Editors' note: This slideshow was originally published on February 13, 2013, and has been updated with additional devices.
you've ever dropped your phone on the hard cement or unknowingly
dragged it into the ocean at the beach, you understand the pain of
losing a handset that wasn't designed to withstand the elements.
make sure you can avoid this next time, CNET gathered some of our
recent favorite devices that are waterproof, rugged, or both. You'll
also see some wildcards here that have unique survival features you
won't see anywhere else.
First up is the Galaxy S5 Active. Much more durable than its flagship counterpart, the Active S5 features a sporty construction and look (I mean, check out that camo). However, it also packs high-end specs and a useful active button that launches apps and tools for the outdoors.
The G'zOne Commando 4G LTE, pronounced "jeez-one," doesn't roll off the tongue so well. But, with its waterproof exterior and military-graded durability, it certainly can roll off just about anywhere and keep on ticking.
True, the Global Phone isn't exactly a handset you pull out at a nightclub, but chances are you'll be miles away from any sort of civilization if you're using this. The off-the-grid device promises to connect your calls even without a cellular connection. And though it's not waterproof or rugged, it can take the heat (and cold), literally: it can withstand temperatures ranging from -4 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius) all the way up to 131 degrees F (55 C).
Often times with waterproof phones, manufacturers cut corners when it comes to specs. That is not the case with the Xperia Z2.
Not only can it survive a 30 minute dunking in roughly 5 feet (1.5
meters) of water, but it also sports a beautiful and modern design, a
20.7-megapixel camera, and a quad-core processor.
The Vortex is "verykool," in that it has received an Ingress Protection Rating of 67. This means it's completely dustproof and waterproof in up to 3 feet (1 meter) of water. And its rugged exterior should ensure its survival through daily wear-and-tear.
Kyocera has several waterproof handsets in its Hydro family of smartphones. But our favorite so far is its Elite -- a mid-range device that is ultra-pocketable, reasonably priced on-contract, and has 4G LTE connectivity.
Looking for something a little more QWERTY? The Terrain is a unique messaging smartphone with a ruggedized and waterproof exterior. It also has push-to-talk for direct connect customers, runs the Android OS, and has expandable memory.
For a device to land on this list that is neither rugged nor waterproof, it has to be special. Fortunately, the G Flex is. For one thing, it has a "self-healing," scratch-resistant coating that protects it from daily scuffs and blemishes. Second, its one-of-a-kind curve enables it to withstand 88 pounds (about 40kg) of pressure, so you won't have to worry the next time you accidentally sit on your smartphone.