[UPDATED February 2024] Rugged flip phones offer a blend of durability and simplicity that sets them apart. Unlike rugged button phones or full-fledged rugged smartphones, flip phones provide a unique appeal for those who prioritize reliability and style in their outdoor adventures.
Whether you’re an adventurer or simply value a tough and dependable mobile companion, rugged flip phones have much to offer. In this article, we’ll explore the top choices in rugged flip phones for outdoor enthusiasts, showcasing their features and benefits.
What is a rugged flip phone?
A rugged flip phone is a type of mobile phone that is designed to withstand harsh conditions. They are built like every rugged button or rugged smartphone out there but offered in a flip-able clamshell body.
These phones are made with durable materials, such as rubber or plastic, and have features that protect them from water, dust, shock, and extreme temperatures, making them suitable for use in demanding environments, such as construction sites, factories, firefighters, and other outdoor activities like hiking.
Why choose a rugged flip phone for outdoor adventures?
There are several reasons why you might want to choose a rugged flip phone for outdoor adventures. First, they are more durable than traditional flip phones. This means that you can take them with you on all of your adventures without having to worry about them getting damaged by water, dust, drops, or extreme temperatures.
Second, they often have features that are specifically designed for outdoor use. For example, they may have a built-in compass, flashlight, or weatherproof loud speaker and emergency buttons. Third, they tend to be more affordable than a full fledged rugged smartphones.
Best Rugged Flip Phones Currently Available
We took our time to go through the websites of every rugged phone maker we know; (RugGear, Kyocera, Sonim, AGM, Cat, etc.), to put this list together. Based on our research, here are the best locked and unlocked rugged flip phones for outdoor adventures.
1. Cat S22 Flip
The Cat S22 Flip is the first device on our list. This rugged flip phone was released back in September of 2021. It is not the most recent, or the most powerful device on the list, but it has what every rugged device should have, and with a reasonable price tag as well.
It is IP68 compliant, and it is rated for both water and dust resistance. It is also compliant with MIL-STD-810H and can survive concrete drops from a height of 1.8 meters. This makes the Cat S22 Flip one of the best-rugged flip phones currently on the market.
As far as specifications are concerned, the Cat S22 Flip packs a 2.8-inch display on the main screen, while a 1.44-inch screen is used on the front. To add to its toughness, both the main and secondary screen on this phone is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Powering the Cat S22 Flip is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 215 quad-core CPU clocked at 1.3GHz, along with Adreno 308 GPU. It has 2 Gigs of RAM, 16 gigabytes of ROM, a 5-megapixel main camera, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera.
It is also worth mentioning that the S22 Flip is a 4G rugged flip phone, and it supports the majority of network bands globally. The phone has a 2000mAh battery and runs Google Android 11 (Go Edition) out of the box.
2. Kyeocera DuraXA Equip / Kyeocera DuraXV Extreme+
Next on the list is the Kyeocera DuraXA Equip and the DuraXV Extreme+. These are 4G rugged flip phones equipped with 2.6-inch screens. In addition to the main screen, you are getting a 1.08″ Monochrome OLED screen on the front for ease of notifications.
Both phones are rated IP68 with dust and water resistance, and both does have a 1,770mAh battery. The models can also endure a concrete drop of up to 5ft, thanks to their MIL-STD-810H certification.
One key difference between the DuraXA Equip and the DuraXV Extreme+ is in their processing power. While the XA is powered by the Snapdragon 215 quad-core CPU, the XV Extreme Plus comes with the Helio A22 CPU from MediaTek.
Both phones come with 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM, and both can carry external SD cards up to 512GB. You are also getting a 5-megapixel selfie camera and AOSP Android (Proprietary OS).
The Kyeocera DuraXA Equip is an unlocked rugged flip phone, and it costs around $299. It also has a model sold at the same price through US Cellular. The DuraXV Extreme+ on the other hand is available as a Verizon device, and it cost 250 US Dollars.
3. AGM M8 Flip and the M8 Flip Security+
Next on the line is AGM’s M8 Flip and its sibling, the M8 Flip Security+. As of writing, both phones are the most recent models on our list. But before we talk about the Security Plus model, let’s focus on the vanilla M8 Flip first.
The rugged flip phone comes with a 2.8-inch screen, and it is powered by a 1500mAh removable battery. Unlike the Cat S22 Flip, the AGM M8 Flip is not based on Android OS, and it does not have a secondary screen, instead, three simple LED notification lights are left on the front.
One key advantage of the M8 Flip is that it has a very powerful loudspeaker that pushes about 104dB of sound. It also comes with a dedicated SOS side key and a big keyboard, and it is Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC).
Other specifications of the AGM M8 Flip include 48MB RAM + 128MB of storage with 128GB external SD card support. The device supports USB Type-C, and it is water, drop, and dust-proofed with IP68, IP69k, and MIL-STD-810G ratings.
It has a 2-megapixel camera lens, supports dual Nano SIMs with a 4G network on a single SIM, weighs about 162 grams, and is powered by the Unisoc T107 Chipset. As of writing, the AGM M8 Flip costs between $79 to 89 Dollars, depending on whether you are in the US or UK.
AGM M8 Flip Security+
The AGM M8 Flip Security Plus on the other hand is an ultra-secured smartphone for company or business owners, or those whose security and privacy is of high importance.
It is the same as the vanilla M8 Flip, but it does not have a camera, no Bluetooth, no cellular data network, no MMS, no USB data transfer, no MicroSD slot, no File management, and no multimedia features.
In the words of AGM, what you are getting is a leak-proof device that is both reliable and secure.
Both the AGM M8 Flip and the M8 Flip Security+ are available on Aliexpress.com, Amazon, and also on the company’s official website.
4. Sonim XP3 and XP3plus
Among Sonim’s range of rugged smartphones and feature phones, the XP3 and the XP3 Plus are the only available flip options.
The XP3 was released first in March of 2019 with a 2.6-inch main display and a 1.08-inch TN LCD front display. It comes with a Snapdragon 210 quad-core CPU, has 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM, has a 5-megapixel rear camera, and is powered by a 1500mAh battery that promises longer standby.
Sonim XP3 Plus
Coming to September 2021, the XP3 Plus was released. The model brought a slightly bigger 2.8-inches display, a faster Snapdragon 662 octa-core CPU, 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM, and an improved 8-megapixel camera. This makes the Sonim XP3 Plus the best rugged flip phone currently on the market.
This model is powered by a bigger 2300mAh battery and has a refreshed Sonim OS based on Android AOSP 11, instead of the Android 8.1-based Sonim OS on the vanilla XP3.
As for built quality, both the Sonim XP3 and the XP3 Plus are two high-end flip rugged feature phones. They both offer IP68 dust/water resistance (up to 1.5m for 30 min) and both have MIL-STD-810(G/H) certification.
Both phones are good rugged flip phones with 4G LTE Networks and a well-built body. The XP3 Plus is available with or without a camera sensor, and it is a little more expensive at $199 unlocked. Old stock for the vanilla XP3 may cost somewhere between $120 to $180 depending on the seller.
5. Plum Ram Plus LTE / Plum E910
The Plum RAM Plus is another highly-rated rugged flip phone with a 4G LTE network. It is also called the Plum E910 4G. The device was released in February 2022, and it has a 2.4-inch main display and a 1.44-inch front screen.
The Plum RAM Plus and its Plum E910 sibling are both powered by the UNISOC Tiger T107 CPU. They both have 48MB RAM + 128MB of storage, a single 2-megapixel camera, a dedicated flashlight, wireless FM radio, and an SD card support.
It is powered by a 1200mAh battery and comes with dual SIM cards with both 3G and 4G VoLTE networks. As of writing, the Plum Ram Plus LTE / Plum E910 is sold for under $80 via Amazon.com.
6. Hammer Bow+
The Hammer Bow+ is another rugged flip phone on the list. Hammer is a Polish manufacturer of durable phones for use in demanding environments, such as construction sites, factories, and outdoor activities.
The Hammer Bow+ has an IP68 dustproof and waterproof rating, which means it can withstand being submerged in water for up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. It is also shockproof and drop-proof from up to 1.8 meters.
Just like the Plum Ram Plus LTE above, the Bow Plus has a 2.4-inch display and a 1.44-inch secondary display. It is also powered by a 1200mAh battery, which is said to last for up to 18 hours of talk time or 300 hours of standby time.
Fortunately, the Hammer Bow+ is the only 3G smartphone on the list. So if your need is just a simple 3G rugged flip phone, then the Bow+ is your best option. It has a dual SI slot, has a built-in FM radio, a flashlight, and a built-in compass.
After going through the websites of all rugged phone makers we know, the list of rugged flip phones above are the ones currently available on the market with decent specs. The list contains a total of 10 flip phones summarized into 6, from the 4G LTE enabled Cat S22 Flip, down to the 3G powered Hammer Bow+.
We hope that you will find your perfect rugged flip phone from the list above. Also, do share your findings with us If there is any device you think should be on the list.