Question

I am very rough on phones. What should I get?

I am hard on my phones and always put them in an Otterbox Defender or similar rugged case.

I am currently using some old phones that were given to me after the old one died but am considering purchasing a phone if I see any deals here in the next few months. I figure there will be some deals around Black Friday.

The Galaxy S7 looks like a really nice unit as does the Google Pixel XL. The S7 has a tougher "Active" variant that isn't available on the Pixel line. I would still buy the Otterbox Defender for the S7 Active for extra protection if I went that route.

Am I really gaining anything by getting an Active phone if it is in a rugged case as well besides some extra battery life? I really like the size of the Pixel XL and there are also rugged cases for that as well.

I seem to bounce around my phones and drop them from time to time. My LG G2 was in an Otterbox Defender and there is no apparent damage to it but the digitizer on the touch screen has become non-responsive over 50% or more of the screen, making it basically unusable. I suspect my rough handling played a role in this happening although the screen looks to the eye.

Discussion is locked
Follow
Reply to: I am very rough on phones. What should I get?
PLEASE NOTE: Do not post advertisements, offensive materials, profanity, or personal attacks. Please remember to be considerate of other members. If you are new to the CNET Forums, please read our CNET Forums FAQ. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Reporting: I am very rough on phones. What should I get?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Comments
- Collapse -
Answer
a cheap and quickly replaceable phone

Most have what the more expensive models have, other than maybe extra screen space. If you need that extra space, get a tablet? Expensive phones also attract criminal attention depending on where you are when using it.

- Collapse -
Answer
I think the key is to accept your role in the damage.
- Collapse -
That rugged phone has very mixed reviews.

This seems to be quite common on most of the lesser known brands. This phone sounds good on paper but read some of the reviews. They are very mixed. Anyway, I am probably better off using hand me downs from others as long as they work. I am currently using a Galaxy S3 that was to be thrown in the trash. It even came in an Otter Box Defender case so that was even better. Some people just get new phones all the time and there are plenty of perfectly good older models floating around that they don't want. Some get trashed while others just sit in drawers.

I will be coming into a Nexus 6 (Motorola) soon this same way and am looking at the Unicorn Beetle Pro case for it as this appears to be the most rugged one from the reviews. This is a very large phone and that is my only worry but it will be free so can't complain too much. The specs are also decent and I would put it somewhere between the Galaxy S5 and S6 in terms of capability. Again, the size is a tad larger than optimum for me and looks to be about the same as the exploding Galaxy 7 Note. The case it is in now is a very basic slimline plastic unit and I know this wouldn't provide much protection. I would be most worried about cracking the screen as there is much more exposure with the larger size.

I will also probably be offered a Nexus 6P (Huawei) for free within the next 6 months to a year when the current owner replaces it. These are still certainly nice phones and will do more than I really need. It looks like there is another Unicorn Beetle Pro case ranked as the most rugged for this model as well.

I am probably best off just using free hand me downs that still work, especially when my line of work exposes me to lots of older electronics that people want to just get disposed of/recycled properly even if they still work. I do service work so am always on the go and being rough on phones is just a cost of doing business for me. I run with SSDs in all my laptops by the way...

As for phone theft, that isn't a huge concern around here. Besides, most carriers can kill off a phone that is reported stolen so it just becomes a big paperweight. I notice how most cases for iPhones leave a nice little circle so you can view the Apple logo unobstructed. I think owning the lastest phone for a status symbol is dumb. Besides, any of the armored cases I would ever pick would cover up the brand name and model for sure.

- Collapse -
The reviews are mixed.

Folk expect champagne for the beer budget. I've used a few models like this and "it's fine" for run of the mill smart phone/Android phones.

For you, you may want to stick with name brands but ask if the phone is water resistant. It was a surprise that Google's Pixel phone isn't water resistant.

- Collapse -
This is for business use.

These phones are for business use so I need something that works. For a toy or whatever the no-names might be just fine. I have to say I thought LG was a reputable brand but anyone I talk to who has owned one has been disappointed. It had lots of little glitches but the one that killed it was the touch screen going dead. I read something about the Pixel not being water proof although someone mentioned it probably could get splashed without an issue. I don't know and wouldn't take the risk.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Active are water resistant of course so that makes them appealing to me. I like to enjoy the great outdoors so pack a couple heavy duty freezer bags in my camera case in case I get stuck in the rain. That way I can protect the camera and phone.

On the other hand, if I end up with a reliable supply of free slightly older model phones, I have nothing to lose by using those. I will keep the Galaxy S3 around as a backup as I trust this more than some no-name.

- Collapse -
You may have to get away from Android.

It suffers from OS fragmentation and now "Samsung" issues and fires.

In the news is the battery fire issue spreading to other models. Something's up.

I carry the LG G4 and have no issues with it. The office writes apps so I see a lot of phones but you, I mean you are demanding Google and Android phone makers get it right. Even Apple may upset you over how they think it's their phone and not yours.

- Collapse -
Gotta disagree about Samsung....

....I have had 3 different models of the Galaxy S series and now using a Galaxy S7 Edge. No problems and very happy with the phone. The Note 7 was a clear disaster for Samsung but it is not as widespread of a problem like you painted it with other Samsung devices.

- Collapse -
I don't use it

But Samsung's Knox system had a few friends lose it (all.) No matter how many times you mention backups, folk don't get it until they lose it all a few times.

- Collapse -
Android isn't bad.

The problem is that there are crap phones based on Android as well as good ones. This doesn't happen with Apple or the Nokia Windows phones where there is more quality control but less "openess".

I now have the Nexus 6 on hand but no rugged case. I am not going to risk destroying it until the case I ordered today arrives so will stick with the Samsung Galaxy S3 until then. I did get the Nexus out and it updated to Android 7.0 over WIFI without a SIM card in it. I read that the 7.1 version will be supported on this unit come December so OS fragmentation won't be much of a concern on this one for a while.

Apple has gotten a handle on this overall. It seems that support drops off sharply once a phone becomes 2 or so generations old so users are forced to upgrade. This is kinda lousy as I know a lot of this is an artificial limitation to force you to buy a new phone but it also keeps everything updated and secure.

Microsoft fought with this for years with supporting all the different generations of Windows. I think giving away free Windows 10 was a great idea. They are basically playing catch-up with Apple and their OS X model. You basically get everyone on the same version and there is a lot less effort in supporting their OS. I still run into the die hard Windows XP people. Many are too cheap to upgrade their systems but spend a fortune keeping XP running.

One thing I notice about the Galaxy S3 is that although the OS is stuck on Android 4.4.2 or whatever, all the apps I care about and use still upgrade to the latest versions. I assume this takes care of most security concerns.

There is also the option to root the Galaxy S3 and upgrade it once I get the new one operational.

I have to say that I think it is crazy to have to think you need a $700 phone that needs to be replaced every 2 years because it is outdated.

- Collapse -
Answer
This just in. CAT has a tough phone.
- Collapse -
Answer
Google "tough smartphones"

Why not do that and depending on your wallet get the one that fits your needs. On top of that to include the protective cover that some already have or can get. All this plus cost should make you more able to protect the phone. The CAT series which Robert pointed out certainly covers all that, but I doubt you need FLIR. There is a cheaper CAT that is in the $399 range. Others found are cheaper too just add the cover. Now, I use a belt holster and the cover is attached, it seems to work well provided, I don't be running and jumping into whatever. Now, you take you clues from whatever and run with it. However, if cost is an issue then it pretty much limits you but it seems once you decide to reach into higher values and they include better OS, then may cover your wants. I hope this helps.

tada -----Willy Happy

CNET Forums