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Best Phones for Construction Workers

Working in the construction industry means tough physical demands, for both you and your smartphone. Find one up to the task.

We all know that working in the construction industry means great physical and mental demands. But have you also considered the toll the average job site can take on your smartphone? Today’s construction companies rely on a number of different construction management software applications to get the job done, and construction sites double as dangerous places for the phones and tablets this critical software runs on. Construction workers—from apprentices to superintendents—need a smartphone that comes with all the bells and whistles AND features robust, built-to-last construction.

While smartphones are not widely known for their durability, phone manufacturers have made leaps and bounds in recent years. As the construction industry has evolved, the cell phone industry has paid attention to its needs. The result? Some extremely rugged phones that can take a beating and keep on ticking.

(NOTE: If you need a larger screen for construction forms and other paperwork, a rugged tablet or laptop might work better for your needs. But if you want a small, durable device, this list of the best phones for construction workers will serve as a great resource for you.)

This following list of rugged smartphones represents the best and most durable options available for construction workers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Rugged Phone Features to Look For

  • Water resistance/waterproofing
  • Shock/vibration resistance
  • Dustproofing
  • Extreme temperature capabilities
  • Battery capacity
  • Display capabilities, shatter proofing, ease of use in sunny conditions, ability to use with gloves or wet hands, etc.
  • Overall performance and ability to handle construction management software, mobile field service applications, etc.

Durable Phones That Can Withstand the Rigors of Construction Sites

1. Kyocera DuraForce Ultra 5G

Kyocera has made a name for itself by manufacturing some of the most rugged smartphones in the world. The DuraForce Ultra 5G is their latest release. This phone boasts Military Standard 810G Protection from dust, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures and much more. This phone’s touchscreen can be used with gloves or wet fingers, a huge bonus on those cold, wet days on the job.

2. CAT S61 Smartphone

Construction workers will likely find the CAT brand familiar, and can expect the same rugged durability synonymous with CAT in their phone offerings. The CAT S61 exemplifies this resilience with a water resistant and dustproof design, making it perfect for field use.

3. Sonim XP8

The Sonim XP8 is not as famous as some of its competitors, but Sonim still offers a great rugged phone option. According to the manufacturer’s promise, this phone can withstand drops onto concrete from up to 6 feet without sustaining any damage. This phone is also waterproof, dustproof, and comes with a 3-year warranty.

4. Samsung XCover Pro

You probably have some familiarity with Samsung’s consumer line of phones. The XCover Pro represents a more rugged offering. This device meets the military standard 810G Protection and carries an IP68 rating, meaning it has strong resistance to dust, dirt, and water. The XCover Pro offers all this protection while still featuring the same 6.3″ edge-to-edge screen found in its consumer-level counterparts (more on those later).

5. Kyocera DuraForce PRO 2

The predecessor of the DuraForce Ultra 5G mentioned above, this device boasts all the same protection features. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the same processing power. If you do not need the higher level performance offered by the Ultra 5G model though, this phone serves as a good, budget-friendly alternative.

6. CAT S62 Pro Smartphone

Although this is technically a more recent version of the CAT durable smartphone line, it does not live up the standards set by the CAT S61. It meets the same durability standards and offers some performance improvements, but a smaller battery capacity makes it an overall worse choice for workers who have to spend long days in the field. However, the new thermal camera functionality may make it more appealing, depending on the nature of the work you do. (To get around the battery issue, consider some of the portable charging options we described in this article.)

7. Moto Z2 Force

Motorola pioneered phones with “shatterproof” screens, and the Moto Z2 Force represents their latest device with this feature. The phone is coated with a water-resistant material both internally and externally.

8. Sony Xperia Z5

The Sony Xperia Z5 might not make for the most rugged phone on our list, but it does have some features that construction workers will like, such as a built in FM radio. A fairly durable phone, the Z5 features waterproofing protection for up to 30 minutes in three feet of water.

9. CAT S48C Pro Smartphone

Another CAT, the final one on our list gives you the most cost effective option, should you want to stick with a well-known construction brand. This device features the same rugged design features as the latest CAT, and only slightly less in terms of raw performance. The S48C even has the same battery capacity as the S62, matching its big brother in one important category. If you want a budget CAT, you won’t find a better option.

10. Samsung Galaxy S10e

Although a consumer model, the Galaxy S10e is just a great, all-around smartphone. This device does not have the same durability features as the other options on this list, but it is powerful, features great battery life, and has a camera better than you will find on most of the other options here. If you go with the Galaxy S10e, you should invest in a robust phone case as well. Do this, and this option could very transform a normal phone into a robust construction phone.

Construction Software and Smartphones: Streamline Your Construction Management Practices

Simply put, advancements in construction software have truly revolutionized the management of construction projects. Now, workers can access customer info, work orders, forms, and more, all from a handheld smartphone. Even if your construction company does not leverage these great features, you’d better believe that your competition does. For optimum efficiency/profitability, construction companies must manage their fleets, projects, and daily operations using the best hardware and software options on the market today.

This article was researched and written by the friendly folks at Smart Service, a construction scheduling software provider that helps construction businesses of all kinds (including contractors, pavers, drywall specialists, and more) plan and execute their jobs. Smart Service streamlines operations, eliminates waste, and helps businesses grow.