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Rough and tumble: 8 phones for the adventurous

From water-resistant handsets to full-blown rugged devices, CNET takes a look at some recent phones that can go where most can't.

Lynn_La2.jpg
Lynn_La2.jpg

Lynn La

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1 of 9 Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

If you've 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 -- especially when you don't have a durable case to protect it.

To avoid this next time, CNET gathered some of our recent favorite devices that are waterproof, rugged or both. You'll also see a few wild cards that have unique features you won't see anywhere else.

Editors' note: This slideshow was originally published on February 13, 2013, and is periodically updated.

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2 of 9 Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

You knew the Galaxy S7 Active would be included in here. Though its bulky, plastic design feels cheap compared to its Galaxy S7 counterpart, this handset is dust-, water- and drop-resistant. It also has an enduring battery life.

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3 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Cat S60

In addition to surviving 6-foot drops onto concrete and 16-foot dunks under water, the S60 has a nifty thermal imaging camera.

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4 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Motorola Droid Turbo 2

The Droid Turbo 2 doesn't look like your typical bulky rugged phone, but it has a tough screen that won't crack (believe us, we tried). Plus, it has a top-tier performance, solid battery life, and you can customize it at Motorola's website.

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5 of 9 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Sony Xperia Z5

The Xperia Z5 looks beautiful, has plenty of power and its camera takes great photos. But while it won't die when you spill your drink on it, its waterproofing no longer allows for full submersion, so you can't use it for underwater photography.

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6 of 9 James Martin/CNET

Yezz Sfera

The Sfera goes where the action is -- literally. That's because it has a 360-degree camera up top so you can record immersive photos and videos. It also has a 5.5-inch display and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

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7 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Spot Global Phone

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).

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8 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

Kyocera DuraForce

The DuraForce features a tough and waterproof construction as well as push-to-talk capabilities. But its camera is mediocre, and the processor can be slow at times.

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9 of 9 Josh Miller/CNET

NEC Terrain

Looking for something a little more QWERTY? The Terrain is a unique messaging phone with a rugged and waterproof exterior. It also has push-to-talk for direct-connect customers, and it runs Android and has expandable memory.

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