British phone retailer Tuffphones has unveiled a new range of hard-wearing smartphones, aimed primarily at construction workers and accident-prone outdoorsy types.
The phones, which use the Android operating system, are one of many new additions to the growing ‘tough phones’ market.
Construction companies De Walt and CAT have already licenced their own ‘rugged’ smartphones, which undergo more rigorous testing than standard smartphones. Jaguar Land Rover also have plans to launch a durable smartphone in partnership with phone manufacturer Bullitt next year.
Now Chichester-based company Tuffphones have launched their own brand of hard-wearing phones, which are priced between £228 and £389. Like many of its rivals, the Tuffphone phones come with thicker Gorilla glass screens and are certified to be dust resistant and waterproof for several minutes at a time.
Testing of one particular model, the Tuffphone 400 – which sits at the cheaper end of the price bracket – found it could receive calls under water after several minutes of being submerged, survive a tumble in a cement mixer full of sand and could still make calls and get online after being dropped from scaffolding over 2m high.
Analysts have suggested that the ‘rugged phone’ market will account for around £1.5 billion of the global phone market this year. Some may ask why a durable phone is any better than a durable case for a standard handset?
Tuffphone creators say rugged phones provides the convenience of an all-in-one solution, but also have another key advantage – because they are chunkier, heavier devices, they tend to be fitted with bigger, longer-lasting batteries.
So if you’re in construction, or are just accident-prone, then a Tuffphone is just what you need. However it is worth noting that the phones do not run the latest version of Android, would not cope well with receiving a direct blow from a hammer.