Unlike many of their ancestors, most modern cell phones are delicate things. The ease with which they can be damaged or mortally wounded is no laughing matter – especially when you depend on yours as a vital work tool. While there are rugged smartphones manufactured specifically for those in construction, most professional contractors are using the same iPhones and Androids as the rest of the population. Construction jobsites being what they are, these phones require some solid protection to stay in one piece.
Is the investment in a construction-grade cell phone worth the investment or will a heavy-duty protective case do the trick for your phone? You can weigh the potential benefits of each of the following phones and cases for yourself.
This company has been making cell phone cases since the late 1990s, so it’s no wonder that the Otterbox Defender line is highly trusted and popular among construction workers. The range of cases offer a snug fit for nearly all IOS and Android cell phones and offer excellent dust, drop, scratch and screen protections via port covers.
The three-piece system (polycarbonate shell, holster, protective exterior slipcover) help protect it from all types of jobsite threats. The case includes a one-year warranty and costs $20.
Lifeproof produces durable, waterproof phone cases that also offer a slim, snug fit. This case is an excellent choice for contractors who often work in harsh conditions and weather, as the case is made to protect your phone from water, snow, dirt and shock. The cases include a one-year warranty.
These cases are available in a range of colors and will fit iPhones, Droid Turbos and Samsung Galaxies. All that protection will cost you, though. Depending on the model, costs range between about $30 to more than $60.
Speck Presidio Grip
If you want a case that offers excellent drop protection and a slim fit, one of these cases might fit the bill. Speck’s Presidio Grip cases feature dual layers of protection, including a shock-absorbing inner layer and a polycarbonate outer shell. These cases also feature rubber treads on the outside that ensure a good grip.
These cases can be used with iPhones (including the X and 8 models) and Androids. They’re available in several colors and prices ranges (starting at about $8), although the heavy-duty models cost between $25 and $35.
The success of Caterpillar’s highly popular CAT S60 cell phone isn’t limited to it being rugged enough for any construction site. The heavy equipment giant stocks each phone with a wealth of useful features and functions. Most of all, this 4G LTE phone is made to survive life on any construction site.
In addition to all the bells and whistles found on other cell phones, the CAT S60 includes FLIR thermal imaging capabilities at the touch of a button. This waterproof phone can survive for an hour in depths over 16 feet. A sturdy die-cast frame makes it drop-proof from up to 6 feet. At more than $500, it’s a pricey tool, but might be well worth the investment to a busy contractor.
If you’re interested in a basic, no frills cell phone that’s built to work as hard as you, the Kyocera Brigadier is a durable, waterproof phone with a military-grade design. The display screen is practically scratch-proof and designed for easy use with gloved or wet hands.
With a peak volume of 100dB, the dual front speakers ensure you can hear calls where traditional cell phone speakers fail. This phone meets US military standards of protection against everything from dust to solar radiation to saltwater fog. Prices start at about $135.
This mid-priced, current-generation phone is manufactured by a company that’s not yet widely known, but this Android 7.0 features a large 5.2 HD display and a growing appreciation in the construction industry.
The DOOGEE features several beneficial functions without the huge price tags of other rugged cell phones. It’s made of sturdy metal construction, is IP68-rated, dust, shock and waterproof and features a fingerprint sensor. It’s a solid workhorse with a long-lasting 5580mAh battery. Amazon prices it at about $350.
If you’re tired of replacing your smartphone or just want some extra protection, there’s a world of cases and rugged phones on the market that will offer you the features and protection you need.