We have looked at the best budget rugged smartphones available up to $200 and you might be surprised at the impressive features they offer at such a low cost. But to be sure, budget phones do cut some corners to enable a lower sticker price, so read on to make sure you pick one of the best budget rugged smartphones in the segment.
Some phones run older Android versions, skimp on memory and pack a lower capacity battery. If you don’t mind an older operating system and fewer features on a budget-friendly rugged phone, you can find a great bargain for a phone that you can use every day or a second phone you can use instead of a GPS navigation device.
These phones give you the protection you need but won’t offer the performance or specifications you see with more expensive phones such as those in the mid-range to high-end range phones.
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Who are Budget rugged smartphones ideal for?
- People looking for a phone that won't die when it hits the ground.
- People who don’t want to spend a lot of money on an outdoor phone.
- People who need a secondary phone that the kids won’t break.
- People who are looking for a replacement for their handheld GPS device.
There are a lot of options out there, so we have picked a blend of low price and highest consumer rated rugged phones, to curate our own list of selected budget rugged smartphone for outdoor users.
Our selection criteria are the best budget rugged smartphones under $200, with at least 400 reviews of 4 stars or more.
The Blackview 5900 offers a rugged IP68 casing and large battery capacity at an affordable price. This is a sleeker, slimmer model than other rugged smartphones without sacrificing durability and at an unbeatable price point.
Rubberized lining is used. Despite its size, the phone feels nice and is well-made. The manufacturer claims to follow military standards MIL-STD-810 as well as MIL-STD-IP69X.
This ensures that the housing is able to withstand submersion in water for up to several minutes without being affected.
The face id is a nice extra and the battery life is excellent. If you're looking for a basic tough and reliable phone at an entry level price point, this model is for you.
(Full disclosure - I personally use a Blackview phone and although it is not as fast as my old Samsung Galaxy, I can use it outdoors with no fear of damaging it. I let it sit in my sink for and hour before taking it on long distance rides and it has held up well to for nearly 2 years now!)
- Large capacity battery
- Solid build quality
- Slimmer than rivals
- Limited processor
- Camera in low light
- Doesn't work with all SIM carriers
5.5inch 18:9 HD Display IP68/69K Waterproof Outdoor Phone with 4400mAh Battery, 2GB RAM+16GB ROM, 2MP+8MP Cameras, Face ID/OTG/GPS/FM
Ulefone Armor X7
This sleek rugged smartphone is the definition of value with a remarkably long lasting battery, generous storage and good camera.
Unlike other models the body is flat and smooth without sacrificing essential protection like waterproof and shockproof. It's a little heavier but compact.
Unexpected extras are dual SIM, wireless charging and dual LT/4G SIM standby making this phone an excellent low cost, high value choice for all your outdoor adventures.
If you are looking for a day to day phone replacement, you should consider spending a little more and get the Pro version, which offers additional memory and a faster processor.
- Great price
- Compact case
- Surprising battery life
- A little heavy
- Limited camera
Waterproof, Dustproof, Shockproof Android 10 Rugged Phones, 13MP+5MP Waterproof Cameras, IP68 Smartphone, NFC, OTG, 4G Dual Sim, 5.0 Inch Screen, 4G RAM 32GB ROM, 4000mAh Battery
The Oukitel WP5 is quite heavy and bulky but you can dish out harsh treatment and drop it in water quite safely. You can also take decent photos underwater.
Oukitel WP5 performs well in benchmark test. The huge battery capacity, should ensure two or more days without additional recharging. curiously, the phone has three camera sensors, but only one is used for photos.
A drawback is slow charging. Oukitel WP5 only supports 10W charging, and it takes a very long time to fully charge the battery. On the positive side, it has the longest battery capacity of all three phones.
If you want a shockproof and waterproof smartphone with a large battery and good performance, then the Oukitel WP5 is for you.
- Outstanding battery life
- IP68 protection
- Good all round performance
- Slow Charging
- Bulky and heavy
Android 10 Smartphone 8000mAh Battery IP68 Waterproof Rugged Smartphone, 5.5" HD+ 4GB 32GB Face ID Fingerprint 13MP + 5MP Waterproof Camera, Global Version 4G LTE GSM
OMG. i just wanted to say this blog is amazing.
I’ve tested the BLACKVIEW 5900 but I had to return it, it was laggy beyond tolerable. I don’t know if I was just unlucky and ended up being paired with a bad headset or this is how they work but it just wasn’t for me. Which is a shame, I loved the sleeker look, I hate having to carry around a genuine brick. Still on the lookout, I haven’t picked a phone, but I need to find one soon as spring is approaching fast. If I don’t find a budget option I might have to take the leap and go for Nokia XR20, this seems to be super sturdy and the camera is more than decent. What do you think?
As someone who has broken not one, not two, but FIVE different phones now on my adventures… I am seriously looking for something that can keep up with my lifestyle. I do a lot of biking, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. I spend a huge portion of my summer out of town. One of the few benefits of being a teacher. So I am looking for the best rugged smartphone that won’t be super expensive. I will just have a secondary phone to take with me and stop breaking my main phones. Thanks for the suggestions. I feel like BLACKVIEW 5900 is probably my best bet.
Thanks for explaining how and why these phones are built to take a beating. Personally, I think parents should consider getting one of these models for their kids’ first cell phone. I know so many parents who have had kids destroy their phones with meathead moves ranging from dropping them into cereal bowls (with milk) to backing over them.