The best features of rugged phones you need to know about
The best features of rugged phones you need to know about
12:53

The best features of rugged phones you need to know about

Phones
If you think rugged phones are just for firefighters, rock climbers and butter fingers. Think again. It turns out they've got some slim lines now while still being tough. Some really interesting features you won't find in all those flagship phones. They might just be the right phone for our age standby. I'm going to show you how to look at them and figure out if one is right for you. [MUSIC] Now when I say durable phones you're probably thinking of something like this Sonam expiate me Look at this guy unapologetically brutal and chunky, literally ready for anything and crusted with buttons and all kinds of expansion connectors. This is probably found in the hands and pockets of more first responders than any other phone. But I'll forgive you for saying that's a bit much for my everyday use ditto for this guy. Another very capable model. This is the Kyocera dura force pro two and again ready for just about anything, but maybe not ready for your pockets. That's where we go to a different direction entirely. Voila. These are also rugged phones but you'd hardly know it by their mass or their bulk. They don't even look like it. This one for example, is the Samsung XCover Pro. It's sort of the rugged sibling or cousin of your Galaxy line that you may carry. It does have a little bit of a rugged nature to its rubberized coating but Nothing about its weight or its bulk tells you it's a rugged phone but this is ready to go no case and we'll talk about some other features in a moment. You want to go even a little bit thinner. You go to cat. Yes, that cat the folks that make tractors, they've got a licensed brand phone line. And this is the thinnest rugged phone in the world. They claim now I wouldn't argue with it. You can see it's got some interesting design cues on its thin edge that say it's a tough phone but it doesn't say it by bulkiness or square protrusions sleek and elegant. Speaking of the cat line, here is the sibling of the phone we just saw. This is the Cat S61. Now as you can see, it's definitely got a thicker profile than you'd find in your average phone though not terribly So, but it can be forgiven for that because on the back are a whole bunch of interesting sensors that are within you've got a FLIR thermal sensor. Sensor up here, down here as the laser sensor for doing accurate measurements, kind of an invisible tape measure. It's also got the ability to monitor temperature, humidity and air quality very accurately. So you're getting a big sensor package inside of a phone that is of course rugged and waterproof. Now here's another completely different take on the idea of small and rugged. This is the unit hertz Adam xcell. I think you can tell just by looking at the perspective here, it's pretty small. It's a four inch screen. And before you gasp I'm telling you this was really quite usable, even though it is dramatically smaller than the phones we take for granted these days. And of course, as you can tell, it's rugged and waterproof and all the things we're talking about here. As well as having some other interesting features that we'll talk about a little bit later in the video, but I bet it's been a long time since you remember how nice it is to have a phone that easily fits in your hand as opposed to barely fits in your hand. Now when it comes to how rugged The phone is its ability to withstand shocks. That kind of a shock. There's a standard for that. It's called military standard 810 G. G is the latest version 840 pages. At a minimum, it requires a phone or anything else you're testing to be dropped four feet 26 times onto a surface of plywood over concrete and be fine. But many of the phones we're looking at go beyond that. For example, this cat 61 can survive a six foot drop on the concrete. The cat is 51 five feet on the concrete. The Samsung xcover Pro a full five feet under presumably a mix of concrete and plywood. And the Sonium XP8, two meters or 6.5 feet straight to concrete. Right about now is when you expect me to gather up my phone's head out to the sidewalk and start dropping them in beautiful slow mo video while I make OMG faces back up YouTube goal Ain't gonna happen. I'm more impressed by you understanding as you now do, what the actual ratings mean, as conducted in the scientific setting, not some guy randomly dropping a few phones on some sidewalk one day. That doesn't tell you as much as an understanding of the ruggedness rating. Bottom line when you buy a rugged phone don't just say good, it's milspec 810 G. Read what milspec 810 G reveal about its toughness. Now your next biggest nightmare after dropping your nice phone on the sidewalk is dropping your phone in the toilet. That's where you wanna be waterproof. This is where the IP 68 label comes in. You've probably seen this. On some recent phones, the IP6 part tells you it's dust resistant. That 8 that follows it tells you it is moisture resistant in terms of being immersed in liquids, and that can include cleaning liquids, which make IP68 particularly handy these days. Not just for swimmers and beach lovers, but again read the fine print ip 68 x cover pro from Samsung means 5 feet for 30 minutes on a Kyocera duraforce Pro to 2 meters for 30 minutes and on the CAT S61 3 meters for 60 minutes, just like with milspec a 10 g ip68 is a framework and some phones like the cat 61 and so on and XP eight go further with an IP 69 rating. That means they can resist sprays of liquid, not just immersion. Here's your smart buyers tip when you're looking for the IP rating, make sure it doesn't come at the expense of one of these little fiddly doors at the bottom of the phone. The covers the USB jack and sometimes other ports like the headphone jack, that sometimes is how they get to their IP rating. But I find that these little doors are annoying after a couple of days I get sick and tired of undoing this thing to charge my phone or plug in a headset. Instead, look for other phones that achieve A similar rating, but with that little cover over their ports. Some of the more recent models do that. Let's talk about power. A number of years ago, phones always had removable batteries. You'd pop out one and pop in another, talk about a fast charge. Over the recent smartphone era that all has largely gone away and phones now have integrated batteries that you can't get to. You got to just find a fast charger. It's never as fast as swapping a battery, right? However on these ruggedized phones that are mission critical designed, look what's back. This is the Samsung x cover Pro, you find a little niche right there. In the cover. The back plate comes off and there's a removable battery. I popped that guy out. Not very big. It looks like a little wafer. I could have another one sitting in a charger. Drop that back in, what was that? Five seconds and I've got 100% charge again. Take that quick charge technology. Smart tip though if you're looking for a swappable battery phone, think about your usage scenario. Do you spend a lot of time either in one workplace or on the road in the vehicle all workday, then you're a good candidate because you're gonna be near the charger and the battery. If you don't know where you're gonna be any given day when the phone needs a battery boost. You might have to have chargers everywhere and that gets to be kind of inefficient. This works for some people's daily life pattern not for everyone's having a dual sim phone means you can have two technically distinct carriers. On one device, in my experience here in disaster prone California, I can tell you, it makes a huge difference in the likelihood that you're gonna have a signal and data, when everyone else around you doesn't And they're one carrier. Now this obviously can get you into a point of spending a significant amount more money. You're carrying two carriers on one phone. One strategy there is to use a low cost prepaid MVNO, a carrier Carrier that uses another carriers network as one of your Sims and then have a traditional plan, let's say as your main sim has a lot of ways to slice and dice it, and you can factor in Google phi in there, which is already a network of networks. But if you do that, you're gonna end up with a phone that is so robust. You may be laughing at cellular outages because usually they're not complete across all carriers in one region at the same time. Smart tip though for the buyer when you're looking for a dual sim phone, first map out the carriers you're going to use then go shopping for a phone that you can verify will support them. network technologies can be tricky, and you've got to make sure you get a phone that has both SIM slots unlocked and it may be what they call a global version of that phone to get to that point. But start with your carriers and then work towards your device. I think that's going to work best for you. In an uncertain world, a lot of folks are finding that they're joining neighborhood response groups or community Emergency Response Teams or in some other way joining a group to take care of the neighborhood that often uses a radio for everyone to stay in touch. However, it's not necessarily a real radio Push To Talk apps that simulate two way radio via your phone and its 4G network are getting very popular. Now we're talking about Zelo. Obviously, that's your number one global brand for these Push To Talk apps. There's a whole bunch of other ones and some of them are actually from the carriers, Sprint, Verizon and others have them as a service option. Whichever way you choose to go, looking for a phone that has a push to talk button can radically improve the user experience when you're using a push to talk app, as opposed to trying to find a push to talk button on a fussy touchscreen on a phone that is full of open windows and notifications, I find that's a disaster experience so to speak. Going even further the radio direction, the little unit hertz. Atom XML is also a real radio compatible with the kinds of radios that are often carried by neighborhood volunteers. And even with some ham radio frequencies. It's 400 to 480 megahertz transmit and receive abilities that allow that however, are still pending FCC type approval for the US. [MUSIC] But we also know that it is not enough to change a person's behaviour so that they floss their teeth on a daily basis. Our next example is one of the behavioural factors. Positive reinforcement strengthens the behaviour. Depending on who you want to communicate with, so make sure in advance that the phone you're going to buy can map its button to that app. Just about every popular phone on the market today makes a huge sacrifice in favor of vanity. They put the speakers down here on the edge, usually the bottom edge, firing away from whoever is using the thing. Again, it's a play to create packaging fineness. It's kind of dumb. Some of the phones in the rugged category have front firing speakers on the sonic PA or this Kyocera dura force pro two. These guys actually aim the sound at your ears. What an idea They're loud as hell. Smart tip. If you're buying a phone for its front firing loudspeakers know that these are often tuned for voice frequencies and aren't the best sounding for music. So don't throw away your Bluetooth speaker just yet when you really want to get into your tunes. Wasn't too long ago if you bought a rugged phone, you got a rugged screen I mean rugged in the worst way crunchy resolution, a crappy little camera. Not anymore. These are other phones all have very good cameras, though not as many as an iPhone 11 pro or a Samsung Galaxy S 20. But I'm not sure you're gonna miss them because these phones now have ample megapixels and their quality megapixels in my testing. That combined with the fact that all of these are Android phones. Therefore, they have the Google computational photography tricks built in as part of the latest Photos app And what you can do in the cloud and the easy retouching and all of that. I think you're gonna be totally good with the cameras in these guys even though that's not what the sector is traditionally known for. The cat s 61 takes camera imaging a step further with an integrated FLIR thermal sensor that cat says is accurate to a 10th of a degree Celsius While scanning up to 100 people a minute at a distance of five feet. That kind of function might become useful in the COVID-19 era. Smart tip if you're buying one of these cat phones for its FLIR sensor, know that it's meant to be accurate in telling temperature differences when it's calibrated, which you have to do every day. Not telling absolute temperatures like a thermometer. [MUSIC], rugged bones no longer look like something that somebody chiseled off a boulder. And they're not just for people that were carabiners to work either or talking about phones that can get you away from silly cases that I find to be a very strange fixing of what the manufacturer didn't deal with. And you're gonna find as you've seen a lot of interesting features that the average phone doesn't have. So think about these guys the next time you set out to buy one of the usual suspects, that all too often can be just expensive hothouse flowers.

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