Top 10 – The Best Rugged Smartphones – 2018 Edition


Robust, robust and waterproof smartphones that will survive the apocalypse. 


If you’re looking for a smartphone that can survive the apocalypse in extreme conditions, you’re in the right place.

Whether your definition of the extreme is the desert heat, the fall, the underwater survival or the imperviousness to dust and dirt … A robust phone is there for you!

I collected this list of the most difficult smartphones to use in 2018. I also eliminated all smartphones that do not meet the performance standards of modern smartphones, including at least 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of embedded storage and HD display

Do not worry, the second part of this list of extreme smartphones covers less powerful budget options that are still robust, waterproof and robust.


Have I missed your apocalyptic phone ready list? Comment below, or contact and … if it’s difficult enough? I will add it to our list of robust smartphones!

I do not know if an IP rating is? Do not worry, I explained each of the common IP ratings of smartphones at the end of this article.


Doogee S60 – Titan armored!

While the T5 above tries to hide its basic information, the Doogee S60 wears them proudly! Available in black, gold and silver, the S60 does not contain anything in terms of features.


Included: NFC, fast wireless charging, fingerprint reader, SD card holder, Gorilla Glass 5, 6GB RAM and a 5580 mAh battery! It also has a Sony IMX230 21MP rear camera lens, making it a very effective phone for coffee makers!

In direct competition with the Ulefone Armor 2 below, the Doogee S60 reinvents the phone market, transforming our perceptions of passable and clumsy smartphones into flagship devices wrapped in armor!

The S60 is definitely a phone that you should consider for your phone pre-selection list because Doogee has been manufacturing reliable devices for years.

Robust references: class IP68, dustproof, metal / dense polycarbonate. Check out the GearBest link below to see a video of their robust tests!

Specifications: IPS LED 5.2 inch 1920 × 1080, Gorilla Glass 5, 424 PPI, MediaTek Helio P25, 6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, 5580 mAh (fast charge + wireless charging), Sony IMX230 21 camera MP, Android 7.

Caterpillar CAT S61

The CAT S61 will probably not be your choice for smartphones, but I added it to this list because it’s great. Why? because it is the first camera to offer a full-blown thermal imaging sensor


The CAT 60 is a successor to CAT 60 and features a thermal sensor capable of measuring up to 400 degrees and capable of producing HD image data. It also includes an air quality sensor that measures VOCs.

This is a niche requirement but will be very useful in many trades.

It’s not just a sophisticated thermal camera either; It is also protected against falling 1.8 meters thanks to a reinforced die-cast frame and can be left under water at a depth of 3 meters for one hour. The screen uses Gorilla Glass 5 which is certified to work in humid conditions.

If you do not need thermal imaging, there are better value choices, but the disadvantage is that you will not be able to play Predator. : (

Resistance values: IP68 degree of protection, dust resistance, drop resistance up to 1.8 m, 3 meters for 60 minutes immersion in water, MIL-SPEC 810G, operating temperature: -25 ° C to 55 ° C, category 4 vibration, thermal camera, laser Measurement.

Technical Specifications: 5.2 “1920 × 1080, Gorilla Glass 5, 312 PPI, Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 4500 mAh (3.0 fast charge), NFC, 13MP camera + FLIR thermal camera, GPS x 4 (GLONASS, GPS), aGPS, Beidou), Android 7 Nougat (upgrade to Oreo).

Galaxy S8 Active

If you have not heard of it, Samsung Flagship devices are also available in a rugged and robust version called Samsung Galaxy Active. You may have trouble getting your hands on the Galaxy S8 Active, because Samsung has partnered with the US AT & T network to publish it exclusively.


If you’re lucky enough, you can find Galaxy S8 Actives unlocked on sites like eBay.

The Active version of the Galaxy S8 removes the curved infinite display instead of a flat screen. It has rubber corners to protect it from drops, a splinter-proof screen and increases waterproofing to 50 minutes at 1 meter depth.

In terms of hardware, we also see a jump in battery size of up to 4000mAh. Overall, this is not a big leap forward from the original and you might be better off getting a case like this from Amazon for the standard Galaxy S8.

You’ll add more volume compared to the Galaxy S8 Active, but you can always change it to a smaller enclosure or remove it completely when you do not need extra protection.

Resistance: IP68 degree of protection, dust resistance, immersion in water for 30 minutes at 1.5 m, breaking strength (5-foot flat surface)

Technical Specifications: Super AMOLED 2560 × 1440 5.8 “, Gorilla Glass 4, 577 PPI, Snapdragon 835 Qualcomm, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, 4000 mAh (fast and wireless), 12MP camera (high end ), Android 7 (expandable to 8).


AGM is a dedicated rugged phone manufacturer, the AGM A8 being its midrange offering. It is fully waterproof IP68 and is waterproof to 1.5 meters. The Gorilla Glass 3 protects the 720P screen. AGM also sells its own 9H glass screen protectors for even more protection.


The AGA A8 certainly chooses the function rather than the style because, in terms of weight, it reaches 247 grams. In terms of hardware, the small 5-inch A8 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, 4GB of RAM and a sound 4050mAh battery that will allow the phone to work easily until the second day.

This is Android 7 straight out of the box and in terms of connectivity, you can choose between a European version or an American version for full coverage of the network. You also have the option to choose between the 3GB version or the 4GB RAM version for those looking for an added benefit.

Resistance: IP68, dustproof, drop-proof up to 1.5 m, water-resistant to a depth of 1.2 meters for 1 hour and 30 minutes, operating temperature: -40 ° C to 80 ° C

Technical specifications: 5 “720 × 1280, Gorilla Glass 3, 294 PPI, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, 4050 mAh, NFC, 13 megapixel camera, Android 7


The AGM X1 perfectly combines robust styling and ID with a 5.5 “Full-HD AMOLED display and is fully waterproof with a military-grade GPS system. It’s not as difficult as its little brother AGM A8, but it looks a lot more like a traditional Android phone.


With a Snapdragon 617 processor, 4 GB of RAM, excellent GPS and a battery of 5400 mAh, the X1 is the ideal outdoor phone for hiking or longer trips. The AMOLED display also makes it easier to view the screen in sunny weather thanks to the increased contrast.

Where the X1 really shines is that it’s one of the first rugged phones to feature a rear dual lens configuration. This will allow you to take great bokeh photos during your adventures without having to carry a dedicated camera. AGM has also made the X1’s fingerprint reader waterproof, which greatly facilitates the use of the phone in wet conditions.

Update: The AGM X2 is now available for purchase! But it’s not as beautiful as that!

Rigorous references: IP68 degree of protection, dust resistance, water immersion of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes, waterproof fingerprint reader, military grade GPS (GPS, A-GPS, Glonass and BDS)

Technical Specifications: 5.5 “1920 × 1080 AMOLED, 401 PPI, Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 5400 mAh (3.0 fast charge), NFC, 13MP + 5MP rear dual cameras, Android 7

Ulefone ARMOR 2

After the success of the original Ulefone, ARMOR has released the brand new Ulefone ARMOR 2. This is a considerable upgrade from the original (see below) and now doubles RAM to 6 GB , double the storage at 64 GB and much faster processor Helio P25.


You may think that Ulefone Armor 2, the big brother of Amor 1, is harder, lasts longer, is faster, has better display … but weighs an extra 70 grams (270 grams total). My only concern with the Armor 2 is that it looks a lot like a walkie talkie. In the world of survival phones, it must be a good thing, right?

The Armor 2 is really the best friend of the outside people. It does not compromise on performance and offers everything you need from a rugged smartphone. Ulefone does not mention a specific anti-fall system, but with the size of these corner defenses, I would not be too worried.

Rigorous references: IP68 degree of protection, dustproof, water resistant to 1.5 meters for 1 hour, operating temperature: -40 ° C to 80 ° C, dedicated SOS button,

Technical Specifications: Sharp 5 “IPS 1920 × 1080 screen, 441 PPI, Gorilla Glass 3, MediaTek Helio P25 processor, 6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, 4700 mAh (Pump Express 2.0), NFC, 16 megapixel camera, Android 7

Active Vernee – Difficult but discreet

The Vernee Active offers an IP68 waterproof rating, reinforced corners to protect against drops and a very durable construction while still resembling a classic smartphone. Impressive!


With only 189 grams and 11.2 mm thickness, the 5.5 “Vernee Active could easily be mistaken for a classic smartphone.

You will not get a huge amount of battery as some of the options on this list, but the 4200mAh is more than enough to last a whole day with a few to spare. Performance will not be a problem either because the Helio P25 is a compatible chip and is backed up by very healthy storage and RAM amounts.

Do you want to play in the rain? The Vernee Active will not let you down!

There is however one disadvantage: it still runs on Android 7 and does not have a clear upgrade to Android 8.

Robust references: IP68 protection rating (1.5 m for 30 minutes), Kevlar + aluminum alloy frame + TPU drop protection, operating temperatures of -30 to 60 degrees,

Technical Specifications: 5.5 inch 1920×1080 LED, Gorilla Glass, 401 PPI, MediaTek Helio P25, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4200 mAh (fast charge), Sony 16 MP + 8 MP dual cameras, NFC, Android 7.

Ulefone Armor X – Budget Defender

The Ulefone Armor X fails with our minimal specifications, but I still included it! Why?


The Ulefone Armor X is a set of robust and economical smartphones. It covers essentials like IP68 waterproofing, NFC + wireless charging and comes with the latest Android 8.1 operating system.

For lightweight Android users who need the added protection of a rugged smartphone, the Ulefone Armor X is a great choice … but … it has its drawbacks.

The MediaTek 6739 is a very economical processor. It’s great for battery life, but not fantastic for running intensive applications. The 16GB storage included is frugal for smartphones, even at a reduced budget, in 2018, though, in all fairness, there is an available SD card port.

In terms of dimensions, it has a thickness of 13.9 mm and weighs 256 grams. It may seem big and heavy, but remember the impressive battery of 5500mAh.

Rugged references: IP68 protection rating (1.5m for 60 minutes), 1.2m fall protection, operating temperatures of -40 to 80 degrees,

Specifications: 5.5 inch LED 1440 × 720, 293 DPI, Gorilla Glass, MediaTek 6739 (quad-core), 2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage, 5500 mAh (fast charge + wireless charge), 13MP (IP ) + 5MP, NFC, Android 8.1.

BlackView BV9000 Pro

Blackview has the wind in its sails and with the success of the BV8000, the BV9000 is almost here! Featuring an ultra-thin 18: 9 display format, the new Helio P25 processor and dual storage makes it a good start.


There is no mention of who they found the display from that moment, but with a little luck, they did not opt ​​for a cheaper display because the BV8000’s Sharp panel is impressive. In addition, since the resolution of the display has been reduced to 720 × 1440 and the screen size has increased to 5.7 “and the total number of pixels (PPI) has decreased considerably. from a drop of 441 (BV8000 Pro) to a bad 282 (BV9000 Pro).

At the moment, it looks like you have a better deal with the Blackview BV8000. Check it below.

Difficult references: protection class IP68, military-grade dust, impact and water resistance, Gorilla glass 5

Technical specifications: 5.7 “720 × 1440, Gorilla Glass 3, 282 PPI, Helio P25 processor, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4180 mAh (fast charge), NFC capability, rear camera OV 13 + 5 MP, Android 7.1

BlackView BV8000 Pro

Blackview is no stranger to the manufacture of rugged waterproof smartphones, the latest of which is the Blackview BV8000 Pro. It comes with many high-end features such as NFC, Full HD display, 6GB RAM, 64GB of storage (expandable 256GB) and outstanding gaming performance.


The BV8000 Pro is tested at an altitude of 5000 meters and will survive underwater for one hour at depths of 1 meter or less. Unusually, the fingerprint reader is placed on the side of the device, making unlocking easy with one hand.

The Blackview BV8000 Pro is a true competitor of the Ulefone Armor 2, with the added benefit of a 16 MP Samsung rear camera. It runs on Android 7 and also incorporates a dual SIM feature, making it a great choice for traveling.

Difficult references: degree of protection IP68, dust resistance, water immersion of 60 minutes at 1 m, -15-55 degrees, humidity of 95%, altitude of 5000 m.

Technical Specifications: Sharp IZGO IPS 1920×1080, Gorilla Glass 3, 441 PPI, Helio P20 processor, Samsung 6GB RAM, Samsung 64GB storage, 4180 mAh (fast charge), NFC capability, Samsung 16 megapixel camera, Android 7 .

BlackView BV6000

The little brother of the BV8000 is the Blackview BV6000, easier to carry. It is provided with the same protection against dust, scratches and water (protection class IP68), but its resolution is reduced, its screen smaller and the Helio P10 processor older (but still capable).


It has NFC as standard and a 4500mAh battery to keep you off the grid for days. A dedicated atmospheric pressure sensor is also included next to the 1.5mm headphone jack. Even though it is an older Blackview model, the BV6000 is still equipped with Android 7, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage.

When you look at the BV6000’s low price, it starts to look like a robust smartphone purchase.

Difficult references: protection class IP68, dustproof, waterproof, operating temperature -15-55 degrees, humidity 95%, altitude 5000m.

Technical Specifications: 4.7 “IPS 720 × 1280, Gorilla Glass 3, 312 PPI, Helio P10 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 4500 mAh (fast charge), NFC, 13 MP OV rear camera, Android 7.

Nomu S30 Mini

The latest robust smartphone from Nomu is the Nomu S30 Mini. With the latest version of Android and decent budget specifications, it’s a real competitor for those looking for a budget device.


The S30 mini has a 1.5 meter drop protection and will survive underwater for 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 meters. The screen is on the small size at 4.7 inches but when combined with the 720 × 1280 resolution display, it will push the 3000mAh battery further. You will easily get a full day of intensive use and 2 days of light use.

Working times are not as flexible as other robust phones on this list, but not having to worry about port coverage is a bonus. The S30 Mini is a robust phone that is worth checking in the budget.

Robust identifiers: IP68 degree of protection, dust tightness, drop resistance up to 1.2 m, immersion in water for 30 minutes, waterproof USB port, operating temperature: -20 ° C to 55 ° C , titanium alloy frame, carbon fiber battery cover.

Technical Specifications: 4.7 “720 × 1280, Gorilla Glass 3, 312 PPI, MediaTek 6737T Quad Core, 3GB RAM, 32GB Storage, 3000 mAh (Fast Charge), Sony IMX219 8 Megapixel Camera, Android 7

Go Go Gadget Nomu T18

I do not think the average consumer is Nomu T18’s target market, but hey, I’m sure we’ll have thanks for the Go Go Gadget! But … when we remove the eccentric attachments from the Nomu T18, it’s a rather classic Android device that comes with budget performance, so keep that in mind.


The robust benefits of the Nomu T18 are its military certified drop tests, IP68 protection rating and waterproofness. It also comes with a metal frame covered with German high-performance Bayer anti-shock rubber.

But … when we look at these attachments: radio antenna and action camera, the T18 certainly offers something new on the smartphone market. Having a phone that still works, even if there is no signal, is cool / useful, but the camera’s fixing function seems strange. Maybe if it is fireproof, it will convince me (and some firefighters), but I remain faithful to the GoPro for the moment.

Robust identifiers: IP68 protection rating, waterproof + dustproof, MIL-STD-810G approved, aluminum / titanium alloy frame, rubber protection, walkie-talkie accessory (5KM / VHF max.

Technical Specifications: 4.7 “720 × 1280, 312 PPI, MediaTek 6737T Quad Core, 3GB RAM, 32GB Storage, 5200 mAh (Fast Charge), NFC, Android 7



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