Samsung Rugby Smart review: Tough INC.

GSMArena team, 08 March 2012.

Retail package disappoints

The retail box of the Samsung Rugby Smart is quite big, but don't let it deceive you. All you are going to find inside it is a charger and a microUSB cable.

Samsung Rugby Smart
The retail package is stripped out

A microSD card or a pair of headphones would have definitely been a welcome sight in the device's box. Unfortunately however, AT&T and Samsung think otherwise.

Design and build quality

Rugged phones are generally not the prettiest around and the Samsung Rugby Smart is not an exception. We are quite certain that not many people will fall after its looks. Thankfully, you have the military grade ruggedness to offset the far from impressive looks.

Speaking of ruggedness, it is time to tell you a few words about the device's special talent. The MIL-STD-810f military grade standard is a really serious accomplishment for a consumer device. The Samsung Rugby Smart can spend an hour submerged in water, along with being dust proof and seriously shock resistant. It can handle the typical accidental drops with ease.

We have prepared a video of the Samsung Rugby Smart's reaction to water. Check it out below.

As you can see above, water is no problem for the device at all. The only minor nuisance here is that the water drops sometimes interact with the screen if it is turned on, and not locked.

Unsurprisingly, the build quality of the smartphone is excellent. The handset is a blend of rubber-feel and hard plastic, as well as Corning Gorilla Glass on the front. It doesn't feel premium, but it is not supposed to anyway.

The measures of the Samsung Rugby Smart are extremely pocket-friendly for a device of this type. They are 122.4 x 65.9 x 12.2 mm, while its weight tips the scale at 119 grams.

The 3.7" Super AMOLED screen with WVGA resolution is an old favorite of ours. Its contrast and viewing angles are superb, and a perfect fit for the outdoorsy character of the Samsung Rugby Smart. The pixel density of 252ppi is not too shabby either.

Samsung Rugby Smart
The Super AMOLED screen does not disappoint

Below the screen, you will find the typical for all U.S. Samsung droids, four buttons. In the case of the Rugby Smart, they are hardware ones, made of textured plastic. Above the screen is where the earpiece, the front-facing camera, the ambient light and proximity sensors can be found.

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The view below and above the screen

The volume rocker is on the left side of the device. Long pressing the volume up button activates the LED camera flash on the back as a flashlight. You switch it off by long pressing the same button. The power/lock key is on the right side of the handset.

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The volume rocker on the left the power/lock key on the right

The 3.5mm audio jack is on top of the device. It is tightly sealed by with a rubber cover. The same goes for the microUSB port at the bottom of the device. The mouthpiece is there as well.

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The 3.5mm audio jack is on top the microUSB port and mouthpiece at the bottom

On the back of the device, you will find the 5MP camera and its LED flash, the loudspeaker grille, as well as the lock for removing the back cover.

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The view on the back of the Rugby Smart

Once you remove the battery cover, there are no surprises. The SIM and microSD card slots are neatly tucked under the 1650mAh battery, so they are not hot swappable.

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The view under the battery cover

The Samsung Rugby Smart performed exceptionally well in our proprietary battery test. The device achieved a score of 45, which means that you will need to recharge it every 45 hours if you use it for an hour each of phone calls, web browsing, and video playback every day.

You can find out all about the battery performance of the smartphone here.

The Rugby Smart's measures make it extremely easy to handle. Even one handed operation of the handset is a breeze - an rare occasion with the ever increasing screen size of the latest Android smartphones. The device is grippy and not prone to accidental drops - not that you have to worry about them anyway.

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Handling the RugbySmart is a breeze

Overall, we found nothing to frown about the design and build quality of the Samsung Rugby Smart. The device is built strictly with ruggedness in mind, so good looks and upmarket feel are missing. The ergonomics however are top notch.

We are now going to take a closer look at the software of the handset, as well as its performance.

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