Given that many of us have been using smartphones for over a decade now, chances are that you’ve had a fumble during that time resulting in a broken phone screen, cracked back glass, or worse. It’s in moments like this that we shake our fists and scream into the air, “why do they make these things so fragile?!”, as though Steve Jobs is going to answer our prayers from The Great Beyond. Well the answer is multi-faceted. Here, I will go over some reasons they haven’t yet built the indestructible phone.
Probably the biggest reason smartphones are so fragile is because, when many shoppers are looking for their next smartphone, they want the sleekest, sexiest, shiniest piece of kit, bursting at the seams with high-end cameras, wireless charging capability, and the most horsepower they could possibly cram under the hood. While some properly rugged smartphones are on the market, well, let’s just say they ain’t pretty and they tend to be fairly feature-light. If you were to put an iPhone 14 Pro next to say the Doogee S90, most may glance quizzically at the rubberized exterior of the latter only to reach out and caress the stylish curves and bezel-less screen of Apple’s offering we’ve seen plastered on billboards, bus stops, and all over the web.
The ad campaigns have us all believing that these delicate glass slates are what we want. Whether it’s because that’s naturally how we’d lean anyways or because we’re all just a herd of consumerist sheep, that’s what sells. And, oh, how convenient that is for the manufacturers! If we want these feather-weight glossy phones with nothing to protect them (as they come out of the box), naturally, they are going to be more susceptible to breakage than something built to spill. And when they inevitably break, you have the choice of repairing or replacing. Apple and Samsung (not to mention Telus and Rogers) would most certainly like you to throw down for their latest and greatest offerings and, for some reason, many of us do. Pro tip: it’s cheaper to repair than replace so come by GoMobile repair for all your smartphone, tablet, and laptop service, folks!
You won’t find it offered by your phone service provider but, if you really want a rugged military-grade smartphone capable of surviving a toss out a 5th-story window, being left in the ocean overnight, or run over by a small car, they are out there but they come at a bit of a compromise. As mentioned, rugged phones tend to look like they belong on a construction site rather than in the well-manicured hand of a Cardashian, though there are some exceptions. For the most part, you probably haven’t heard of Ulephone, Blackview, or Doogee - some of the more popular rugged-smartphone brands out there. They’re mostly sold overseas or sell to a niche audience and just aren’t marketed here. Moreover, they won’t have the most cutting-edge technology within. The cameras and processing power are typically serviceable at best.
Having a smartphone resilient to the elements and sturdy enough to endure abuse comes at a trade off. That said, Nokia released the rugged XR20 last year with pretty solid reviews. iPhone loyalists options are limited but, if you like Androids, there are literally thousands of phones released every year. Rather than taking whatever your service provider pushes on you (all while your bill inflated), do your research and consider your options. You might be surprised by what's out there.