5 of the best tough smartphones

In honour of the freshly-launched Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2, we bring you five of the hardiest handsets

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2

£TBC, samsung.com/uk

The newly-unveiled successor to the Xcover features Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a dual-core processor, 5in 800 x 480 screen and 5MP camera, making it (on paper at least) a capable mid-ranger that also happens to have IP67-certified ruggedness in its locker. That means it’s dust- and sand-proof, and can withstand all manner of ungentle treatment, as well up to 30 minutes in up to a metre of water. Rather easy on the eyes too, compared to some of its rivals. Look out for it in the shops in March.

JCB Toughphone Pro-Smart TP909

£280 (PAYG), carphonewarehouse.com

Looking every inch the chunky, rugged handset you’d expect from a company like JCB, the TP909 feels like it could probably survive a nuclear war with nary a scratch on it. But there’s also a decent level of smartphone-ness on board, thanks to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the 5MP camera and microSD slot. The 800MHz processor and 256MB of RAM make it a little slower than some of its contemporaries, however.

Sony Xperia Go

£220, sonymobile.com/gb

The Xperia Go doesn’t look outwardly tough, and indeed one of the things we most like about it is the way it hides its rugged, waterproof and scratch-resistant nature within the clothes of a compact, svelte, lightweight and affordable smartphone. The screen resolution, storage and battery life are none-too-impressive compared to higher-end Android handsets, but if you’re prepared for all that then you’ll find this a nicely elegant twist on a tough phone.

Read the review

Motorola Defy+

£190, motorola.co.uk

Much like the Sony Xperia Go, the Motorola Defy+ features a 1GHz CPU, 5MP camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not its unique features (such as built-in Swype for fast, quick text input) make it a more compelling draw. One advantage it does have over the sleeker Sony is a beefy battery – good to know if you’re heading out for a protracted spell in the wild (or just down the pub for a slightly lengthy session).

Read the review


£310, amazon.co.uk

The second phone in our lineup to boast bulldozer branding, the CAT B10 is certainly the most rugged-looking of the five smartphones here (it weighs almost half a kilo, astonishingly, and is the best part of an inch thick). As with all the others, it features Android (2.3.5 – although an update to 4.0 Jelly Bean has been promised at some point), a 5MP camera and a touchscreen, but the latter is a mere 3.2in in size, which could prove a touch too wee for some.

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