Five Tough Phones for Tradespeople in 2021

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pipefix plumbing on phone while sitting on back of ute with a tradify phone caseThese days a smartphone is essential to the day-to-day running of your trade business. You can use apps on your phone to create quotes and invoices, track your jobs, manage your social media – the list keeps growing. That’s why it’s important for tradespeople to have a trusty phone that can survive whatever you throw at it, or maybe whatever you throw it at...

Not all phones are the same, and with the latest smartphones costing a small fortune, there’s no point in buying one that isn’t going to go the distance. As a tradesperson, you need a phone that can survive dust, water, and being dropped. You might also need a phone that can be used with gloves or in low light and high glare environments.

Five tough phones for tradespeople:

  1. Samsung GalaxyXCover5
  2. CAT S62 PRO
  3. Ulefone Armor 9 FLIR
  4. Doogee S95 Pro
  5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

What are ‘rugged’ phones?

A rugged phone has been thoughtfully designed for people in hobbies or professions where a regular phone just doesn’t cut the mustard. They’re completely sealed for protection from extreme conditions – like dust, water or shock. As a busy tradesperson, this is your world, so a rugged phone is going to be your best friend.

When considering a rugged phone, there are a few key features to look for:

  • Water-resistant or waterproof
  • Large battery capacity
  • Shockproof
  • Good durability
  • Dust resistant
  • Tough shell to withstand being dropped

The best rugged phones for tradespeople

We’ve done our research to find the best tough phones for tradespeople. Whether you’re an electrician, plumber, builder, or other type of contractor with the need for a rugged device, the phones listed below are certainly worth considering.

Prices are indicative and may have changed since this article was published. We recommend using a price comparison website to find the best deals online.

UK price comparison websites include: Idealo, PriceRunner, and PriceSpy.
Australian price comparison websites include: GetPrice, PriceMe, or Shopbot.
NZ price comparison websites include: PriceMe, PriceSpy, or CompareBear.

1. Samsung GalaxyXCover5

This phone is part of Samsung’s rugged range – a selection of phones designed to be easy to use and hard to break. You know they’re tough when they meet military standards for endurance and survivability. The GalaxyXCover5 is fit to withstand dirt, dust or sand, and is resistant to being submerged. Increased touch sensitivity means you won’t have any issues using it with gloves or when your hands get wet from snow or rain. With extra anti-shock protection, it can also handle being dropped from a high distance.
A hand in a welder's glove holding the Samsung GalaxyXCover5 phone

Where to buy Samsung GalaxyXCover5:

  • UK: you can purchase the Samsung GalaxyXCover5 from the Samsung website for £329.
  • Australia: this phone isn’t officially available in Australia through Samsung, but online retailer Skycomp has them listed for $447.
  • New Zealand: you can buy the Samsung GalaxyXCover5 from Noel Leeming for $499.

2. CAT S62 PRO

Claiming to be ‘the ultimate work phone’, the CAT S62 PRO is resistant to dust, salt mist, sand and vibration. Built with a tough aluminium body and scratch-resistant glass, it can be dropped from a height of 1.8 metres without breaking.
Holding a CAT phone in landscape orientation and using the thermal view feature

Where to buy CAT S62 PRO:

  • UK: buy now via the CAT store for £539.
  • Australia: Harvey Norman lists this phone for $1099.
  • New Zealand: you can buy the CAT S62 PRO online from Spark for $1,299.

3. Ulefone Armor 9 FLIR

This is a great rugged phone that has all the essential functions of a smartphone. With a built-in 6600mAh battery, the Ulefone Armor 9 FLIR can last for several days at normal use without needing a charge. It also has a toughened glass screen to withstand being dropped or having dust or water spilled on it.
A black ulePhone splashed with water and perched on a ledge

Where to buy:

4. Doogee S95 Pro

Waterproof, shock-proof and dust-proof, this rugged phone has a host of features that can bring it through your working day without harm. The Doogee S95 Pro has a fingerprint scanner, wireless charging capabilities and reverse wireless charging – so you can charge your other wireless devices too. With a lower price point, this is a great option for tradespeople looking for a rugged phone that doesn’t break the bank.
Doogee S95 Pro smartphone submerged in water

Where to buy:

  • UK: not currently available, but has been previously sold on Amazon. Check online for stock updates.
  • Australia: not currently available but has been previously sold on Amazon. Check online for stock updates.
  • New Zealand: this phone can be bought on Noco for $528.90.

5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

Although this is not technically classified as a rugged phone, it’s certainly built to withstand tough conditions. Claiming to be “the biggest breakthrough since the mobile phone”, the Galaxy Fold is an excellent option for tradespeople. The screen folds in two, so it’s always protected against anything that comes its way. With the right rugged case, this phone can be kept safe easily.
Samsung's Galazy Z Fold phone flipped open to reveal the full screen

Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

  • UK: Samsung UK is currently offering up to £450 off if you trade in your old phone. You can also adopt a payment plan of £44.42 per month or pay £1,599.
  • Australia: Samsung offers a payment plan of $69.42 per month or outright for $2,499.
  • New Zealand: At the time of writing Samsung has the Fold2 on sale for $2,599 down from $3,399.

A phone fit for the toughest workplaces

Without the right protection to withstand the daily grind of trade life, your phone will be lucky to survive. Rugged phones are taking over the trade industry – and for good reason. They’re exactly what tradespeople need when they’re hard at work in electronically-unfriendly conditions involving dust and water.

There are quite a few tough phones on the market in 2021, but whichever you pick, make sure it has the right features to survive the toughest work conditions you face. And if you’re not looking to change your phone just yet, you can always just get a strong phone case instead.

Check out our list of strong phone cases for tradespeople.

Once you’ve sorted your phone safety, make sure to download Tradify. It’s the job management app that saves trade business owners hours of admin time. Try it free for 14-days or join one of our live demo webinars to see the app in action.