Why choose a rugged phone?

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Accidents are a fact of life. Look at the person to your left, and the person to your right. Statistically, one of the three of you will have damaged your mobile phone in the last three years to a level that requires repair or replacement, through drops, knocks, splashes, and mishaps of all kinds. Countless more will have narrowly escaped. And so, for many, there is a background stress associated with owning a smartphone these days – that at any point, a fleeting moment of absent-mindedness could see your phone, your camera, your social media device, your emailer, your digital wallet, your music player, plummeting towards the ground and certain destruction.

Phone breakage is understandably a major source of frustration for many consumers. Not only are smartphones more expensive now than at any time in the last decade, but they are also more indispensable. It’s a major inconvenience just to be without a phone, while arranging to get a broken screen or water damaged device repaired or replaced can be both time-consuming and expensive.

Yet look at the ‘one-size-fits-all’ design language that is pervasive across the smartphone market, and it is clear that fragility has become the price of elegance. Edge-to-edge displays, lots of glass, and tiny bezels have become the norm, as mainstream manufacturers bid to present the sleekest and most beautiful products – inevitably, these are designs that are often too easily, breakable.


The problem extends to businesses

In a business context, the story is similar but exacerbated. As an ever-growing number of businesses look to mobilize their workforce in the interests of productivity, efficiency, and flexibility, they are confronted

by the challenge of mobile devices that are too susceptible to damage. Among business phone buyers across Europe, 86% (or 89% in industrial settings) say that they have had to deal with heavy damage to employees’ phones requiring repair or replacement – that’s things like water damage and physical breakage from drops. Simply too many mainstream handsets are unfit for purpose in some of the business environments they need to be used.

This is more than an inconvenience for businesses. It can prove costly to repair or replace broken handsets, especially where it is a common occurrence. But moreover, it can be disruptive to an employee’s productivity and ability to do their job. 71% of business phone buyers say that employees being without their phone has a material impact on their productivity, while for 31% it has a major impact – essentially preventing them from carrying out all or part of their function effectively. And that can persist for some time. Just 21% of business phone buyers indicated they could count on same day resolution – usually as they possessed swap stock to switch out a damaged phone. For most, 63%, repairs can take between two days and a working week, while for 16% it can take longer still.

Unsurprisingly against this backdrop, increasing numbers of businesses are looking at rugged devices as an alternative to mainstream smartphones. Recent research from CCS Insight revealed that 44% of businesses were considering rugged devices, while a further 8% said they had already deployed them. There is a growing appetite for rugged where one-size-doesn’t-fit-all; where phone damage is a real issue, and where businesses want to invest in products that are able to survive the day to day rigour of their working environments.

The rugged alternative

Cat phones offer a true alternative. Our products are designed to be tough, engineered with leading rugged credentials, and specifically tested to ensure they can survive in challenging conditions that would see off any mainstream handset. We put our portfolio of products through gruelling evaluations to sure they are fit-for-purpose. They must pass a uniquely rigorous drop test: a minimum of 30 drops from 1.8 metres (6 foot) onto a steel plate, including multiple drops on every side and each corner. All our devices are dust and waterproof, certified with an Ingress Protection rating of at least IP68. That’s an international standard that means the product is impervious to dust and fine grain dirt (6/6) and can be fully submerged in water for an extended period (8/8). We invariably surpass the requirements of the IP68 standard, and on some of our products, including the Cat S61 and Cat S41, we have also had them IP69 certified, with ‘9’ relating to high-pressure water testing.

Every device in the Cat phone portfolio is also Military Spec, conforming to the US military’s MIL STD 810G standard. This means we’ve put our products through a barrage of Mil Spec tests, including thermal shocks, high and low temperature extremes, vibration tests, tumble tests, and salt mist conditions, ensuring our products can take whatever conditions they’re thrown into. And our smartphone screens – so often the point of failure on mainstream handsets – are protected by extra-thick scratch and crack-resistant Corning Gorilla glass, recessed beneath a surrounding ridge that helps to stop the glass making first contact with the ground when it drops.

A Cat phone is built to survive. And in the rare event that a Cat phone is damaged through normal use – since nothing’s indestructible – our product range is backed by a comprehensive two-year warranty in Europe to ensure you can get back up and running without cost. No expensive repair bills.

Click here to view the full range of Cat devices available from Digital Wholesale solutions.