What to look out for when investing in rugged phones

Rugged phones are some of the most crucial investments for those in heavy industry. The question is, what do you look for when you’re investing in rugged phones?

Mike Mead


Mobile technology has seen a resurgence in the business world over the last couple of years, driven by the arrival of trends like remote working. Studies suggest that around 50% of the UK will be working remotely by 2020, and other mobile-focused concepts like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are on the rise.

However, phones also have value in other aspects of the business landscape. Field workers and people who aren’t always tethered to a desk also need access to files, information and communication solutions too. Unfortunately, the standard mobile phone might not be enough for these employees. While smartphones offer access to the internet, collaboration tools and even cloud software, they aren’t always robust enough to handle the complex work environment.

That’s why rugged phones are some of the most crucial investments for today’s business owners.

The question is, what do you look for when you’re investing in rugged phones?

1.   Battery

Battery longevity is one of the most important things that any business will need to look for when choosing the perfect rugged phone. You’ll need to ensure your team members can work with their devices all day without having to worry about running out of power. The standard battery size for most rugged phones is around 4000mAH, but bigger is almost always better.

While you’re searching for a battery that suits your needs, it might be worth looking for something that charges quickly too – in case of emergencies.

2.   Security

Another crucial smartphone feature that you’ll need to think about when looking at rugged phones, is security. As mobile emerges as the go-to solution for most businesses, companies need to find ways to keep sensitive data on devices secure. The good news? Many rugged phones come with Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools built-in to help you enhance your safety and privacy efforts.

Additionally, there are a number of rugged phones on the market that come with fingerprint scanners included so that you can use biometrics as part of your protection strategy. Look for a rugged phone that combines the multi-factor authentication tools and biometric scanners with the interoperability you need to use your favourite enterprise mobility management software.

3.   Ease of use

While rugged smartphones need to be a lot more robust and durable than the standard smartphone, that shouldn’t make them more complex for your employees to use. Today’s staff members want a phone that feels just as intuitive and as simple as the phone that they use at home every day. Choosing a rugged phone that’s easy to use will help you to avoid people deciding to bring their own devices to work, rather than using the options provisioned by you.

Pick a phone that comes with the operating systems that your teams are already used to, as well as a convenient and easy-to-navigate display. It might also be worth looking for additional features that make the phone feel more familiar, like a great online browsing system, or a front and rear camera.

4.   Ruggedness

Probably one of the most obvious things to look out for when you’re choosing a rugged smartphone for your team is ruggedness. Robust enterprise-ready devices need to meet specific technical standards for durability. You’ll often find companies listing their products with terms like “MIL-SPEC, or STD-810G. Each standard represents something different.

For instance, the IP68 specification indicates that your device is strong enough to withstand exposure to high-pressure water jets. On the other hand, MIL-SPEC suggests that devices can survive on some of the harshest military-grade conditions. Ultimately, most rugged devices need to be waterproof, dust proof and drop-proof. It’s up to you to determine what additional protection you might need.

5.   Productivity

Finally, the right rugged smartphone should be able to empower your team members to accomplish more in their day-to-day work. There are plenty of ways that a phone can assist with this. For instance, your rugged smartphone might have access to all the latest collaboration tools so your teams can communicate in real-time and on the go.

Alternatively, you might choose a rugged smartphone that comes with plenty of expandable memory, so your team members can keep crucial information and documents with them when they’re on the go. Find out what your people need from their rugged devices and start your shopping from there.

Rugged smartphones can be an excellent investment for businesses that have a workforce that goes beyond the desk. Make sure that you’re purchasing the tools that are best for your business.

Looking to invest in rugged smartphones for your business? If so, contact the Nice Network team today to see how we can help you procure the best devices to meet your needs.