by Al Sacco

The dirty little secret ‘rugged’ phone makers won’t tell you

Jun 30, 2016
AndroidConsumer ElectronicsMobile

A number of leading phone manufacturers, including Samsung and Motorola, 'ruggedized' some of their flagship products in an attempt to reduce screen shatters. But they overlooked another common area of display damage: scratches.

Drops and water damage are among the most common causes of smartphone death. So it was a no-brainer for leading phone makers, including Samsung and Motorola, to make devices that are both waterproof, or at least water-resistant, and less susceptible to drop damage.

I’ve reviewed and stress tested more “ruggedized” phones than I can remember — the ones that come to mind are Samsung’s Galaxy S4, S5, S6 and S7 Active, and Motorola’s “shatterproof” DROID Turbo 2. During my time with the latest of these hardened handhelds, I uncovered a dark secret. OK … that might be a bit overdramatic, but I’m certain the Samsungs and Motorolas of the world would rather that I not point out this glaring shortcoming in their rugged phones.

Check out the video above for all the details. Hint: It includes a scratch test.