rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » The BEST rugged gadgets

The BEST rugged gadgets

Last updated on: May 27, 2013 16:28 IST

The BEST rugged gadgets

     Next

Next
Reviews42.com

Phones, cameras and other devices that have been tested to their limits.

Samsung's Galaxy S4 acts as your health planner and translator.

The new HTC One keeps you updated with new stories and information automatically, and can also stitch together pictures with music and effects to make semi-professional presentations. We have devices that can be used as both tablets and laptops, transforming from one to the other seamlessly, and which bundle high-speed Internet with GPS and turn-by-turn map directions.

However, for all the functionality that technology brings, the device in question is still made of plastic and metal. It can be broken. It can be the victim of one too many drops, and shatter into pieces. Even a bit of water is enough to take out most electronics, never mind dust and moisture. What good is all that power if the device containing it is weak?

This is where rugged devices come in.


Image: Sony Xperia Z
Photographs: sonymobile.com
Tags: GPS , BEST , HTC , Samsung

     Next

The BEST rugged gadgets

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

What are rugged devices?

A rugged device can be any electronic device that is protected from environmental effects or physical damage. This is usually done by using materials in the device to make it tougher or seal it against various hazards like water, dust, etc. Corning Gorilla Glass is a protecting layer of glass for the display of a smartphone which prevents scratches and dents, for example. The presence of a tougher material or design doesn't make a smartphone or tablet or camera a rugged device however.

These devices must pass certified exams and tests, after which they gain certain designations.

One of these is the IP Code designation, which is used to indicate not only the kind of resistance that a device has to dust or water but to what degree. For protection against solid dust particles, a 0-6 scale is used with a 6 rating indicating that the device is completely safe. A 5 rating indicates that a device is not fully protected against dust but that the amount entering into the device is not enough to interfere with its working.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nokia Lumia 925
Photographs: nokia.com

Prev     Next

The BEST rugged gadgets

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Similarly, protection against liquids uses a 0-8 scale while resistance to physical damage has a 0-9 scale -- with the highest protection indicating that a device can sustain about 20 joules of impact energy.

For example, the Sony Xperia Z is IP55 and IP57, which makes it dust-proof and water-resistant.

The other standard is MIL-STD-810G, which uses a battery of lab tests to determine the toughness of a device. Given that all these tests take place in a lab, it's not always a given that a user will find the same situations in real life.

However, some of the methods include testing for resistance against gunfire shock, freezing, vibrations, explosive atmosphere, humidity, low temperature, high temperature and more. Needless to say, a device that is certified under this standard is ready to face the world. Very few devices come under this standard.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: HTC One
Photographs: htc.com

Prev     Next

The BEST rugged gadgets

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Best commercial rugged devices

One of the major knocks against rugged devices is their overall lack of power. Since a large chunk of the manufacturing budget goes into making the device rugged, there will be less scope for including the latest features and technology. However, a new breed of commercial rugged devices is attempting to solve this.

Sony first started with the Xperia Go that was IP67-certified, making it resistant to dust and water. It recently revealed the Sony Xperia Z, which features a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU with 2 GB of RAM and with the IP55/57 certifications. This makes it the most powerful rugged device yet. The Sony Xperia Z tablet is also one of the few mainstream tablets to be dustproof and submergible in water for about 30 minutes.

However, other devices like the HTC One and Nokia Lumia series are finding other ways to make their devices tough. While the HTC One uses aluminium anodised body with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the display, the Lumia 920 has a polycarbonate body and Gorilla Glass covering its display. Both devices are resistant to shock from dropping and dust, though they are far from water-resistant.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Panasonic's FZ-G1 Toughpad
Photographs: panasonic.co.in

Prev     Next

The BEST rugged gadgets

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The toughness of Gorilla Glass as such is enough to be able to hammer nails into a wooden board using the display of the phone. Similarly, hammering a nail into a Gorilla Glass protected screen has no effect.

Then there are devices like Panasonic's recent FZ-G1 Toughpad which looks to be built for battle. It has rubber corners and strong shell with solid buttons instead of capacitive or plastic buttons. While it can take a physical beating and is dust-resistant, it isn't water proof or even resistant.

There are many other devices like cameras which are also rugged and used mostly for outdoor use like wildlife photography. The Pentax WG-3 and the Olympus TG2 are some of the best in their class.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Pentax WG-3
Photographs: pentaximaging.com

Prev     Next

The BEST rugged gadgets

Prev     More
Prev

More

Are rugged devices for you?

Daily life is only getting more stressful, and given the number of circumstances that arise to drop or damage one's device, having a rugged device is a great way to ensure your data's safe keeping. In an environment with children rugged devices come in handy as you can comfortably leave your electronics alone without the fear that they'll be in pieces when you come back.

While "traditional" rugged devices are being relegated to the background for the sake of more commercial tough devices, they still hold a special place for those who want to explore the great outdoors. Whether it's going on a nature hike or mountain climbing, as long as there's a desire to explore, there will always be a need for rugged devices.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Olympus T2
Photographs: olympus-imaging.co.in
Tags: BEST

Prev     More