The outdoor smartphone industry refers to a subset of the larger smartphone industry that focuses on designing and manufacturing smartphones that are specifically designed for use in outdoor environments. These smartphones typically feature ruggedized designs that are more durable than traditional smartphones and are built to withstand harsh environments, such as extreme temperatures, water, and dust.
In simple terms, the outdoor smartphone industry is aimed at consumers who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and climbing, as well as those who work in industries such as construction, agriculture, and forestry, where rugged and durable smartphones are necessary.
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The Importance of the Outdoor Smartphone Industry
Having a durable and reliable smartphone is crucial for outdoor enthusiasts and industry professionals for a number of reasons:
- Protection against the elements: When spending time outdoors, there are many environmental factors that can damage a regular smartphone, such as water, dust, dirt, and extreme temperatures. A durable outdoor smartphone is designed to withstand these conditions and protect the device from damage.
- Emergency situations: In outdoor environments, accidents can happen, and having a reliable smartphone can be crucial in emergency situations. A rugged outdoor smartphone with specialized features such as GPS navigation, altimeters, and barometers can help users quickly and easily get help in case of an emergency.
- Extended battery life: Outdoor activities can often take longer than expected, and regular smartphones may not have enough battery life to last for an extended period of time. Many outdoor smartphones are designed with larger batteries that provide longer battery life, ensuring that the device will stay powered on for the duration of the activity.
- Enhanced durability: Industry professionals such as those working in construction, agriculture, and forestry, as well as outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy activities such as rock climbing or mountain biking, require a phone that can handle rough handling and impacts. A durable outdoor smartphone can withstand falls, bumps, and scratches without breaking or malfunctioning.
Features of Outdoor Smartphones
The features of outdoor smartphones can vary depending on the brand and model, but some common features of outdoor smartphones include:
- Ruggedized Design: Outdoor smartphones typically have a more durable and rugged design than regular smartphones. This means that they are built to withstand harsh environments and can withstand drops, bumps, and other impacts.
- Waterproof and Dustproof: Many outdoor smartphones are designed to be waterproof and dustproof, which means that they can be submerged in water for a certain amount of time without getting damaged. This feature makes them ideal for use in outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and hiking.
- Shock Resistance: Outdoor smartphones are often designed to be shock-resistant, which means that they can withstand impacts without getting damaged. This feature is important for those who work in industries like construction, where a smartphone may be dropped or bumped frequently.
- GPS Navigation: Many outdoor smartphones come with GPS navigation, which allows users to easily navigate through remote and unfamiliar locations. This feature is especially useful for hikers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
- Barometer and Altimeter: Some outdoor smartphones come with a barometer and altimeter, which can measure air pressure and altitude. These features can be useful for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy activities like hiking, climbing, and skiing.
- Longer Battery Life: Outdoor activities can often take longer than expected, and regular smartphones may not have enough battery life to last for an extended period of time. Many outdoor smartphones are designed with larger batteries that provide longer battery life, ensuring that the device will stay powered on for the duration of the activity.
- High-Quality Camera: Outdoor smartphones often come with high-quality cameras that can take great photos and videos in outdoor environments. This feature is important for outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture memories of their adventures.
Top Outdoor Smartphone Industry Brands
The top outdoor smartphone brands include:
- Blackview – Blackview is a Chinese smartphone brand that specializes in outdoor smartphones. Their phones come with features like IP68 water and dust resistance, MIL-STD-810G certifications, and high-quality cameras. Blackview also produces budget-friendly outdoor smartphones that offer many of the same features as more expensive brands. They are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals who need a durable smartphone that won’t break the bank.
- CAT – CAT is a well-known brand in the outdoor smartphone industry, and their smartphones are designed to be extremely durable. Their phones come with IP68 and MIL-STD-810G certifications, which means that they are water-resistant, dust-resistant, and can withstand extreme temperatures, humidity, and shocks. CAT phones also have long battery life, excellent camera quality, and advanced GPS navigation features. They are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals in industries like construction, forestry, and agriculture.
- Doogee – Doogee is another Chinese brand that produces outdoor smartphones with features like waterproofing, shock resistance, and advanced GPS navigation. They also offer budget-friendly options, such as the Doogee S59 Pro, which comes with a large battery, high-quality camera, and durable design. Doogee phones are ideal for those who want a smartphone that can withstand harsh environments without breaking the bank.
- AGM – AGM is a key member of the outdoor smartphone industry. Its focus is on developing and manufacturing rugged feature phones and smartphones for outdoor enthusiasts or practitioners. AGM phones are some of the most outstanding in the industry.
- Ulefone – Ulefone does not focus on outdoor smartphones exclusively but manufactures a number of models. Ulefone outdoor smartphones are durable, able to withstand harsh environments. They offer advanced features like GPS navigation, long battery life, and high-quality cameras at a budget-friendly price point.
- Oukitel – Oukitel is not primarily an outdoor smartphone brand, but it makes a few rugged smartphones to meet the needs of outdoor enthusiasts and professionals.
- Unihertz – Unihertz makes unique smartphones to meet needs that the average smartphone brand does not address, including the peculiar needs of minority groups, like rugged smartphones, compact smartphones, and QWERTY keyboard phones.
- Samsung – Samsung is known more for its regular cell phones, but the company also makes outdoor smartphones under the Galaxy Xcover range. Samsung Galaxy XCover phones come with ruggedized designs and water-resistant features. They also have extended battery life, great camera quality, and advanced security features. Samsung outdoor phones are designed for those who want a rugged smartphone that can withstand harsh conditions while still providing a seamless and user-friendly experience.
- Nokia – Nokia is not traditionally an outdoor smartphone brand, but they have a few rugged smartphones in their portfolio.
The outdoor smartphone industry is a market segment that offers durable and rugged smartphones for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals. These phones have features like water and dust resistance, shock resistance, and long battery life. They also offer advanced GPS navigation and high-quality cameras, making them ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and mountaineering.
Outdoor smartphones are not for the mass market; they are designed specifically to meet a niche market, and the industry is continuously innovating to meet these needs. Not only that, but it is also an industry on the rise. If shopping, here are the best rugged smartphones to buy.
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Way back from the days of EPOC, Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems, founder of MobilityArena, Mister Mobility, has owned a few hundred smartphones and tablets, and counting.