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What are outdoor cell phones and who needs them?
To be constantly available is a real problem in today’s society. It would not be wrong if the cell phone was not switched on for a few hours. But there are also situations in which it makes sense. For example, if you go climbing or spend a lot of time outdoors. Of course you can use any smartphone for this, but sometimes it makes more sense to use an outdoor cell phone. These devices are specifically made for such operations and do not break when they fall. But where exactly are the differences and what should you consider when buying?
What is an outdoor cell phone?
An outdoor cell phone is a cell phone or smartphone that is optimized for outdoor use. It is much more robust than a normal smartphone, so falls are usually survived unscathed. Plastic is very often used to ensure shock resistance. Of course, this is not as high-quality as glass, but it is much more resilient. The various interfaces are protected from water and dust with seals. In addition, the devices also offer special features: These include operation with gloves, a matt display (can be read better in bright surroundings) and an above-average flashlight.
Which manufacturers are there?
When it comes to outdoor cell phones, the classic manufacturers are not necessarily the focus. For example, Samsung and Apple also have some on offer, but the majority of “real” outdoor cell phones come from other companies. One of them is CAT, the group is known as a manufacturer of construction machinery. Other names would be Land Rover, Crosscall, Cubot, ZTE and Blackview. But you don’t always need a special outdoor cell phone. Good smartphones with appropriate IP certification are also sometimes suitable as a companion for hiking or comparable activities in nature.
Why is IP certification so important?
The IP standard is so important because it provides information about the robustness. It states how well the device is actually protected against water, dust and external violence. According to the “IP” (“International Protection”), the identification consists of two digits. The first number indicates protection against foreign bodies, the second number indicates protection against water. In the ideal case, it is IP68, then the outdoor cell phone is dustproof and protected against permanent immersion. Here you can find a list of mobile phones with IP68 certification. Many smartphones are also advertised with a military standard (MIL-STD-810), which is supposed to certify the resistance of the mobile phone. What is an interesting clue in many cases should also be questioned. In contrast to IP certification, the standard is not a binding standard. Manufacturers have a lot of leeway in (non-) performing the tests that their devices would have to pass in order to allegedly comply with the standard.
What are the characteristics of outdoor mobile phones?
Compared to conventional cell phones, the outdoor smartphones are characterized by several features. It starts with the housing, which is very robust thanks to the plastic and special construction. Furthermore, they have a high resistance to heat and cold, which is not insignificant when hiking or water sports. Another aspect is the flashlight, which is usually more powerful. You can therefore easily use it as a replacement for a flashlight and draw attention to yourself in an emergency. One thing should not be forgotten: the battery. If you are on the go, the options for charging are limited. For this reason, batteries with a high capacity are usually installed that last longer than usual. Last but not least, many models can also be operated with gloves (a real plus in terms of comfort) and a thermal imager can even be integrated. We recommend that you take a special solar charging system with you for your next outdoor hiking trip. You only need to put these solar charging systems in the sun during the day or tie them to your backpack and you can recharge your phone in the evening.
What should you pay attention to when buying?
When purchasing, you should definitely pay attention to the technical information. They provide information about the equipment and whether it is suitable for your own requirements or not. Of course, the IP protection class is very important, but information about the battery life, weight, display, dimensions and camera are also important. The latter is particularly important if the tour or hike is to be captured. And to ensure that everything is displayed in sharp focus, a high resolution (for example 1,920 x 1,080 pixels) is important. So it’s worth taking a look at the data sheet.
Who is a cell phone suitable for outdoors?
Basically for everyone for whom a conventional smartphone is too fragile. But especially for those who have to expose their device to extreme stress. This can be, for example, a construction site (especially a lot of dust and dirt) or a longer outdoor tour (risk of falls and rain showers). Outdoor smartphones also make sense for extreme sports such as skydiving or water rafting.
Tip: There are people who often lose their cell phones. This area is also an area of
Not every outdoor cell phone is actually one
The advertising often promises too much. This means that many models are advertised as outdoor smartphones, but in reality they only fulfill one or a few features. Example: Although there is an IP certification against dust and splash water, the construction is absolutely unsuitable for outdoor use. If you take a closer look, almost every flagship cell phone would be an outdoor cell phone. An IP67 or IP68 certification is not uncommon today, but it has nothing to do with a “right” device for outdoors. Here the individual requirements are crucial.
A closer look at the technical data is therefore essential. This is the only way to find out the crucial details. Our list of the best outdoor cell phones currently available will hopefully help you choose your outdoor cell phone. A look at the reviews of our customers is certainly helpful.
An outdoor cell phone is extremely robust and appeals to those who spend a lot of time outdoors, do extreme sports or simply work in a dusty environment. They endure much more than conventional models and come with special functions (such as a stronger battery and operation with gloves). Important: Do not buy blindly, but always study the technical data beforehand.