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Top rugged phones for SA’s consumers and businesses: 2023


Johannesburg, 09 Aug 2023

As the world becomes more mobile, the demand for rugged devices or rugged phones in 2023 that can keep up with our busy lives is on the rise. In South Africa, where the terrain can be challenging, harsh conditions and not to mention the recovering economy. Having a smartphone with an IP68 rating and advanced technology is crucial.

At Rugged SA, we understand this need and in the process have become the number one supplier of rugged phones (devices) to both consumers and businesses. These perfectly curated rugged phones are the perfect solution for those with active lifestyles; as they are designed with the latest technology and innovative features, our devices meet military-grade durability standards (military standards). Wherever life takes you – through any terrain, extreme heat or extreme cold, our phones are built to withstand the toughest conditions both literally and figuratively.

These phones not only have a tough design, but also come with advanced technology that makes them stand out from other devices. They have top-quality cameras and longer battery life, making them ideal for capturing moments and staying connected while on the move.

They also boast innovative durability features like shatterproof screens (makes them scratch resistant as well), waterproof casings and military-grade drop protection. Rugged SA is proud to be the number one distributer of these advanced and durable phones to consumers and businesses in South Africa.

This press release presents a carefully curated list of the top five rugged phones available in 2023.

The list includes a wide range of models, from budget-friendly options to premium luxury phones. We evaluated each phone based on its features and capabilities.

We also considered the reviews of real consumers and business clients. This enabled us to provide an unbiased and informed perspective, expect long-lasting battery life, innovative features, and military-grade durability among the selection of phones featured.

Premium rugged phones

Our premium rugged phones are rugged designed to take on any challenge with durable materials, wireless charging and state-of-the-art processors. With high memory capacity and fast retrieval speeds, you won’t have to worry about running out of storage space. We also have rugged phones which are less robust-built but are more elegantly designed.

Capture clear photos and videos with impressive cameras and enjoy long battery life that lasts over 10 hours of continuous use. These phones are also water-resistant with IP68 ratings, making them tough enough to handle any terrain and extreme temperatures.

Ulefone Power Armor 18T – Top of the range

Ulefone Power Armor 18T.
Ulefone Power Armor 18T.

The Ulefone Armor 18T is Rugged SA’s flagship rugged phone in 2023 that offers the perfect blend of durability and cutting-edge technology. It features advanced thermal imagery capabilities that allow you to see beyond what’s visible to the naked eye, while its smooth display provides a seamless user experience. With its high memory and battery life, you can be sure that this phone can keep up with all your demands.

Additionally, the phone boasts a slick design that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also meets military-grade standards for ruggedness, making it the perfect choice for those who need a phone that can withstand the toughest conditions.

Main specifications

  • Display: 6.58-inch FHD+ screen
  • Software: Android 12 (latest software)
  • Memory: 12GB and 256GB storage
  • Camera: 108MP rear camera
  • Battery: 9 600mAh (two days' full battery life)

Pros

  • Thermal FLIR camera
  • Twelve-month warranty
  • Multi-industry device
  • 5G device
  • Fast charge
  • Flexible payment solutions available

Cons

  • Only available in black

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Ulefone Armor 19

Our next flagship phone is the Ulefone Armor 19, which is also a premium flagship phone that prioritises your protection. It has IP68 and IP69 ratings that certify its waterproof, dust-proof and drop-proof capabilities, ensuring that your phone will last through any tough condition.

This particular phone also features a smooth Ultra FHD Display screen, allowing you to enjoy crisp and clear visuals, coupled with fast charging, you can get up to 20% battery life in just 10 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long to continue using your device. One of its standout features is the wireless reverse charging that lets you charge various items like earbuds, smartwatches and other phones, making it a perfect device for anyone who’s always on the go.

Powered by the latest Android operating system, you’ll have access to all the latest apps and features, ensuring that your phone stays up to date. Additionally, the armour case has a rigid plastic design that adds extra durability, ensuring your phone stays safe and secure no matter where life takes you.

The Ulefone Armor 19 is perfect for individuals who are tired of non-durable phones. Whether you’re a camper, rugged lifestyle enthusiast, work in a high temperature or construction environment, with its top-notch features, this phone is sure to impress. Make sure you get your hands on it and experience the durability and features that make it stand out from the rest.

Main specifications

  • Display: 6.58-inch FHD+ screen
  • Software: Android 12 (latest software)
  • Memory: 12GB and 256GB storage
  • Camera: 108MP rear camera
  • Battery: 9 600mAh (two days' full battery life)

Pros

  • Triple camera
  • Twelve-month warranty
  • Multi-industry device
  • 4G device
  • Fast charge and reverse charging
  • Flexible payment solutions available

Cons

  • No FLIR camera
  • 4G device

Blackview BV9200

Introducing the slick and slim Blackview BV9200. Get ready to stay connected, productive and, now and again, you can use the high pixel selfie camera with this unique device. The BV9200 is designed to go wherever your life takes you, providing all the features you need. It features wireless charging and fast charging capabilities so you’re never left waiting for a charge. Plus, its Harmon Kardon speakers provide unbeatable audio quality.

Blackview BV9200.
Blackview BV9200.

Capture stunning selfies or photos with its great front camera, which has a beauty camera feature, or store music, movies and more in its 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. With an IP68 and IP69 rating for dust and water resistance, you can have peace of mind that this device can handle whatever life throws at it. Don’t wait – get your Blackview BV9200 today for reliable performance and stylish design

Main specifications

  • Display: 6.6-inch 2.4K
  • Software: Android 12
  • Memory: 8GB and 256GB storage
  • Camera: 50MP rear camera
  • Battery: 5 000mAh

Pros

  • Dual Smart PA Box speakers
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Glove mode – can respond to various industry gloves
  • Game mode – 120Hz refresh rate
  • Fast charge, supports (wireless charger) wireless charging + reverse charge
  • Flexible payment solutions available – Payflex

Cons

  • No triple camera or FLIR camera

Ulefone Armor 17 Pro

The Ulefone Armor 17 Pro is a high-performance smartphone designed for next-gen photography and performance. With its slim 12.5mm design and lightweight of 290g, this Android 12 phone offers an FHD+ ultra display and a pro-grade main camera with super night vision. This device is also IP68 and I69 rated, making it waterproof, dust-proof and shockproof.

Additionally, it is a multitasking device with extendable virtual memory, meaning apps can run at once at great speed. And with its super-fast charge and wireless charging capabilities, you’ll never be tethered to an outlet. This isn’t just another powerful smartphone for everyday use, it’s also perfect for vlogging or video recording purposes.

Whether you’re in the office or out in the field, the Armor 17 Pro’s pro-grade main camera with super night vision will help you capture stunning footage even in low-light conditions. And if you work at night, the Armor 17 Pro’s night vision feature will be especially useful. So whether you’re a content creator or someone who just wants to capture high-quality video on the go, the Armor 17 Pro has you covered.

Main specifications

  • Display: 6.58-inch FHD+
  • Software: Android 12
  • Memory: 8GB and 256GB storage
  • Camera: 108MP + 8MP + 8MP triple rear camera and 16MP selfie camera
  • Battery: 5 380mAh

Pros

  • Triple rear camera – Samsung Camera Sensor
  • Underwater photography
  • Next-gen processor + extended virtual memory
  • Magnetic attach and charge
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Super-fast charge – 38% in 10 minutes + supports (wireless charger) wireless charging + reverse charging
  • Flexible payment solutions available – Payflex

Cons

  • 5G not available, only up to 4G capability

Blackview BL8800 Pro

If you are looking for a premium rugged phone that won’t break the bank, then get ready to take on any challenge with confidence with the Blackview BV8800 Pro 5G.

This rugged phone is military-grade tough (military standards) and IP68/IP69K rated for extreme conditions, such as rain, sand, dust, vibration, shock, high temperature and altitude. It also comes equipped with an enhanced FLIR thermal camera that can accurately measure and display temperature changes in any lighting condition. Plus, its MediaTek processor ensures fast uploads, downloads, streaming and gaming capabilities, while its powerful 8 380mAh battery and 33W fast charge allow you to stay connected for longer.

Get your BV8800 Pro 5G today to experience superior performance at an affordable price.

Main specifications

  • Display: 6.58-inch FHD+
  • Software: Android 11
  • Memory: 8GB and 128GB storage
  • Camera: 50MP night vision rear camera
  • Battery: 8 380mAh

Pros

  • Enhanced FLIR thermal imaging camera
  • Above average battery performance
  • 5G chip and network capability
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • Super-fast charge + reverse charge (power bank capability) + supports wireless charger
  • Flexible payment solutions available – Payflex

Cons

  • Heavy and rugged

Summary

The top five phones in today’s market are the Ulefone Armor 18T, Ulefone Armor 19, Blackview 9200, Ulefone Armor 17 and BL8800 Pro.

Out of these top five phones, the Ulefone Armor 18T boasts the best rear and front camera, making it a great choice for photography enthusiasts. Additionally, it has excellent battery life, along with the Ulefone Armor 19.

When it comes to thermal imaging, the Ulefone Armor 18T outperforms the rest and is the top choice for those who need this feature for work or other purposes.

If you’re looking for a rugged phone on a budget, the Blackview 9200 is the most budget-friendly premium option.

Lastly, if you’re into streaming, vlogging or videos, the Ulefone Armor 17 is the best phone for these activities. And, if you need a rugged phone that’s more affordable, the BL8800 Pro 5G is a good alternative.

In addition to its excellent features, the Ulefone Armor 18T is also the most rugged phone on this list, so if durability is your top priority, this is the phone for you. However, if you’re on a tight budget, the BL8800 Pro 5G is a more affordable option to consider.

This phone has an impressive battery life, due to its large 6 000mAh battery, and its IP68 rating for water and dust resistance makes it the ideal choice for outdoor activities. The phone also features a 48MP quad-camera set-up, a powerful MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor and 8GB of RAM. Plus, it supports 5G connectivity and comes with 128GB of storage. All in all, the Ulefone Armor 18T is a great choice for those who need a rugged phone with top-of-the-line features.

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