Yes
  • Battery: 9800mAh
  • Charging: USB Type-C; 66W wired charging, 15W wireless
  • Front camera: MP
  • Rear cameras: 64MP main lens + 20MP night lens + 2MP macro lens
  • Colors: Black, Green, Orange
  • Price: $280. It is available to buy on AliExpress from November 24, 2022.

List of the 6 Best Rugged Cell Phones to Buy In 2023

Having looked at the whole list, which is the best rugged smartphone to buy in 2023? Individual needs vary, and so I suspect that the answer to that question will vary from one person to another. But here are my recommendations based on clearly identified scenarios.

  1. Best budget rugged smartphone: If you are looking for the most affordable rugged smartphone in the market, you should be looking at is UleFone Power Armor 16 Pro.
  2. Best rugged smartphone for underwater photography: UleFone Armor 12 5G
  3. Best rugged smartphone in the USA: Samsung Galaxy Xcover6 Pro
  4. Best rugged smartphone with QWERTY keyboard: Unihertz Titan Pocket.
  5. Best rugged smartphone for battery life: The Unihertz Tank‘s 22.000mAh battery blows everything else out of the water. If you need a tough smartphone that will keep running for days even under intense use, get the Tank.
  6. The best thermal imaging camera: AGM G2 Guardian.
  7. The overall best rugged smartphone to buy in 2023: AGM G2 Guardian.

Leave a Comment

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Privacy
Copyright © 2014 – 2024 MobilityArena. All rights reserved.