Best Rugged Phone Under $300 (Video)
I did a video a while back on the Cat S60. An android phone created with the adventurous in mind (I even ended up taking it to a certain festival in the middle of the Nevada desert to test it out). It was a great phone actually, but the price for it is about $861. So what if you just need a rugged phone but don’t want to empty the piggy bank to buy it. Maybe even be able to keep your normal, more fragile smartphone, and buy another rugged phone to just swap to when you get the urge to go repelling off a mountain?
This is the Doogee, um, S60 (probably just a coincidence).
Originally a Spanish company, Doogee caught the eye of a Chinese investor and the company was bought, moved to Shenzhen and began rapidly producing new devices. The one most people are probably familiar (since it got the most attention from the media not too long ago) is the Doogee Mix for it being the cheaper alternative to Xiaomi’s MiMix bezel-less phone (also probably just a coincidence).
Regardless, their devices seem to follow a pretty good recipe: pack it with specs, make it way cheaper than any other device with the same specs, profit.
That formula still holds true with the new rugged S60 that’s packed with top of the line hardware in a pretty obviously looking rugged exterior.
Power the device is the MediaTek Helio P25 Octa-core processor, one of the most powerful chipsets outside of Qualcomm, 6GBs of RAM, and 64GBs of Samsung flash storage.
It has a 5.2″ 1080P screen, 21MP camera using a Sony sensor, hi-fi audio that does at least give it a much louder volume (for perhaps when you’re camping and want to use it as a boombox), 2A fast charging as well as wireless charging for the giant 5580mah battery housed inside.
And that housing is quite the house for all of those components. Made out of aerospace grade aluminum, high-density polycarbonate and Gorilla Glass, you can beat the thing up without having to worry about it breaking. Rating-wise it all translates to an IP68 certification and can handle depths up to 1.5 meters in water for up to 30 mins and is completely dust-proof. All important things if you want to try and call a phone rugged.
The device also has a fingerprint scanner that works well and NFC built in for Android Pay, etc. and even has a button for Push to Talk that you can use with a walkie-talkie app like the preloaded Zello and an SOS button that will call the automatically send a message with your GPS coordinates to a preselected contact.
Software-wise it’s running Android 7.0 and is relatively stock minus some weird additions they’ve added to clearly get you to buy themes or see ads (this cat thing has to go).
Thankfully though they can be turned off in the launcher’s settings or you can just install another launcher as with any Android device.
Now for the best part about this phone. While the price ranges depending on where you buy it, you can find it for about $280. For all those specs and it’ll easily survive any camping trip you could dream up, that’s not a bad deal. It’s almost, not quite really, but almost cheap enough if you are an avid adrenaline junky or camper to be a good second phone for when you want to leave your $1000 iPhone out of harm’s way and yet still have a proper smartphone.
What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below.