What is the Best Flip Rugged Phone

Today’s post is going to show you the most rugged flip phones you can buy in 2018.

After you buy one of these flip phones you won’t have to worry about the daily wear and tear on your phone and you’ll be able to do exactly what you want to do without the distractions inherent in a smartphone.

We’re going to examine a number of phones and consider their ruggedness, how long they last on a charge, and other notable features including their screens, their cameras, and if they have any special features as well.

Are you tired of smartphones yet?
The truth is when everybody has a smartphone it’s no longer a special experience. In fact, it can be downright monotonous. Taking the mass transit into the city, you will find yourself surrounded by people whose eyes are glazed over staring at their smartphones. They have no awareness or concern for anything that goes on around them. Someone could literally walk by with a knife in their hand and 80% of the people wouldn’t even notice.

With a flip phone, instead of looking at apps and texting people all day, you can pay attention to what’s going on around you and enjoy living in the moment. This is especially important when there are emergencies and a flip phone is designed for emergencies. Particularly the rugged flip phones of today.

Built tough for Emergencies

These hardy flip phones can be dropped from a reasonable height. You can take them to the beach and leave them out in your bag in the sand. You can take them hiking, or to the office when you want to concentrate on your work. And if there is a serious emergency and you need to bug out, you can be sure that the flip phone you have stashed inside your go bag will be ready for action.

One of the most obvious benefits of having a flip phone is its very simplicity. It makes phone calls, it can play music, it can take photos and perhaps a few more things, but it focuses on doing the basics well- clear phone calls.

Another great benefit of many of these rugged flip phones is that they are built for dangerous and noisy environments. Most of these flip phones have loud external speakers and very loud ringtones so that you can hear them in a clamorous and busy environment like at a construction site or a factory.

That means if you are preoccupied during an emergency, you will definitely notice the ringing and you’ll be able to respond to anybody who needs your attention. Plus, when you call somebody you’ll decidedly be able to hear what they’re saying. On the subway, it is very difficult to hear what people are saying when using a smartphone. But with these ruggedly powerful flip phone speakers, you’ll be able to hear people very quite easily, and so will your neighbors. So, of course, you might want to use an earpiece that or even a headset for your private conversations in public.

Designed for Privacy

One of the most disturbing things about modern cell phones, by that I mean the smartphones is that the apps really are listening to you. For example a few weeks ago a person I know was talking to me about ANA Airlines which is a Japanese airline. I was talking with him over my smartphone about ANA Airlines.

I had never heard of it before and so he explained to me what was special about that company. I was quite surprised two days later that I received my first ever advertisement for ANA Airlines. Is it possible that by sheer coincidence I could see an advertisement for the very company I heard about for the first time on my smartphone? Unlikely.

The truth is, the phone company doesn’t really listen to you, and the makers of the smartphones don’t really listen to you, and the government probably doesn’t spy on you, but the apps on your phone certainly are. The way it works is that the apps have the ability to listen to what you say and then feed more specific advertisements to you. You can even test this out yourself. For 3 days in a row, mention you need to buy more blue jeans for college. After 3 days, I’ll bet you see some advertisements for colleges and blue jeans.

If you don’t like the idea of people listening to your conversations, every conversation you will ever make into your smartphone, and then reporting back your conversations to someone who’s trying to make money off of you, then the only way out of it is to dump your smartphone.

That’s exactly why a lot of people buy flip phones. Because flip phones don’t have apps that use advertisements, and they aren’t listening to you all the time. In fact, most of them can’t listen to you. I think we can all agree that it’s better to keep the words you speak in private.


A lot of people ask, “Will this new phone work on my network carrier?” This is an important question because not all flip phones work with all carriers. The reason for this is that there are two different standards for converting data into radio signals. One is called CDMA and it is used in Russia and also in America by Verizon, Sprint, and US Cellular. The other standard, used by most of the world is GSM and it is used by AT&T and T-Mobile. When examining your choices make sure the phone you want matches up with the carrier you already have.

Rugged Flip Phone Comparisons

Phone Size (in.) & Weight (oz.) Screen Resolution (pixels) & Size Battery Capacity (Talk Time) Standby time
Samsung Convoy 4 4.25 x 2.17 x 0.93, 5.82 240 x 320, 2.4 in 1300 mAh (8 h) 20 d
Samsung Convoy 3 4.07 x 2.04 x 0.82, 4.4 240 x 320, 2.4 in 1300 mAh (6.5 h) 19 d
Samsung Rugby 4 4.25 x 2.17 x 0.85, 5.22 240 x 320, 2.4 in 1300 mAh (14 h) 23 d
Casio G’zone Ravine 2 4.33 x 1.99 x 0.83, 4.85 240 x 320, 2.2 in 1150 mAh (4.7 h) 21 d
Sonim XP5 5.43 x 2.39 x 0.92, 8.29 240 x 320, 2.4 in 3180 mAh (25 h) 25 d
Kyocera Dura XE 4.21 x 2.22 x 0.99, 6 240 x 320 , 2.6 in 1500 mAh (9.4 h) 16 d
Kyocera Dura XV+ 4.13 x 2.15 x 0.98, 5.6 240 x 320, 2.4 in 1500mAh (7.7 h) 18 d

Samsung Convoy 4 (Verizon)

Samsung Convoy 4

Price: Buy for under $110 on Amazon.

Features: Memory 0.25 GB, Camera 5 megapixels, Flash/Flashlight, Autofocus, Camcorder, TTY/TDD, Push-to-Talk, Bluetooth: 3.0, microSD slot expansion up to 32 GB, MIL-STD-810, IP 67: Water, Dust, Shock resistant

Good: Rugged, walkie-talkie feature, loud ringer/dual speakers

Bad: No Wifi, thick body, no automatic screen brightness, Low pixel density, no FM radio

Why Buy?: Its a rugged flip phone with many features.

Samsung Convoy 3 (Verizon)

Samsung Convoy 3

Price: Buy for less than $85 on Amazon.

Features: Memory 0.25 GB, Camera 3.2 megapixels, Flash/Flashlight, Camcorder, TTY/TDD, Push-to-Talk, Bluetooth, microSD slot expansion up to 32 GB, MIL-STD-810, IP 67: Water, Dust, Shock, Temperature, Humidity resistant

Good: Rugged, walkie-talkie feature, loud ringer/dual speakers

Bad: No autofocus, no Wifi, thick body, no automatic screen brightness, Low pixel density, no FM radio

Why Buy?: Cheaper than Convoy 4 and the only major weak spot is in the camera.

Samsung Rugby 4 (Unlocked/AT&T)

Samsung Rugby 4

Price: Buy for under $190 on Amazon.

Features: Memory 0.1 GB RAM, Camera 3 megapixels, Camcorder 320×240 (QVGA), Voice commands, Voice recording, TTY/TDD, Push-to-Talk, Compass, Wifi, Bluetooth 3.0, microSD slot expansion up to 32 GB, IP 67: Water, Dust, Shock resistant

Good: Rugged, has a compass and walkie-talkie feature

Bad: Expensive, Thick body, no automatic screen brightness

Why Buy? You want an expensive modern, yet rugged flip phone that works great outdoors.

Casio G’zone Ravine 2 (Verizon)

Casio G’zone Ravine 2

Price: Buy for under $80 on Amazon.

Features: Memory 0.25 GB RAM, Processor ?, Camera 3.2 megapixels, LED flash and autofocus, Camcorder, TTY/TDD, Push-to-Talk, Pedometer, Compass, Thermometer, Bluetooth 3.0, microSD card slot for up to 32GB memory, MIL-STD-810 certified: Water, Dust, Shock, Vibration, Temperature resistant

Good: Rugged

Bad: Thick body, no wifi, no screen auto-brightness, the screen has a low pixel density

Why Buy? You want a rugged phone with an unusual design.

Sonim XP5 (LTE enabled) (Unlocked/AT&T)

Sonim XP5

Price: Buy for under $140 on Amazon.

Features: Memory 4GB; Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad-core, 1200 MHz; IP 68 certified Water, Dust, Shock, Vibration, Temperature, Humidity resistant, MIL-STD-810 certified, Camera: 5 megapixels, Camcorder 1280×720 (720p HD) (15 fps), FM Radio, Wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, Full-size USB, a microSD card slot (for cards up to 64 GB), HD Voice and Advanced Calling, Push to talk (like a walkie-talkie)

Good: Very rugged phone, long battery life, a loud ringer for noisy environments, also uses 3G when LTE is unavailable. Can use social apps in a basic way. Works with gloves on. It has two strong external speakers facing front.

Bad: expensive, thick body, no camera autofocus, no hotspot feature (may work with software update), old-fashioned design, no backup assistant.

Why Buy? This is the phone for people who destroy other phones. Has a great battery and talk time.

Kyocera DuraXE (Unlocked/AT&T)

Kyocera DuraXE

Price: Buy for less than $180 on Amazon.

Features: Memory 1 GB, Camera 5 megapixels, flash, autofocus, Camcorder 1280×720 (720p HD), LTE capable, Voice dialing, Voice recording, TTY/TDD, Push-to-Talk, Wifi, Bluetooth: 4.1, microSD slot expansion up to 32 GB, IP 68: Water, Dust, Shock, temperature resistant

Good: Rugged, LTE capable, good camera, walkie-talkie

Bad: expensive, thick body, low pixel density, no autoscreen brightness

Why Buy?: You want a rugged LTE phone with a good camera.

Kyocera Dura XV+ (Verizon)

Kyocera Dura XV+

Price: Buy for less than $80 on Amazon.

Features: Memory .25 GB, Camera 5 Megapixels flash, auto-focus, Camcorder, voice commands, push-to-talk mode, microSD slot expansion up to 32 GB, Bluetooth 3.0, MIL-STD-810G, IP 68: Water, Dust, Shock resistant, a world phone with global roaming, flashlight, Wifi, GPS

Good: Rugged, Can use with gloves, also has a no-camera option, loud speaker

Bad: No FM radio, thick body, low pixel density, no autoscreen brightness

Why Buy?: You want a rugged flip phone with many features

And the Winner is …

I feel that the choice of the best rugged flip phone comes down to the Sonim XP5, which is massive and massively capable and the Convoy 4, which is about as rugged but fits into a smaller form. If you can handle the beast, get the Sonim, if not, the Convoy should suit your needs. But perhaps your needs would be better served by another phone. As always, the best phone is a personal decision.

These are the best rugged flip phones available today. Have I left anything out? Let me know in the comments below.

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4 Responses

  1. Michael Gore says:

    In today’s world of touch screen smartphones it is easy to forget that these still exist.

    I think we tend not to realise that not everything requires a touch screen and these prove it.

    A phone is sometimes just a phone. Rugged flip-phones are a necessity for certain situations where a touch screen smart phone just isn’t required. I wish I had one of these on my last job; my company wouldn’t supply a rugged phone because they were “moving forward” with the introuduction touch screen phones. You can probably guess how many survived. And I’m not making any suggestion here but that company no longer exists, lol.

    Thanks for the info, this may come in handy one day.

    • Peter Barban says:

      Thanks. As for your former company, “Heh!” Flip phones are a mature technology and thus boring. They just work, so the press and the culture-shapers ignore them. But for those who care more about practicality than fashion, flip phones are a communication solution that will last for years. 

  2. Zorba says:

    The Sonim is NOT a flip fone, it is what’s generally referred to as a “candybar” fone. To the best of my knowledge, Sonim doesn’t make a flip – which is too bad as the candybar design isn’t as protected.

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