The Good The Samsung Rugby 3 has a terrifically responsive dial pad and enhanced push-to-talk support.
The Bad Audio quality was subpar, the shared headset/charger jack is inconvenient, and for a durable phone, the body could be grippier.
The Bottom Line Very poor call quality is especially unacceptable on a simple cell phone. Unless you require AT&T's push-to-talk service, keep looking.
With poor call quality, what's the point?
Built for durability and outdoor work, the Samsung Rugby 3 is a sturdy clamshell cell phone. It features AT&T's enhanced push-to-talk and noise suppression, and it comes with large, responsive, and widely-spaced buttons that make it possible to hit while wearing thicker gloves.
Pair all that with U.S. Military Standard 810G for water, dust, and shock, and you have a phone that could easily belong in a fleet for outdoor workers, the accident-prone, or people who want a high level of strength in a simple cell phone -- that is, until you hear it. Cellular call quality was unfortunately very poor, making it one to skip, since the phone does little other than look tough and make calls. The Rugby 3 retails for about $100 with a new, two-year contract.
Design and build
A fairly tall, thick device, the Rugby 3 means business. It's made of a hardened plastic material, but there's very little grip; I'd like a little more. Diagonal grooves slashed along the spines give it a greater handhold.
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