Perfect blend of size/specs/durability. November 25, 2012
Reviewer: Brian Meola
I bought this phone for compromise. Initially, I was doing the S3/One X debate like most people who want a high-end Android phone. One X had the price advantage, S3 has a removable battery and SD card which is a huge plus for me. Specs were comparable. But the drawback of both was the screen size. I had been using the HTC Inspire 4G, which was already so big in its case that I had to carry it in a back pocket rather than a front, taking it out to sit down comfortably. Both of these phones are bigger.
The current screen-size arms-race in the phone world is beyond me. I understand the benefit of a bigger screen, but when I can't comfortably fit the phone in my pocket anymore I think the return is diminishing. Apparently I'm alone on this (not really, I read more than a few posts on Android forums lamenting the issue), because the sub-4.5" screen, high-spec Android phone is a rare beast. I briefly (very briefly) even considered going to that walled garden (beautified prison?) that is iOS because Apple definitely got the size/spec balance right on the iPhone 5.
Enter the Rugby Pro.
I'm not a cliffdiver or anything, but I am an outdoorsy person who also drinks a lot. Both of those things mean that if I'm going to carry around something daily that is worth over $400 I need to take caution. I kept my HTC Inspire in an Otterbox during our time together, and that's the only reason it's still in re-sellable condition. That also means that I am going to need to put an Otterbox on an S3, One X, or iPhone. Which, especially in the case of the S3 or One X, means GIANT AWKWARD PHONE. That's why the Rugby Pro caught my eye.
Usually "rugged" phones are mid-level at best spec-wise. Not this one. Dual Core 1.5 ghz processor. Ice Cream Sandwich (yeah, Jellybean would have been nice, but that's really only a handful of stock devices anyway). Great display. Removable battery and SD card. And, best of all, REASONABLY SIZED 4" screen. And no need for a bulky Otterbox. Overall it's smaller than my lady's iPhone 4S with an Otterbox.
So, with the Rugby Pro, you get a phone that's a bit below top-of-the-line specs that fits nicely in your pocket, and also happens to be shock-, dust-, and water-proof. That was the perfect balance for me.
Camera Quality (good, not great)
Charger input is recessed (due to its cover), which means some non-OEM cables won't fit.
If you're going to test that this phone is waterproof, make sure everything is tightly closed. The back has to be fully snapped into place and the tabs on the headphone and usb inputs need to be tightly in place.
Excellent Phone - updated March 11, 2013 February 22, 2013
Reviewer: Dave Tulka
This is my first smartphone. I am migrating from a 1st generation Rugby flip phone which served me flawlessly for over four years. Like another reviewer, I am not a cliffdiver or best buds with Bear Grylls. At the other extreme, I am not a phone worshiper, my phone is a tool, not an ornament. My 1st Gen Rugby rode in the back pocket of my jeans as long as I had it and left a wear pattern like a snuff can.
Enter the Rugby Pro. Actually, enter the Galaxy S3... My employer decided to pick up my cell phone expense and they sent me an S3. I was skeptical of the S3 as soon as I took it out of the box. For my hand, it was too thin, too slick, and too fragile-looking (more on that later). The S3 is a great phone but not for me. SO... I jumped through some hoops and my Rugby Pro arrived three days ago. It has the same mil-spec 810g qualities my Rugby flip phone had which means, in theory, the Rugby Pro is dunk-proof and bounce-resistant, etc. The exterior of the Rugby Pro is slightly textured instead of the mirror finish of the S3. The edges have some small ribs which make holding on to the phone easier. The headphone and USB ports have tightly-fitting covers.
From a connectivity perspective, it syncs perfectly with my company's Exchange email servers. Sound quality is great. It seamlessly transitions from 4g to my home network as soon as I walk in the door. Keyboard: I am still getting used to the tiny keys but have gotten much faster in just a few days.
I have very high expectations for the Galaxy Rugby Pro. Last year, I was eating dinner at a bar and the guy next to me loudly announced I was "from the '80s" because I had a flip phone. He got pretty quiet pretty quick when I dropped my old Rugby flip phone in my water glass and proved it still worked after extraction from said glass. He declined my offer to repeat the experiment with his smartphone!
In conclusion, the Rugby Pro should be a rock star. It's sturdy to survive unfortunate drops and inclement weather and it has the fuctionality I need to work anyplace, anytime.
The only con has nothing to do with the phone, but with the absence of a quickstart brochure in the box. Granted, I'm a late adopter, but some cursory "how-to" info would have been a huge help. Heck, I just found out this thing has facial recognition technology to unlock the screen by reading the description on Amazon, fer cryin' out loud!
I've not yet subjected the phone to the beer test. I'll update this review with my results. It has already survived one bounce from four feet onto concrete. Otterbox has a case for the Rugby Pro in the works, but no detail yet. I've signed up for updates at Otterbox.com. Maybe then I'll feel comfortable putting the Rugby Pro in the same place my 1st Gen Rugby flip phone so faithfully occupied. What will that wear imprint look like?
Thanks for taking the time to read my long review. I have high hopes for this phone and Samsung has a hard act to follow given my success with my Rugby flip phone!
- The phone survived the beer test and the water test. A friend has a very rugged case for his iPhone. I showed him rugged by dropping my phone into a pan of water. He called my phone and we could both hear it ring through the water!
- Just out of habit, I started carrying the Rugby in my back pocket as I carried my old Rugby flip phone. I've decided the Otterbox Defender for this phone will not be needed. I do carry it with the screen facing out so my backside does not press on the screen.
I am very happy with this phone and highly recommend it.
Converted from Blackberry.....getting used to it December 9, 2012
Reviewer: ducks54 "escape4u" (Kansas City, MO USA) -
I've owned Blackberries with an Otterbox for the past 5 years and spend a lot of time outdoors. Never had a problem and the Otterbox kept them in great shape. However, the small screen on the Blackberry was becoming an issue for browsing and reading email. Adding an Otterbox to the new Android phones was not an option due to the large size (won't fit in a pocket). My choice was the Rugby for durability and size. I've owned it for a week. I don't have any complaints except ATT website and phone support was NO help synching my Outlook contacts/calendar to the phone. Really? Am I the only person who uses Outlook? Geesh....had to contact Samsung. Getting used to the screen based keyboard isn't easy. I miss the physical keyboard.
Do your self a favor and give this phone a shot April 29, 2013
The rugby pro will be the only smart phone I ever buy period, its tough for everyday life, it is not much bulkier or heavier than most other sm phones I have had, the display is great, If you are in the construction industry of any kind or have teenagers who are forever dragging you back to the store to get a new phone because they dropped theirs in the commode or worse then give this one a try, it will save you headaches and money in the long run, just make sure everything on the back of the phone is sealed correctly and locked and make sure after you pull the charger out you pop the cover back on properly, Yesterday i dropped mine in the mud and as luck would have it yes I backed over it in a full size chevy pickup, I figured it was done and I would have to get another one but I sprayed it off with clean water and it works like the day I got it, try that with a blackberry or one of the other smartphones, it has all the features the other phones do and this one has a cool corporate contact section with day by day and hour by hour scheduling which I am constantly going to, each one can have an alarm set for it as well up to 1 day out which I thought was pretty cool I am impressed so far, Trust me on this one guys and gals who work out in the elements get this phone, you will not be disappointed, The salesman at the AT&T store gave me a demo on the phone and actually took his watch off and tried to scratch the screen with a sharp part of his watch band and he could not so I asked If I could give it a try and I could not and I was pressing down very very hard, I told him sold after that little demo. Yes if you get this phone for a teenager you are probably going to catch more than a little you know what but trust me when their friends phones are down for a day here and there and your kids keeps working day in and day out then you will be the hero, it just may take a little while for them to jump on board.