In what circumstances might your business require the use of ‘rugged’ mobile devices?

In what circumstances might your business require the use of ‘rugged’ mobile devices?

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Most of us are accustomed to the notion of smartphones, tablets, mobile computers, and similar portable devices being frequently highly sophisticated in their performance and functionality.

We can seemingly use such devices for everything from calling friends and surfing the Internet to word processing and playing games – but one thing that they often aren’t renowned for, is their ruggedness and durability. You might well have discovered that to your own cost as a result of dropping one…

This brings us neatly onto the subject of mobile devices being used in work environments. Such settings often make much harsher demands of a mobile computer or smartphone than these devices might ever face if they are only used for personal, rather than professional matters.

So, it should be unsurprising that an entire category of ‘rugged’ mobile devices has sprung up, ranging from smartphones such as the Nokia XR20 and Doogee S97 Pro, to the Xplore L10 tablet and Zebra TC25 scanner.

But what do you need to know about these ‘rugged’ devices, and in what circumstances might your organisation look to purchase and use them?

What Actually Is a Rugged Mobile Device, Anyway?

If you see references to a particular smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device being ‘rugged’, this means it has been specifically designed and built to stand up to the kind of harsher treatment that would much more easily break a ‘conventional’ mobile device.

That is likely to include the device simply being more durable, so that if someone drops it on the floor, it is unlikely to crack or smash the glass or overall handset. It is often easy to spot such devices on account of their tough outer shells.

A device being described as ‘rugged’ in sales literature could also mean it is especially dust-resistant, as well as water-resistant or waterproof.

But of course, not all ‘rugged’ devices are as rugged as each other, so you should always carefully pore over the specifications of any product that catches your eye, and consider them alongside your likely day-to-day needs.

It is a good idea to educate yourself, for example, on ingress protection ratings – also known as ‘IP ratings’ – so that you can ascertain how effective a particular device will be at resisting dust or liquid from getting inside and compromising the integrity or functioning of the device.

So, enough about the basics – what are the specific circumstances in which you might need ‘rugged’ mobile devices to be used by your business’s staff? Below are a few of them:

  • Your staff are working on a construction site. With it being entirely normal for construction site workers to frequently be working at height – often hundreds of feet up – this is a classic example of a setting where an accidentally dropped mobile device could mean seriously bad news. Equipping your construction-site workers with suitably rugged smartphones will save you from having to constantly replace them – with the associated costs incurred.

  • You run a restaurant. It is becoming more and more typical for restaurant staff to use tablets to take customer orders efficiently. But with your team members inevitably likely to be rushing around the restaurant floor, it’s inevitable that one or two such devices will probably be dropped from time to time. Hospitality firms like restaurants are struggling enough as it is right now, so you won’t want your employees’ tablets to be ones that are easily damaged and need to be regularly replaced.

  • Your workplace is any other setting with a high level of risk to mobile devices. Rugged mobile devices see use in a vast range of industries, such as education, healthcare, aviation, oil and gas, mining, and defence, to name just a few. In some of these sectors, the main risk to a smartphone or mobile computer may be the device being dropped on the floor or ground. In other industries, though, there might be worries about the device coming into contact with oil and chemicals, or even the risk of explosion. So as we stated above, it is crucial to make sure whatever rugged mobile devices you invest in are ones that address the particular needs of your organisation.


One final note: “rugged” is not a synonym for “invincible”. Even the most robustly constructed mobile devices will likely malfunction from time to time, or even sustain damage necessitating more extensive repair.

When that moment comes for your organisation in its use of rugged mobile devices, don’t forget that here at Mobile Computer Repair, we offer the Honeywell, Zebra or Motorola repair service that will give you the utmost peace of mind.

In fact, we also fix the devices of many more brands in addition to the above, providing a free assessment and a fast turnaround time. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help.

Request a repair for your Zebra TC25