Top 10 Rugged Cell Phones

special forces talking on sattelite phoneWe get asked all the time what we think are the best and most durable cell phones for operating out in the real world.

What cell phones are Special Forces soldiers using?

If you are traveling off the grid or in low cell coverage area check your service plan and you may want to switch to a satellite phone (see below).

Check out our list of the top 10 most rugged cell phones that will not let you down when the going gets tough and will make it through any wet or sandy spot your in.

#10. Sony Xperia Z3

Picked up this system about 9 months ago and really glad I upgraded to get it.

A major improvement! The SONY XPERIA Z3 is very fast and last for 3 days with a charge if you just texting and emailing.

I thought the speakers sound pretty good.

I have put this one through the ringer and no problems at all.

tag heuer sub nano

#9. Tag Heuer Sub Nano

Features a high speed water block technology that keep the electronic components sealed from moisture and will take a full submerge underwater.

The TAG Heuer watch are high end and expensive and so is this cellphone at about 5,000 euros depending on where you buy it.

Either way you can rely on this phone to get the job done and survive everything that mother nature can throw at it.

8. Runbo X6

#7. Kyocera Duraforce

review by Geoff:
The screen is a little smaller than some of the other high speed phones but turns out his one is excellent by my standards.

My job is in on an oil rig in southeast Asia so i need a tough cellphone to get the job done.

Lots of rain and humidity and it gets banged around a lot on the rig. Definitely recommend the Kyocera DuraForce Military Grade Smartphone.

I would not mind a slightly larger screen but in the end this one gets it done.

If you like this cellphone check out the Kyocera Brigadier

#6. CASIO G’zOne Commando 4G LTE

This phone rocks and is pretty much indestructible.

The Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE C811 SmartPhone is priced relatively low and is ounce for ounce a super tough cell phone.

I have been researching tuff cellphones for the past year and was psyched when this one came out. I now use it for hunting, hiking, fishing, camping and all outdoor activities where its going to get kicked around and possibly wet. It has been dunked more than once while out fishing and zero problems.


Check out the Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE C811 Verizon Android Rugged Android Smart Phone HERE

#5. NEC Terrain

This cell is tough but has limited 4GB internal Storage, 700MB System Installation space so you will not be able to run multiple apps and website pages at once.

It is a QUERTY keyboard and Android based. It does have a low price of $149 at AT&T but if you need a ton of memory this may not be the phone for you.

They do have a 8 GB version at NEC Terrain SmartPhoneAmazon.com here

#4. Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

Have had this phone for a few months now and checking out what is different about the S5 and the S5 Active.

With the active you don’t get the USB 3.0 and no fingerprint reader which is not really a big deal.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active has 2 gigabytes of RAM, a 16 Mega Pixel camera, waterproof to 3ft, a Super AMOLED display and is impact resistant to four feet.

I just picked up the Samsung S7 active and took it on a 5 day 350 mile mountain bike race and it performed great.

3. Hipipooo

This rig has rugged construction with screws on the back to change out the battery.

The Hipipooo 4.4.2 Smartphone has 1 gigabyte of RAM and 8 gigabytes of ROM

It has a 3000mA battery which will last 3 to 4 days on standby.

Well built for the elements.

#2. CAT B15

This in an Android system that can be used internationally and is unlocked when you buy it.

The CAT – Caterpillar B15 can survive most any abuse and can take a dunk in water.

It does have limited ROM which can cause a few problems if you have many apps open or other things sucking memory.

It doesn’t have a flash so your low light photos may suffer. But its tank like construction makes up for all of that.

#1. Nautiz X3

Fits naturally in one hand so it is a compact phone.

It has an integrated scanner and measures only 150x67x25 mm with a weight of 260 grams.

It gets high reviews and has been good to go when working in extreme areas around the planet on missions.

Question: What about military grade satellite phones that can communicate anywhere in the world?

Check out the Iridium 9555 Satellite-Phone as this is a great choice for emergency calls, quick check ins and you can even send text messages via the internet.

The cost is $975 but you will always be able to call if you can get a line on satellites.

#1 Satellite phone is the Iridium Extreme 9575.
It runs about $1500 but you can find it on deals as low as $100.

It is military-grade with a high level of durability (MIL-STD 810F).

The Iridium 9575 Extreme Satellite Phone has a long lasting battery with a standby time of up to 30 hours and a talk time of up to 4 hours. It has two-way SMS and short email capability.

If you are operating in extreme conditions of heat and cold it has a operating temperature range of -10 °C to +55 °C or 14F to 131F

Runner UPs
1. CAT S40

2. Sonim XP6

3. Plum Gator Plus

Question: What about the CAT B15 vs iPhone 5?
I own the Apple iPhone 5 and it is not a rugged phone by any measure. The screen cracks easily and any moisture will get under the screen and short circuit the phone. I had to take apart my 5s in a parking lot and dry it out so that i could continue my bike ride.

Question: What about the Samsung galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5s? Hands down the Samsung is a better phone for tough conditions.

Question: What about the casio g’zone commando vs kyocera brigadier? Both are good phone so you would need to ask how you are using the phone – for work or do you want to play games and software?

Question: Where can I find out more info about the US Army Special Forces? Check out the website here:

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CAT S40 cell phone review