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The ReviewGist pick of the best rugged phone is the Kyocera DuraXV plus. Like its earlier cousin the Kyocera DuraXV, the Kyocera DuraXV plus has been rated highly by CNet, with a rating of 4.5 star. This model comes with all the bells and whistles found in a feature phone, has a flip style for added durability and is both drop and water resistant.

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Kyocera DuraXV Plus

Kyocera DuraXV Plus


Top Contenders for the Best Rugged Mobile Phone - 2016 Compared:

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Kyocera DuraXV Plus
Kyocera DuraForce
Sonim XP6
Kyocera Hydro Xtrm
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
Kyocera DuraXV Plus
Kyocera DuraForce
Sonim XP6
Kyocera Hydro Xtrm Smartphone
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 S7710
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Release Date
May 2015
Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Jun 2013
Mar 2013
Resistance
Shockproof
Shockproof
Dustproof, Shockproof, Weatherproof
Waterproof, Dustproof, Shockproof, Weatherproof
Waterproof, Dustproof, Shockproof
Carrier
Verizon
AT-T
AT-T

  • Durable and water resistant, the Kyocera DuraXV is one of the most capable feature phones available.


  • The Kyocera DuraForce is an adventure-ready Android smartphone that strikes a nice balance between price and performance.


  • Get the Kyocera DuraForce if a rugged handset is a priority; otherwise, AT&T has other handsets in the same price range with better cameras and faster internal speeds.


  • The Sonim XP6 is as rugged as smartphones come, complete with a comprehensive warranty against damage, but the Android experience suffers on its tiny display.


  • If waterproof capabilities are an absolute must, consider the Kyocera Hydro XTRM. If not, skip this for some of the carrier's better alternatives.


  • If you are looking for a rugged but fairly light and compact Android handset, look no further than the Xcover 2. Granted, it doesn't have the specs or panache of the waterproof Xperia Z, but it is shockproof and won't break the bank for you.


  • Overall, we can certify that the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 completed our tests with good results --considered as if it were a normal smartphone. The fact that it is suited for outdoor use is something like a big bonus. We definitely recommend the Xcover 2 to anyone who wants to have their smartphone with them "at work and at play", sports included. The recommended retail price is rather high, but the street price -- as usual with Samsung products -- is much lower.

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    It's great for the dedicated camper or beachgoer too, who would appreciate a phone that saves a lot of hassle being dust tight and water resistant. Just don't let it end up like that fitness gear you bought and only used once.


What to look for in the best rugged phones ?

While smartphones like the Apple iPhone offer many features and a slick design, they may not be durable enough for some users. Whether you live in a remote area, work in an outdoor setting or are just rough on your phone, selecting a more durable and practical phone will probably save you a lot of frustration in the end versus a fancy, less substantial model. Fortunately for users that need a more rugged phone, a few excellent option exist.

Before you select a rugged phone based solely on reviews, though, it is imperative that you understand what qualities to look for in one. Generally speaking, the design of rugged phones is considerably different than that of most standard cellphones and smartphones. For the most part, the design differences associated with rugged phones are associated with the shell or casing.

Many rugged phones are made from hardened plastic or rubber to withstand drops from considerable heights. If you've ever dropped a smartphone, chances are good that you already know how easy their screens break. The hardened design of rugged phones makes make broken display screens much less likely.

Most rugged phones use a flip or clam-shell design, which means the phone is made up of two parts - the screen and keypad - that open and close using hinges in the middle. This type of design protects both the screen and keypad in the event of a drop. While most rugged phones are of the flip variety, there are a few that use the more standard "candy bar" design - screen and keypad integrated into one front-facing piece.

While many of the design characteristics of rugged phone are intended to protect the units when dropped, other enhancements help shield the cellphones from the elements. For instance, many rugged cellphones include reinforced seams and joint substances that make the dust and waterproof; thus, making them ideal in in dusty, sandy environments or those where the phones may get wet. It is for this reason that many member of the armed forces opt to use rugged cellphones rather than trendy, less durable, models.

The durability of a quality rugged phone cannot be stressed enough, and the more hardened features one has, the longer it will last. To that end, makers of premium rugged phones don't just stop with a durable casing or shell. The best rugged phones include oversized speakers to make using the speakerphone feature more productive in outdoor or noisy areas. Additionally, premium rugged phones not only protect the screen with a clam-shell casing, but also include special coatings such as Corning Gorilla Glass or DragonTail Glass that protect the LCD displays from mars and scratches.

If you work or play outdoors frequently, the advantages of a rugged phone should be obvious. Therefore, if you're in the market for a new rugged phone, make sure you browse your carrier's line up of rugged phones carefully before making a decision. To help find the rugged phone most suitable for you, ReviewGist has put together a listing of popular models with the best expert and user reviews. While opinions and reviews vary, they are a good starting point when shopping for a rugged cellphone.

Top 5 rugged mobile phone - 2016:

  1. Kyocera DuraXV Plus
  2. Kyocera DuraForce
  3. Sonim XP6
  4. Kyocera Hydro Xtrm Smartphone
  5. Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 S7710