The best rugged phones of 2023: Expert tested

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Kyocera DuraForce Pro 3 specs: Display: 5.38 inches (2,160 x 1,080-pixel resolution), OLED | CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 | RAM: 6GB  | Internal Storage: 128GB with microSD slot | Rear cameras: 64MP wide angle, 16MP ultra-wide camera and 2MP macro | Front camera: 8MP | Battery: 4270 mAh | Weight: 237g

Rugged phones are built to withstand the elements of field work, and with the new Kyocera DuraForce Pro 3, you get the additional support of Verizon’s 5G network. At first glance, its sleek design might have you wondering if it’s even a rugged phone, since it’s less bulky and awkward to handle than many others on the market.

I spent a couple of weeks using the DuraForce Pro 3 while hiking, running, and exploring the outdoors. It withstood submersion in streams, drops on trails, and rough treatment as I tested its durability.

The Kyocera DuraForce Pro 3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 processor with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, three rear cameras, and a large capacity 4,500 mAh battery. If you plan to spend an extended amount of time in the field taking photos and video, you can swap out a microSD card with support up to 1TB. The battery is also removable so you can carry spares and not have to worry about finding a place to charge the phone. The DuraForce Pro 3 also supports wireless charging, so you don’t need to remove the bottom USB-C port plug to top it off.

Read the review: Kyocera DuraForce Pro 3 review

Three user-programmable buttons are available so that you can quickly launch your favorite app or perform key functions with the simple press of a button. This is useful when you want to open an app quickly without having to use the touchscreen. The phone also supports using the phone when you are wearing gloves.  

The phone is designed to endure rough handling with IP68 dust/water resistance, MIL-STD 810H shock test certification, and action overlay data designed to enhance your outdoor adventures.





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