If you require a rugged cell phone that will withstand rough handling or even some occasional abuse, you'll need to look for one that is constructed with the most durable exterior available. Although no cell phone is guaranteed to be drop proof, heavy-duty construction may help a phone withstand being dropped. If you tend to use your cell phone outdoors a lot, or if you enjoy sports such as boating, camping, and hiking, choose a cell phone that is also water resistant.
A tough and rugged cell phone may be difficult to find, but models are available that are made to be sturdy and resistant to the elements. When you go shopping, ask the sales associate for assistance. Explain your needs and requirements and ask to see different phone models. You should look for the outer shell of the cell phone to be strong and made with high-grade materials, not flimsy plastic.
Regardless of how tough and durable the shell of the cell phone appears to be, if it has a slippery feel, it may not be suitable. If your rugged cell phone is slippery enough to fall through your fingers and hit the floor, it can become damaged. Look for grooved sides for a comfortable grip. Rubber coating will help prevent the phone from slipping out of your hand.
Assuming you've found a rugged cell phone with a strong clam shell design and rubberized grip, the next feature should be water resistance. Unfortunately, you may not know for sure just how water resistant the phone is until you've been caught in a rain shower. This is why it is important to read reviews.
Reviews from other consumers can let you know how the cell phone has stood up to various conditions. Don't stop at reading a few consumer reviews, however. Read reports from various experts in the industry who have tested the device to get some solid, unbiased opinions. It's also important not to allow the sales representative to talk you into a model of cell phone you are unsure of.
Before making your final decision, ask the sales associate if the model you're considering has been stress tested. This means the cell phone had to pass stringent tests for performance in various outdoor weather conditions. The testing should also include performance after impact, such as crashes to a concrete ground. If the phone in question has performed well in tests under various conditions, this should be a good choice.