Without a shadow of a doubt, Tough Phones are the up and coming most sensible choice for the majority of people as they make their new mobile phone purchase. No longer are they the clumpy unattractive option: slimline style is now a given, making these phones no longer stick out negatively as going back to the 90s brick, but standing out for positive reasons: smart financial and practical sense.
However, there are now many more than just the few original options to decide between. Whereas before there were just a few manufacturers on board, the manufacturers and networks alike have now realised these are the phones of the future and as a result, consumers have literally dozens of different options to choose from. So what should you look out for?
The first thing you should do is assess your lifestyle, your workplace and your hobbies. In doing this you can assess the biggest threats for your phone that occur on a daily basis, whilst also ascertaining what you need and use most in terms of functionality.
Construction workers, the main focus of many of the original Tough Phones backed by brands such as Caterpillar and JCB, need something different from a hobby canoeist for example. Both need a rugged, durable phone just as much as the other, but the main features will be different.
Construction workers typically need an exceptionally tough phone. Frequently working on site in dusty or wet conditions, they need a phone with a high IP rating. This is a rating given to Tough Phones that gives an indication how well they will withstand dust and water ingress. Construction Workers, and those responsible for sourcing and buying these phones for their workforce, should pay great heed to the IP rating. They should also look for a phone that can be set with ring features that make it possible to hear or feel over loud and vibrating construction equipment. Additionally, construction workers, and those such as civil engineers, should ensure their phone is durable enough to withstand an unintended fall especially when the landing is likely to be on to rocks or other hard surfaces. To get a phone that meets all these features, you are likely to be looking at the stockier phones on the market, yet nonetheless design and aesthetics are still key.
For a farmer, they will need something different from their phone. Long battery life, for long working days, is going to be important. Frequently away from mains electricity, its essential that the phone is up to the job of retaining its charge for a long period despite usage. This is possible with certain tough phones that use Lithium batteries. Additionally a farmer will need to consider the IP rating, with regards to dust and water. A farmer will also need to consider his ability to see and use the screen under direct sunlight. This is a problem on many traditional smartphones that has been considered in the design of many tough phones.
Conversely, you have the water sports enthusiast. What they need from their phone is reliability in extremely wet conditions. They may also desire a really high quality camera element. These people should be looking for what is called a Waterproof Phone a tough phone that is able to withstand complete immersion for up to 30 minutes or so.
If tough phones are viewed as an extension of the toolkit, or equipment repertoire, and given the same due thought and consideration that any other piece of expensive work or lifestyle equipment is afforded, then these Tough Phones can without a doubt enhance your life. These phones can be the equivalent of the 4x4 vehicle a sensible choice for those with tougher lifestyles.