What to look for when choosing a rugged phoneBy Opinion 4 December 2020 | Categories: news
By Julien Fouriot, Director Africa of Crosscall
For those who run their businesses (and their daily lives) on the go from their phone, a broken handset is quite possibly the peak of frustration. This is where rugged phones come in – devices so tough it would take a serious effort to damage them.
However, there are certain aspects you need to look out for when choosing a rugged phone, whether for personal or business use. Here are a few characteristics to keep top of mind when in the market for a rugged phone.
More and more people are choosing rugged phones – of course it is very popular for business use, especially in the construction and mining sector – but people who live a very active, outdoor lifestyle can also benefit from a phone that can withstand what they throw at it. It’s about back to basics – you want a phone that enables you to communicate, that has a dependable battery life, that won’t break if you accidentally drop it, that gives you autonomy to go about your day without the fear that the coffee you spilt on your phone will cause irreparable damage.
Look for a phone that can boast MIL-STD-810G compliance – this is a US military specification that guarantees a level of durability for a piece of technology. Specifically, it means the equipment has gone through a series of 29 tests. Rugged phones are designed, and tested, to last more than just a few months or a year and to withstand scratches, shocks, intense vibration and falls. Screens are thicker and more resistant to pressure and most rugged phones can survive a drop of 1,5 to 2m without much damage. Additionally, a good rugged phone should have shock absorbent material on the corners. This is important, because when it comes to the screen, 60% of ordinary phone screens will crack or break within the first year – and this just from basic usage. A rugged phone should also be able to withstand temperatures ranging from -25 °C to 50 °C and continue to work without a hitch.
For outdoor use, a rugged phone must be liquid and dust resistant. Phones must be tested to ensure that they can survive being immersed in different kinds of liquids, like water and oil, salt water and even mud. These phones must have a high rating on the International Protection Standard (IP), which rates the level of protection a device has against the intrusion of solid and liquid bodies. A rating of IP68 would indicate a phone that can withstand everything from humidity to prolonged immersion. You will know your rugged phone is worth its salt if it can survive immersion in depths of up to 2m for 30 minutes.
An interesting aspect that has emerged during the pandemic, is the need to be able to thoroughly clean your phone as it can play host to a variety of germs. The ideal is to be able to clean your phone with a hydroalcoholic solution, composed of 99,8% isopropanol. This makes rugged phones ideal to be used by medical personnel working in hospitals and laboratories where germs are a big issue.
Another plus point of an excellent rugged phone is an extended battery life. If you are out of the office and on the go, there is nothing more frustrating than running out of battery by 1 pm in the afternoon. A good rugged phone will enable you to work all day, and still have at least 15% of battery life left at the end of your workday. For added peace of mind and if you are going to be away from a power source for days, look for a rugged phone that comes with accessories like a battery pack for a huge level of autonomy. It is also preferable that your rugged phone comes with a range of accessories to transform the device into a complete and practical working tool. Indeed, you must be able to protect and carry your phone, and in this regard, accessories are as important as the device itself.
Phones must be able to deliver what they promise, and this is where a guarantee from the manufacturer comes in. It is important that devices be tested by their manufacturer, and by independent laboratories. In a world where few mobiles survive longer than 24 months, Crosscall’s offer of a three-year warranty to its users is extraordinary. In an era where budgets may be tight, for companies and individuals to be able to use the same device for at least three years makes perfect sense.
Not all rugged devices are created equal. So make sure that you can tick all the boxes when choosing your next phone – whether you need it to run your business from a construction site, or whether you need to keep your phone with you when you go windsurfing or mountain biking in the rain.
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