plumber using wrench

The Top 14 Phones for a Plumber

If you are a plumber, did you ever drop your phone into the exact water backup that you were trying to repair? Well then, we are more than happy to welcome you to the world of rugged devices, made just for you. They will survive the roughest conditions, or better yet, thrive in them. These have the capabilities to withstand pressure, water, noise, and dust. Placing a phone call while the machines are running or while working underground will no longer be a challenge at all. These phones we recommend for exactly such work.

Welcome to the world of rugged phones.

Simple Phones for Plumbers

They are designed to do the job and do it right without the add-ons. All devices are dustproof and will survive being up to 3 feet of water for 30 min.


CAT S22 FLIP Open and Closed Front Views

While this is the simple phone category, the CAT S22 FLIP is not even close to that. The S22 FLIP is one of the most rugged devices on the market. Let’s start with the most important details, the S22 is IP68 certified, waterproof up to 5 feet for 35 minutes, and MIL-SPEC 801H.

This flip phone is most useful for surviving even the most hectic work environments. The CAT S22 Flip has been drop tested up to 6 feet on steel and has the hazardous classification Non-Incendive, class 1, div 2.

The battery life of the CAT S22 FLIP lasts up to 2 days with a 2000mAh capacity battery. This flip phone actually has a VGA touchscreen display that works with wet fingers and gloves. It completely eliminates all the hassle other phones give. On top of that, the internal and external displays are Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for that added layer of protection.

Rugby 3

Samsung Rugby 3 Front View

This device is the most basic of all the durable devices on this list. Yet you’ll unlikely notice it due to all it contains. It may be a flip phone, yet with has the capabilities of connecting to email and web accessibility. However, this is a 3G device. A small downside, or is it upside, to the Rugby 3 is that Wi-Fi is not available. The purpose of this phone is to be able to receive and make phone calls without the nuances of smartphones. It is more or less limited to receiving and placing calls, as long as your plan has no data of course.

It is by far the lightest device and is the perfect one to carry around on you all day. Small and perfect, it is compliant with the MIL-810 standard, meaning it is salt-proof and can withstand extreme temperature changes as well as most chemicals.

It does have a small memory, yet, can expand to a much larger amount, just like its bigger brother the Rugby 4. Want to talk, and talk and talk? You can easily do so for 9 hours straight, just make sure to get some work done as well.

It includes the ability to connect to GPS which is a complete breakthrough for such a basic phone. Since the price is right and it does the job well, which this device does, I would suggest buying it and enjoy!

Samsung Rugby 4

Samsung Rugby 4 Front View

The Rugby 4 is a step up from its sister the Rugby 3. It has a slightly improved battery life of 14 hours as well as voice commands. The camera is just about compatible and the weight has only stepped up a drop.

So what sets it apart? It has a compass and GPS with helpful navigation step by step instructions along with traffic alerts. Military-grade (Mil-STD 910F) certification is a proud statement it can make. Like the Rugby 3, it can combat fungus, humidity, salt fog, extreme vibration, impact and so much more. After being tested thoroughly, it sure is a certified device and can survive in military use. That includes a Ballistic Shock Test so it won’t fall apart with even large pressure.

There are still two more updates that this phone has on its predecessor. One is that it will connect to 4G networks vs a 3G and will therefore give you a much higher quality internet when you need it most. The second is its improved Bluetooth which means you will have an easier time connecting to other devices as well as receiving data from them.

Yes, this device still won’t have an app store nor smartphone capabilities and has slightly less internal storage than the Rugby 3, although it can expand tremendously as well, you won’t feel the difference. While it does cost slightly more, you will be getting plenty more gimmicks, so it’s totally worth the deal, no?

Kyocera DuraXE

Kyocera DuraXE Front View

The advantage to its flip phone encasing is the durability it comes with, keeping its screen safe. Its speakers will overpower nearby noise that you may encounter and this device is compatible with data, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi signals.

On top of that, the Kyocera DuraXE blows over what the Rugby 3 and 4 are offering, with being waterproof up to 6 feet for 30 min and being able to survive a 6 feet fall directly on the concrete. Whether you are the rough and tough worker or the talkative one, this phone is for you. If you do work best while talking things over, so this phone will keep running for a 9-hour workday with non-stop talking. No need for the worry of it catching fire either as it’s non-incendive.

If you are looking for any downsides as it is sounding too good? It does have a smaller screen and isn’t a typical smartphone with the apps they come along with. But for a basic ‘ballistic style’ phone, its strength is anything but basic.

Sonim XP5

Sonim XP5 Front and Side View

The Sonim XP5 is your typical rugged candy bar-style phone. This is a no-frills device that will handle a few drops and spills. The XP5 is IP68 compliant, dustproof, waterproof, and MIL 810G. Additionally, the XP5 is certified for Class I, Div 2, Groups A, B, C, D; Class II & III, Div 2, Groups F, G. To help fight against scratches Sonim has added a TFT Gorilla Glass 1 display. For those in extra loud environments, the XP5 has dual front-facing speakers with a 100dB+ output.

In the case that you need to snap a quick photo, the XP5 does have a 5MP camera with an LED flash. To add, the camera is equipped with a self-timer, face recognition, HDR mode, and geo-tagging. Also, the camera records video in HD 720p. There is 4GB of storage available and it can be expanded with a MicroSD up to 64GB.

Smartphones for Plumbers

If you need the add on’s of a touch screen with internet while enjoying the sheer strength of a durable device, this is your section.

CAT S62 Pro

CAT S62 Pro Front and Back View

The CAT S62 Pro is probably the most interesting device on this list. The battery is absolutely massive clocking in at 4000mAhs. It offers up to 2 days of battery life and supports Qi wireless charging.

It meets all the rugged standards like IP68, IP69 MIL-SPEC 810H, waterproof, and drop tested. Additionally, it can work with wet fingers and with gloves. But we haven’t even gotten to the best part of why a plumber would love this phone.

Something not common to mobile phones is FLIR Thermal Imaging technology. The CAT S62 Pro is equipped with a FLIR Lepton 3.5 sensor camera. This technology helps increase the number of thermal pixels time 4 to help diagnose leaks, electrical shortages, and hotspots. It’s as simple as opening up the FLIR app and pointing the camera. This can be a real asset to help keep you safe when dealing with water and electricity.

Kyocera DuraForce

Kyocera DuraForce Front View

Similar to the simple of these durable phones, the DuraForce is also safe up to 1m in water for 30 min. If that doesn’t cover all the ground that you need, it is resistant to rain, sand, humidity, vibration, and thermal shock. In short, the MIL-810 Military standard does its job well to ensure you don’t need to think twice about your phone while at work.

Unlike the DuraXe which is the best of the simpler rugged devices in this list, this device should last you 17 hours of talk time. It weighs more than the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active does, but its durability may account for that. The Duraforce has better cameras than the Rugby Pro yet the Samsung Galaxy S5 has double its megapixels.

Want to hear what else is so special about the Duraforce? The price for its gadgets is truly unbeatable. Get a great smartphone with great strength for a great price.

Kyocera DuraForce Pro

Kyocera DuraForce Pro Front and Back View

We have another military-tested rugged phone a plumber would love! The Kyocera DuraForce Pro complies with MIL-STD 810G testing. Additionally, it is IP68 dust and water-resistant up to 1.5m for 30 minutes. The DuraForce Pro is definitely on the thicker side, it has some weight to it.

While this is a rugged phone, it still is a pretty great smartphone. The rear camera is 13MP and the front-facing camera is 5MP. you can shoot in full HD, slow motion, and film underwater. The battery is pretty substantial at 3240mAh capacity. The is over 20 hours of talk time and the standby time is 19 days.

The power button is a fingerprint sensor to give that added layer of security. I cannot forget to add, this phone is NFC equipped to allow for contactless payments with Apple Pay or Google Pay. While the Kyocera DuraForce Pro isn’t the most rugged on this list, it still is perfect for any plumber who needs a durable phone.

Rugby Pro

Samsung Rugby Pro Front View

Did you want the Rugby 3 or 4 yet but in a smartphone? Here it is without losing any of its strength. The Rugby Pro includes all the gimmicks that a regular smartphone would have with its two cameras, Wi-Fi connections, and the like but also includes some extras that would surely surprise you.

Here’s the biggest deal-breaker for a plumber (or the lifeguard on duty at the beach) who may want to accidentally take it for a swim. While this device is waterproof to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes like the other devices, it will actually work while underwater as a protective feature. Please do not intentionally try out this function. It is, as mentioned earlier, a protective feature.

Of course, it passes IP67 and Mil-STD 810 standards as do all the other rugged devices we are offering. Extras include an anti-scratch touch screen with superb coloring and a great amount of talk time to overpass the time of your shift as well as the travel home.

This device costs the same as any more affordable smartphone while not giving in whatsoever on the quality of the device a plumber may need.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active Red Tilted Front and Back View

As with all the rugged devices in this list, the S5 active knows its customers well. It was designed to stay safe, dustproof, and water-resistant up to 1 Meter for 30 minutes. While not as waterproof as the Sonim XP6 and the DuraXE, it is can still swim quite the race. Its robust edges are armor-like yet it feels pretty similar in weight to its original Samsung S5.

It is protected with the IP67 standard so is 100% both dust and water-resistant (not waterproof). The Mil-STD-810 is that of military and other high-level equipment combating extreme temperatures, shock, immersion, humidity, fungus, etc.

Functionality is the same as the S5, so if you’ve got one, you’ll feel right at home with the other. It has got quite the tough glass to counteract being a smartphone with a nice size screen and has camera quality to send pictures home about.

This device costs more than the Rugby Pro yet is quite a bit less than the regular S5. So want to be part of the in-crowd with a phone that’s ever so practical for your work as a plumber? This is the one.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Front View

While this phone is from 2016, it’s still a great durable smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is more of a “tough” smartphone than a rugged smartphone. The intention was to make a smartphone that doesn’t break when it suffers a drop. Ideally for a plumber, the S7 Active has a shatterproof screen. This phone has a “built-in” phone case. It makes the phone not as flashy but that is a sacrifice you have to make with tough devices.

The other specs of the S7 Active are like all other Samsung devices. It supports 4G with a 3G fallback, Wi-Fi up to 802.11, has Bluetooth 4.2, plus NFC. It gives you the freedom of a smartphone but the dependability of a rugged device. If you aren’t a fan of typically rugged phones, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is perfect.

Sonim XP6

Sonim XP6 Tilted Front View

The Sonim XP6 is the most expensive on our list. The reason for this is because this device is built like a tank and can withstand pretty much anything. Going to the moon or 200 feet underground, this is for you.

While the Sonim XP6 has buttons, it really functions like a smartphone with the Android system. Of course, it has what the other rugged phones have like being resistant to anything it may come in contact with within a plumbers workday. Yet it will be the winner of every race.

Rugged of the Rugged

It can actually live underwater at 6 feet for 30 minutes as well as survive a fall of 6 feet right onto the concrete. Worry no more that the extreme outdoor temperature may affect the phone while you are working. It will be safe from -4°F until 130°F (no sweat or frost). Have you ever dropped a tool right onto the phone and seen it shatter? For example, this device can handle the weight of a 1lb steel falling from 8 inches right onto the screen! It will survive 1 ton of pressure directly on it as well. If that is not enough, it can bear oil and chemical exposure. Greasy hands or the chemicals you are using are no worry either.

There is another brilliant addition of the Sonim XP6 over the other rugged devices. It has a speaker system is built to outbid machines that are in full force right near you. This is a pure necessity for a worker who is dealing with tough work and tough noise, especially a plumber. Here is a tough phone to perfect the deal.

Plus, you can talk straight for 40 hours or have the device on for 45 days in standby mode in case of a long day, night, and day shift. Still not convinced? Buy it and try it yourself, it will be even greater than you imagined.

Sonim XP7

Sonim XP7 Front and Back View

You can really see that Sonim wanted to make the previous entry more of a smartphone. It seems to have a similar style to the XP6 but it takes out the tactile keyboard.

Like most of the other phones on this list, it has all the rugged characteristics you can think of. The Sonim XP7 is IP68 and IP69 rated meaning it can be submerged, dropped from 6 ft and pressure washed. Dropping this phone in a flooded basement will be no issue. This phone is sturdy enough to take a few drops, the rubberized covering will even make it bounce. The XP7 has Gorilla Glass 2 to add a layer of protection from bumps and scratches.

Sonim definitely wanted to make sure the battery life was incredible. The XP7 has a 4800mAh capacity battery that allows for up to 40 hours of talk time. This is perfect for any plumber who happens to get multiple calls back to back.

Sonim XP8

Sonim XP8 Front View

The Sonim XP8 is a step up in the Sonim lineup of devices. The XP8 is Sonim fine-tuning the smartphone part of their rugged devices.

Like all the other devices its is MIL 810G, IP68, IP69, and Non-Incendive Class I, II & III Div 2 ratings. This is another submersible phone, so perfect for any plumber. The XP8 can stand up to high temperatures, strong impact, and dust. Like the XP7, this phone is technically in a protective case.

The Sonim XP8 is equipped with a Snapdragon 630 OctaCore @ 2.2GHz 64bit. The Wi-Fi is IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/r, 2.4/5GHz and has 4GB RAM/ 6464GB ROM.

The battery is a removable 4900 lithium-ion battery. An added bonus is the XP8 uses a USB-C cable and it is quick charge compatible. No having to wait hours for your phone to h=charge to full capacity.

Mr Aberthon’s Top Pick for a Plumber

CAT S62 Pro for a plumber

There are a few amazing contenders on this list. All the devices have similar specifications and are mostly military-grade phones. But there is a clear winner, for us at least, the CAT S62 Pro has to be the best choice for a plumber. The FLIR thermal camera is what separates the S62 PRO from the rest. Safety is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s the best blend of rugged and smartphone and leaves nothing left to be desired.

In Conclusion

Rugged mobile devices are a new and brilliant world to explore. Each of these phones are worth every penny as they will last many lifetimes over their peers. That is especially true if you work as a plumber or any other such phone-durability-demanding lifestyle. Your friends will be in awe at the gimmicks your phone has over theirs. And you will be amazed at just how well it performed. These durable devices are indestructible.

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