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IP rating is a usual term you will see when talking about any water resistant gadget. This stands for Ingress Protection. It is usually followed by a number, which refers to the Gadget’s ability to withstand dust and water. The first digit refers to solid particle protection and the second digit to liquid protection. The water resistant phones have IP67 or IP68 standards. IP numbers that start with a 6 mean the device have complete protection from dust. Samsung certifies the phones with IP68 certification “can be immersed in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.” Those phones with IP67 rating, can be immersed in water at a depth of 1 meter for a short time. I have compiled a list of waterproof phones from all major smartphone manufacturers. This list will help you to select the best water resistant phone suitable for your budget and requirments. The
Samsung Galaxy S 20 Series
Samsung Galaxy S 10 Series
Samsung Galaxy S 9 and Samsung Galaxy S 9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy S 8 and Samsung Galaxy S 8 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S 7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung Galaxy S 5
Below are the LG whones with waterproof certifications IP68 and IP67.
LG V60 ThinQ
LG G7 ThinQ
LG V30 PLUS
Waterproof phones are becoming more and more popular day by day. Phones with IP certification started appearing around the year 2014. But still most of the users do not care about the waterproof capability of their phone. But now the Coronavirus changed everything! Health experts are urging to clean your personal belongings whenever possible, either with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer. Mobile phones gets dirty pretty quickly. You keep them on tables, dash boards, and other contaminated places very frequently. Eventhough you can apply mild amount of sanitizers on any phone, it is always better to have a water resistant phone on which sanitizers can be applied without any worry of damaging chúng tôi rating is a usual term you will see when talking about any water resistant gadget. This stands for Ingress Protection. It is usually followed by a number, which refers to the Gadget’s ability to withstand dust and water. The first digit refers to solid particle protection and the second digit to liquid protection. The water resistant phones have IP67 or IP68 standards. IP numbers that start with a 6 mean the device have complete protection from dust. Samsung certifies the phones with IP68 certification “can be immersed in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.” Those phones with IP67 rating, can be immersed in water at a depth of 1 meter for a short time. I have compiled a list of waterproof phones from all major smartphone manufacturers. This list will help you to select the best water resistant phone suitable for your budget and chúng tôi Samsung Galaxy S5 was the first waterproof Samsung Phone which appeared in 2014. From then all Samsung S series phones were having water resistance capability except Galaxy S6 series.Below are the LG whones with waterproof certifications IP68 and chúng tôi also: Android Phones with LED Notification Light
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OnePlus was on the receiving end when it blatantly copied the design of the iPhone 7 Plus with respect to the OnePlus 5. However, it wasn’t the only one accused of copying the Apple flagship design. In fact, over the years, many companies, including industry leader Samsung, have been accused of copying the design of the iPhone.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has popularized the bezel-less design – a design that even Cupertino has fallen for with respect to the iPhone X, but the latter has its own unique take that is now becoming even more popular.
In an effort to make the iPhone X full-screen, Apple was forced to come up with a “notch” at the top of the screen to accommodate the sensors usually housed by the upper bezel. As it turns out, this design has made the phone more popular, especially in China.
So far, there are a good number of Chinese smartphones that look exactly like the iPhone X. In fact, it’s quite easy to mistake them for the real deal. However, in this article – which will constantly be updated with more phones as we get new details – we’ll list the upcoming Android phones from popular OEMs that are set to feature the iPhone X-like notch – or already have.
Huawei P20 series
Even though Huawei wasn’t the first to adopt the notch when it unveiled the Huawei P20, P20 Plus and P20 Lite at an event in Paris on March 27, the fact that the Chinese OEM is the third-leading smartphone vendor speaks volumes about what the notch. What this means is that the notch is now a mainstream design feature in the huge Android world that has largely become less innovative.
The entire Huawei P20 series features an iPhone X-like notch that houses the front-facing camera and earpiece, among other sensors. As if not enough, Huawei P20 series also rocks a similar camera setup on the back, but the P20 Pro gets a third lens, making it the first in the world to feature a tri-lens camera on the back.
Once again, there’s nothing wrong with emulating a ‘cool’ design, but this isn’t what a company aiming to become a leader in the smartphone industry should be doing. Huawei is the third leading smartphone vendor in the world and has constantly stated its desire to beat Apple on its way to becoming the leader in the industry. But with this kind of show, folks in the U.S., where Apple is the supreme, might be glad that the OEM was somehow locked out of the country’s carrier deals.
Still, this is no way to say that the Huawei P20 family looks bad. If anything, by any standards, it’s one of the best-looking family of phones out there.
Asus ZenFone 5 and 5Z
Asus unveiled the midrange ZenFone 5 and the premium ZenFone 5Z at the MWC. Other than the internals, these two have the same design language, which is, in fact, a more blatant iPhone X copycat than you can imagine. According to Asus, though, the ZenFone 5 and 5Z have a notch that is 26% smaller than the iPhone X, which, on their part, is a huge achievement (pun intended).
Similar to Huawei, you also get an iPhone X-like camera arrangement on the back – a dual-lens setup, but the LED flash is below the lenses as opposed to Apple, where the LED flash is between the lenses.
Huawei Honor 10
Like the Huawei P20, Honor 10 ships with a notched display screen. The LCD display has a 2.5D glass layer on top, but there’s no mention of Gorilla Glass protection, which is likely to be one of the trade-offs when price matters come into the picture.
Similar to its bigger sibling, the body of the Honor 10 changes appearance depending on the angle of view. Accompanying the Bluish-pink variant that exhibits this nifty design are Black and Teal color variants. The rear panel is made of glass and to join the two pieces together is an aluminum frame, the result of it all being a thin 7.7mm body that weighs 153 grams.
Oppo R15 and R15 Pro
Oppo has already announced two – or three – phones that resemble the iPhone X design. The high-end Oppo R15 and R15 Pro lead the way and while the company boasts about the smaller notch on the R15 pair compared to the Apple flagship, it is what it actually houses that makes the difference.
Besides the earpiece, front-facing camera and a few other features such as face unlock, the notch on the Oppo R15 and R15 Pro doesn’t have much to offer. But looking at what you end up paying for either phone in comparison to the iPhone X, there isn’t much to complain about here.
For more about what these two phones really are, check out our post on the 6 things you should know about Oppo R15.
Oppo’s phones are popular in China, but the company is rapidly spreading its wings to other markets across the globe, more so India. In India, Oppo fans have one more iPhone X-like phone to buy – the Oppo F7. Technically, this is just a slimmed-down Oppo R15. You get the same design featuring a display notch, but the main camera has a single-lens instead of a dual-lens setup like on the R15.
The display, processor, memory, battery capacity, front camera, software and a bunch of other things remain unchanged, but for the few things the phone drops, the price also drops when compared to the standard R15, which may never make it to India.
You can read more about the Oppo F7 here.
Another Chinese OEM that has stepped up its global efforts is Vivo. After making headlines as the first to bring about a phone with in-display fingerprint scanning technology, the Chinese OEM is also not staying behind as far as the notch is concerned.
As of this writing, the company has two phones featuring the infamous notch – the Vivo V9 and Vivo X21. The Vivo V9 was announced in March and is already confirmed for the Indian market priced at INR 22,990, but other than the iPhone X-like notch and a massive 6.3-inch full HD+ display screen, the V9 doesn’t have much to show off.
Of course, fans should still enjoy the massive 25MP selfie camera alongside a dual 16MP + 5MP main shooter and the fact that it runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. And yes, the main camera is set up in the same format as the iPhone X.
Want to know more about the Vivo V9? Check out our post on the 5 things to know about the Vivo V9.
Vivo X21 and X21 UD
As noted, Vivo already has two phones with a display notch and the second is the Vivo X21, which has a sibling called Vivo X21 UD – the one with an in-display fingerprint scanner. These two have the same design language that embraces the notch, same specs and software as well as same features, but for the fingerprint scanner’s location.
You get a 6.23-inch full HD+ display screen, a Snapdragon 660 chipset, 6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, a dual 12MP + 5MP main shooter, a 12MP secondary camera, a 3200mAh battery and Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. One problem with either phone is global availability. So far, the pair is already selling in China and while we’d like to imagine both sets will make it to the rest of the world, it’s hard seeing them cover a majority of the markets.
As you wait for the phone’s availability in your region, you can grab the Vivo X21 stock wallpapers right away and install them on your current phone.
OnePlus 6 is the next flagship killer and just like we speculated before, the company has already confirmed and even justified the presence of the notch on the 5T successor. The phone’s full design language is unknown, but if history is to be consulted, we expect something that is nearly identical to the Oppo R15 family.
Besides the notched display, OnePlus 6 will stick to the norms, that is, powerful hardware specs and premium features to match or even better the likes of Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ2, among them the new Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage, just to name but a few.
You can read more about OnePlus 6 here.
LG G7 ThinQ
The MWC 2023 event was widely expected to play host to the LG G7 launch, but instead, only the revamped LG V30S ThinQ showed up. Two months later and the G7 is here and like the V30S, it also gets the ThinQ tag, meaning you get all of those AI-based tricks.
Since it’s a high-end phone, the LG G7 ThinQ has all the bells and whistles you’d imagine to find in such a phone. Talk of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, a dual-lens camera, IP68, and all that. To ice the cake is the massive Gorilla Glass 5-protected 6.1-inch notched display screen that boasts a QHD+ resolution (3120 x 1440 pixels) and 19.5:9 aspect ratio, but unfortunately, you still get an LCD panel and not an OLED panel.
Perhaps, this is because LG seems to be pushing the V series as its flagship offering. Check out our full LG G7 ThinQ coverage here.
At just $150, this is one of the cheapest you can get an iPhone X mockup. The Leagoo S9 comes from a little-known Chinese OEM and judging by its price tag, there isn’t much on offer here. In essence, the notch is the phone’s selling point, where people can get an iPhone X feel on the budget.
Another no-name Chinese smartphone vendor, Oukitel, has an iPhone X mockup as well. Dubbed Oukitel U18, the phone rocks a notched display, but the camera on the back, although a dual-lens setup, appears in the middle of the phone, much like what you see on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro.
Interestingly, the official product page of the Oukitel U18 points to a new display screen standard – a 21:9 aspect ratio that gives the 5.85-inch panel an HD+ resolution of 720 x 1512 pixels.
Sharp Aquos S3
Japan’s Sharp is also getting ready to unveil the successor to the Aquos S2, which emulated the Essential Phone’s notch style. As you may have guessed, it’ll be called the Aquos S3. With the launch drawing closer, the phone has just appeared online, showcasing another iPhone X-like design.
From the leaked images, the Aquos S3 notch doesn’t seem to house a lot. In fact, we can only see the selfie camera and earpiece, which is not strange for a midrange Android phone.
In addition to the notch, the Sharp Aquos S3 also comes with a vertical dual-lens camera on the back located in a similar position as Apple’s, but there’s a fingerprint scanner as well. If reports are to be believed, the S3 will come with a 5.99-inch full HD+ display, Snapdragon 630, 4/6GB RAM, 64/128GB storage, dual 12MP + 13MP rear camera and 16MP selfie camera.
Other iPhone X mockups
As noted, we’ve only highlighted upcoming Android phones from known OEMs, but there will be plenty of no-name Chinese device makers joining the party as well.
In fact, a good number are already on board. Talk of the Noa N10, Hotwonder Hotwav Symbol S3, UMIDIGI Z2, DOOGEE V, Blackview X, Ulefone T2 Pro, and possibly a bunch of others from the likes of Xiaomi, Huawei’s Honor, Oppo and who knows maybe OnePlus 6 might just be another iPhone X look-alike (update: actually it does).
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Written By Amanda Reed
Published Jun 16, 2023 1:30 PM
Among the plethora of “smart” things in this world—televisions, phones, speakers, and even entire homes—water bottles don’t come to top of mind. However, we think that can change, thanks to water bottles now having more capabilities other than “simple receptacle of many liquids.” Now, you can count how many ounces you’re chugging, get reminded to take a sip, and even get your filtered water to a new level of clean. The best smart water bottles make staying hydrated easy as they’re refilled and you’re fulfilled.The best smart water bottles: Reviews & Recommendations Best overall: LARQ PureVis Bottle
Why it made the cut: This high-tech water bottle comes with a self-cleaning cap that uses the power of UV light to give your filtered water a purer taste and keep the bottle clean.
Cap options: PureVis self-cleaning cap, filter cap with flip top (doesn’t self-clean)
Bottle sizes: 17 oz.; 25 oz.
Water tracking: No
Clean you can taste
No water tracking
Largest size is still relatively small
MicroUSB vs. USB-C
The LARQ makes for a great travel water bottle as well, especially if you really want to make sure the bottled water you’re drinking is A-OK. Just make sure you fill it up after you pass through TSA security—you don’t want to get this fancy, pricey water bottle confiscated by a very strict agent before a flight. If you’re more active, consider the Movement PureVis bottle, which is uninsulated and lighter but has the same PureVis tech as the insulated version.
At $99-$118, this water bottle is expensive, meaning it’s heartbreaking for you and your wallet if you misplace it, especially since you can’t use Bluetooth to track its location. And its capacity tops out at 25 oz.—practically a sip for those who drink water like a fish. There’s no hydration tracking, meaning it’s up to you to remember how much water you’ve imbibed. A pitcher version lets you get squeaky clean water you can put into your favorite gallon water bottles (or even the other smart water bottles on this list that focus on water intake tracking), but if you’re looking for UV cleaning and water tracking … sadly, this ain’t it!
The water problem, considering how things are going with the climate and public infrastructure, isn’t going away anytime soon. The LARQ PureVis bottle gives you more peace of mind that you’re not sipping on nasties. It’s not the only self-cleaning water bottle on our list, but it’s definitely the best. Read more of our thoughts on the LARQ.Best for hydration: HidrateSpark PRO Smart Water Bottle
Why it made the cut: This light-up water bottle uses the power of Bluetooth to keep track of how much water you’ve consumed. It even tells you how much water you should drink based on your height and weight.
Cap options: Chug or straw lid
Bottle sizes: 17 oz.; 21 oz.; 32 oz.
Water tracking: Yes
Lots of size options
Seamless water tracking
Friendly UX with bottle and app
Straw cap hard to sip out of
If you need the gently pulsing alarm clock version of a water bottle (aka, those bottles with the lines and cute phrases don’t cut it for you—someone with a mushy brain and short attention span caused by social media scrolling), consider the HidrateSpark PRO just that. It works with Bluetooth and a coordinating app to measure your water intake. All you need to do is set the bottle down, and the app automatically updates how close you are to your water goal. You can set that number yourself or allow the bottle to figure that out for you by entering your weight, height, elevation, and other metrics. Setup is super easy and takes less than five minutes, less than the time it takes to wash the bottle when you first get it in. The settings are also super robust: you can set when the bottle glows—every time you take a sip, when you meet your goal, both, or even … not at all! It’s similarly priced to other non-smart water bottles on the market, meaning you’re wallet won’t hurt as much compared to other options on this list.Best budget: HidrateSpark TAP Smart Water Bottle Chug Lid
Why it made the cut: Practically all the same capabilities of the HidrateSPARK Pro bottle minus the price tag—and some of the cheapest smart water bottles you can buy.
Cap options: Chug or straw cap
Bottle sizes: 20 oz.; 24 oz. 32 oz.
Water tracking: Yes
Water intake only updated with phone tap
Sure, it’s not as packed with features as its PRO sibling, but the HidrateSpark TAP is an excellent option for someone who doesn’t want to spend too much money on a smart water bottle. It doesn’t update as often as the PRO because it lacks Bluetooth tech—it uses near-field communication (NFC) instead of Bluetooth, with a simple phone tap allowing you to update the app with how much you’ve sipped. It comes in insulated stainless steel if Tritan plastic isn’t your jam, comes in a sip top option, and lights up to remind you to drink (although you can’t customize that option; it’s preset at once an hour for 12 hours as soon as you turn the timer on). If you’re looking for a basic, budget-friendly smart water bottle, look no further.Here are other options we think are a cool drink of water: FAQs Q: How much does a smart water bottle cost?
A smart water bottle costs between $29-$120, depending on size and features. Ones with Bluetooth and UV-C light will be more expensive than those with an NFC tag for updating.Q: Is it OK to refill smart water bottles?
Not only is it OK to refill a smart water bottle, but it’s also encouraged! Some smart water bottles let you know how many bottles you need to drink to make your personal hydration goals.Q: How do I clean a smart water bottle?
Washing a smart water bottle is incredibly similar to washing a regular insulated water bottle. If your smart water bottle isn’t dishwasher safe, remove any electronic components (batteries, sensors, etc.) and wash by hand with dish soap and warm water. If it’s dishwasher safe, simply throw it in there and wait until the cycle is over.Q: Can I microwave a smart water bottle?
Depends. You can’t microwave stainless steel (unless you want to destroy your microwave). You can technically microwave Tritan plastic, but make sure all electronic components aren’t going in the microwave. Would we personally microwave a Tritan plastic water bottle? No, but you do you, boo!Q: Why do people use smart water bottles?
Some of us consistently rot our brains from too much social media and reach for a Diet Coke, an oatmilk iced latte, or a seltzer before even thinking about regular, plain water. A smart water bottle reminds you to take a sip and takes the guesswork out of how much water you should drink. Your kidneys will thank you!Final thoughts on the best smart water bottles
Smart water bottles are a great way to easily track how much water you drink daily, ensure your water doesn’t have any rogue bacteria, and self-clean for mustiness-free sipping. Our favorite smart water bottle is the LARQ PureVis Bottle, which kills potential bacteria in water for results you can taste. If you’re looking for an option to track hydration, we recommend the Hidrate SparkPRO Smart Water Bottle, which syncs seamlessly with incredibly customizable settings to boot. If the cheapest option is your goal, look no further than the HidrateSpark TAP Smart Water Bottle Chug Lid, the HidrateSpark’s formidable and budget-friendly sibling.Why trust us
Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.
Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.
BEST CHINESE PHONES FOR UNDER $500 1. POCO F2 Pro
The POCO F2 Pro, also known as Redmi K30 Pro in China is still one of the handsets with the best specs to price ratio. For around $400 you do indeed get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 CPU; along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
This powerful hardware fuels a large 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a real full screen design due to the presence of a hidden pop-up 20MP selfie camera. Meanwhile on the back we find four sensors with a primary 64MP Sony IMX686 shooter; a secondary 5MP telephoto lens, an ultra wide angle 12MP camera and a 2MP depth sensor.
On the POCO F2 Pro we also have a large 4700mAh capacity battery with support for 33W fast charge.2. Redmi K30 Ultra
The smartphone is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1000 which should perform on par with the flagship Snapdragon 855 from last chúng tôi also get a minimum of 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
Finally, the smartphone packs a 4400mAh battery that can be charged at 33W, NFC and an infrared emitter.Best Chinese Phones for Under $500 3. Realme X7 Pro
Similarly to the Redmi K30 Ultra just seen above, we have the new Realme X7 Pro. Realme’s handset does indeed come with almost identical hardware, starting with the powerful MediaTek Dimensity 1000 CPU, paired with a minimum of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
The Realme X7 Pro also features a 120Hz high refresh rate AMOLED panel, though slightly smaller at 6.55-inch and with a punch hole in the upper left corner for the 32MP selfie snapper. On the back, we find a main 64MP Sony IMX686 flagship-level sensor, paired with an 8MP ultra wide lens, a 2MP depth camera and a 2MP macro sensor.Gizchina News of the week
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Finally, the X7 Pro comes with a 4500mAh capacity battery with support for a whopping 65W fast charging and NFC is not missing either.Best Chinese Phones for Under $500 4. OnePlus Nord
Next, we have the OnePlus Nord, which is a device worth considering at $399.99. OnePlus’ mid-ranger comes with a 6.44-inch AMOLED panel featuring Full HD+ and a 90Hz refresh rate.
The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G with integrated 5G band; along with a minimum of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
As far as photography is concerned, the device features a 32MP Sony IMX616 and 8MP dual front cameras (the latter is ultra wide). Meanwhile moving onto the back we find a primary 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, an 8MP ultra wide angle lens, 2MP macro lens and a 5MP depth sensor.
The OnePlus Nord is fueled by a 4115mAh capacity battery with 30W fast charging and an NFC module.5. Honor Play 4 Pro
Finally, if you want a smartphone with solid camera performance, the Honor Play 4 Pro is another great option. The handset does indeed feature a 40MP Sony IMX600 large size sensor with f/1.8 aperture paired with an 8MP 3X periscope camera; both featuring OIS (optical image stabilization). For selfies, we have a 32MP selfie snapper and a secondary 8MP ultra wide lens.
Honor’s device is powered by the good Huawei Kirin 990 chipset; coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (expandable).
Meanwhile, keeping the lights on we then find a 4200mAh capacity battery with support for 40W fast charging and we also have NFC.Best Chinese Phones for Under $500
Check out our sub $200 list if you’re on a tighter budget!
Business owners and their staff conduct many aspects of their operations on mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Couriers use mobile devices to scan packages when they reach their destinations. Warehouse staff use them to count inventory. Farmers even use smartphones’ GPS to ensure the most efficient harvest.
But the typical consumer device isn’t designed to withstand conditions within the toughest working environments. For that, you need rugged (or ruggedized) devices. Learn about the different types of ruggedization, and see our roundup of the best rugged devices and rugged cases on the market today.What is a rugged mobile device?
Rugged devices are those that are designed to be durable, dust-resistant, shockproof, and water-resistant or waterproof. They have long battery lives and tough outer shells that protect these devices if they’re dropped or otherwise compromised.
There are three levels of ruggedization:
Semi-rugged devices have the same components as non-rugged models but are better protected. An example of semi-ruggedization would be a spill-resistant laptop keyboard.
Fully rugged devices are often tested to military-grade specifications and are ideal for construction sites. They can be dropped from greater heights, are impervious to water and dust, and can withstand extreme temperatures. Their components are more durable, too. For example, you’re more likely to find a solid-state drive than a mechanical hard drive in fully ruggedized devices.
Ultra-rugged laptops, tablets and smartphones are designed to withstand the absolute worst conditions. They are pretty much indestructible and can operate in sandstorms and blizzards. Unsurprisingly, ultra-rugged devices are the most expensive.
If you and your staff regularly use phones and other devices away from the office, consider one of the best mobile device management solutions to manage and secure data that can be accessed remotely.
Did You Know?
You can take out insurance policies on business mobile devices whether they’re rugged or not. Certain types of business insurance cover accidental damage and theft. Some insurers will even get a new device to you the next day.
If you’re looking for a professionally credentialed source for rating the performance of so-called rugged phones, focus on one designation that mobile companies and their customers trust the most.
“There are a number of ratings systems to help buyers determine the true ‘ruggedness’ of a mobile device to ensure that the term isn’t used solely for marketing purposes, and a Mil-Spec designation is at the top of the list,” said Rob Chamberlin, co-founder of DataXoom, a mobile virtual network operator.
Falling under the ultra-rugged category, a Mil-Spec designation means that a device can handle environmentally hostile work environments, including excessive heat and cold, dust, humidity, vibration and shock.
“Mil-Spec guidelines were originally established by the U.S. Department of Defense and are considered the gold standard for accurately assessing a mobile device’s capabilities,” Chamberlin said. “Most Mil-Spec devices are significantly larger and heavier than their consumer-grade counterparts. Since the market for these devices is rather small relative to the consumer marketplace, Mil-Spec devices tend to have less ‘bells and whistles’ and are upgraded less often than consumer-grade mobile devices.”
That said, Mil-Spec-credentialed rugged devices are “typically much more expensive as well – a factor that can sometimes be a detriment to potential buyers,” Chamberlin warned.What are the best rugged mobile devices?
If you’re in the market for a rugged smartphone, we’d recommend considering the following options:Caterpillar Cat S42 H+
Caterpillar is a premium brand in the construction equipment sector, but the company’s rugged devices are certainly not premium-priced. The Caterpillar Cat S42 H+ is an attractive phone with an expandable 32GB of storage; a bright, 5.5-inch display; a 13MP rear camera; and a 5MP front camera. It’s also waterproof and drop-tested, and it has ingress protection against dirt, dust and sand. [In the construction business? View our guide to growing your construction firm.]Oukitel WP17 2023
Chinese manufacturer Oukitel is best known for its portable power stations, but the company has also been in the smart device market for years and currently has 12 rugged phones for sale. The WP17 is a suitably equipped model at a similar price to the Caterpillar Cat S42 H+. It’s waterproof to IP68 standards and dustproof to IP69K. It has 128GB of storage, which is expandable, and features night-vision technology.Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
Samsung manufactures and sells more smartphones than any other company. The 2023 Galaxy XCover Pro features a whopping 512GB of memory storage and is MIL-STD-810G certified. The phone can withstand drops from nearly 1.5 meters and is IP68 waterproof-rated. However, the device is compatible only with Verizon and AT&T.Conquest S16
The Conquest S16 is an explosion-proof mobile phone designed for use in fire safety, oil drilling, volatile-substances storage, and the coal, gas, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It’s around three times the price of the rugged phones listed above, but it has a great aesthetic, a large yet manageable screen, a powerful camera and long battery life (700 hours in standby mode).Blackview BV8800
Blackview is another major Chinese manufacturer of midpowered rugged devices. It has a standby time of 1,000 hours and a talk time of 65 hours. It’s waterproof and dustproof and, like the Conquest phone, offers infrared imagery in pitch-black conditions. You can fit two SIM cards into the phone or use the spare SIM slot to expand the memory from 128GB to 256GB.
If you use ruggedized devices to connect to the internet, do it securely with VPN remote access.What are the best rugged cases?
If you want to protect the mobile equipment you already have rather than buying a brand-new mobile device, you could choose a rugged phone case instead. Check out our top picks below, but bear in mind that putting a case on a phone will not necessarily make it waterproof or dustproof.OtterBox Defender
OtterBox Defender cases have protected phones dropped from heights of up to 23 stories. The edges come slightly past the front of the phone, meaning you don’t need an additional protector for the screen. Defender cases are made from silicone-coated plastic for better shock absorption.Spigen Tough Armor
With a hard polycarbonate layer on the outside and shock-absorbing foam on the inside, the Spigen Tough Armor is a bestselling case for Samsung phones (from 2023 onward), iPhones (from 12), Google Pixels (from 4A 5G) and the OnePlus 9/Pro.Ballistic Tough Jacket
The Tough Jacket has 8-foot drop protection built in, although it’s been able to achieve much more during testing. Cases are available for a wide range of iPhones and Samsung phones. As with the OtterBox case, the sides stretch slightly farther than the edges of the phone, so it protects against drops on all sides.Catalyst waterproof cases
Catalyst has earned top honors from iPhone Life magazine for “best rugged gear.” The company makes 100% waterproof, drop-proof cases for iPhones and Samsung devices. Catalyst says the new series of cases doubles the waterproof rating, thus making them completely waterproof to 33 feet.
Brian O’Connell contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
When determining the best VPNs for Android, we consider several criteria. First, it’s crucial that it is a top performer on the OS. Also, since Wi-Fi can be inconsistent at times, we test these apps over the course of three days, running a total of 15 tests each day (three times for each test country location) to look at speed and consistency of service. Finally, we considered the Android app itself and its ease of use, as well as other things such as pricing and the number of simultaneous devices allowed per account. We provide links to the stand-alone app in the Google Play store as well as links to our reviews of the full desktop program—in case you want a complete AV solution for all your devices.
Without further ado, here are our recommendations for the best VPNs for Android.
Updated 06/14/2023: We’ve updated the CyberGhost summary with info from our latest review of the service. Read more about this best pick below.
1. Speedify – Best Android VPN overall
Harnesses multiple connection types
Interface is not user friendly
Switching countries is a pain
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Speedify’s claim to fame is that it harnesses all your active connections to make one super-zippy VPN connection, and the effect was undeniable during our tests. Speedify maintained a jaw-dropping 83.56 percent of the base speed. These speeds only happened when the phone had Wi-Fi and cellular connections available. One other nice thing about Speedify is that the switch from Wi-Fi to mobile network is near seamless. So if you’re streaming a song and step outside of your wireless network’s range, the connection will switch to mobile without missing a beat.
Speedify’s app design is not the simplest or most straightforward design, but it’s easy enough. It also maintains some statistics such as how many seamless failovers you’ve had with your device, how much data’s been transferred, and your top download and upload speeds. It would be better if you could pick your country location before connecting, as opposed to the current setup: connecting, choosing a new country location, and then reconnecting. Still, it’s a minor quibble for an excellent mobile VPN.
Read our full Speedify review
2. NordVPN – Best Android VPN for Netflix
Great feature set
Attractive and intuitive interface
NordVPN is easily one of the most popular VPN services around. The company offers over 60 country locations with 5,000+ servers. It also promises that its service will work with Netflix. While it doesn’t offer dedicated servers for this, instead, Netflix is just supposed to work no matter which server you’re on, and in our tests it always did.
Its Android app is similar to the desktop app in that it has the same style of map that you can use to select a location. The rest of the app is very mobile friendly with a movable carousel of popular locations, and a full country list underneath. The Android app also supports Nord’s specialty servers for P2P file sharing, Meshnet, and double-hop VPNs. NordVPN also offers top-notch security features with ad-blocking and malware protection as well.
NordVPN has a thrice-verified no-logs policy and good track-record for both privacy and security. It’s a higher-priced VPN, but it’s also feature-filled, and fast. In our tests, Nord maintained nearly 73 percent of the base internet speed, which is outstanding.
Read our full NordVPN review
3. CyberGhost – Best Android VPN for rookies
Independently verified no-log policy
Seriously impressive server spread
Lacks some common features such as multi-hop and double VPN
Server speeds are hit-or-miss, especially in Asia
Another good choice for newcomers is CyberGhost from Kape Technologies. This VPN has a very intuitive and friendly design. It has a simple on/off button at the top of the app, and underneath that is the tile where you can pick the country location. Tapping on the country location option takes you to a list where you can choose a connection based on the country, or you can choose a streaming location, or choose from your own favorites list. In our tests, CyberGhost maintained decent enough speeds to do most activities you would want with a VPN such as web browsing and streaming.
That’s about all there is to this app, which makes it an excellent option for first timers. For the full program CyberGhost charges $56.94 for a single year, or you can pay by the month for $12.99.
Read our full CyberGhost VPN review
4. ExpressVPN – Best Android VPN for rookies runner-up
Very easy-to-use app
Logs data transfer amounts
ExpressVPN has always been very easy to use and is another Kape-owned VPN. Combine ease of use with its excellent speeds, and Express is a great choice for rookies. In our tests, ExpressVPN maintained 72.14 percent of the base speed, which is excellent and earned it a second place finish behind Speedify. Switching locations is as easy as tapping on the tile underneath the on/off button at the top. When the VPN is not active the app background is red, and when the VPN is connected the background turns green.
ExpressVPN for Android also supports split tunneling, auto-connect, and a kill switch to help maintain privacy should the VPN connection drop.
Read our full ExpressVPN review
5. Mullvad – Best Android VPN for privacy
Excellent privacy measures
Best option for pseudo-anonymity
Not as many extra features as other options
Not guaranteed to work with Netflix
It’s no surprise to see Mullvad as our top choice for privacy. It’s simply unbeatable when it comes to staying as anonymous and private online as possible while using a VPN. Unlike most other services, Mullvad doesn’t even ask for your email address. Instead, it generates a random account number and then you use that to log in and pay for the service. The service will also accept cash, as well as Bitcoin, PayPal, and credit card giving you an even wider number of options to stay as anonymous as possible.
Mullvad promises it won’t track your browsing habits (as all the services in this roundup do), and it has good speeds. In our tests, Mullvad for Android maintained around 57 percent of the base speed. That’s not as good as some of the other services, but it’s definitely good enough for most uses. Mullvad charges €5 per month, which at this writing was a little over $5.
Read our full Mullvad review
6. ProtonVPN – Best VPN for privacy runner-up
Good speeds, but not as good as on Windows
Lots of features
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Read our full ProtonVPN review
We use the same approach on Android as we do on Windows. We picked five country locations and tested each location three times on three separate days. Then we took the average global performance of the VPN as an average, and then compared that to the average base speed. Then we represented the difference as a percentage. The reason we do that as opposed to showing actual megabytes-per-second scores is that those numbers can change based on so many factors such as your ISP, equipment, and time of day. What we really need to know is how much speed we lose when connected to the VPN (it’s always a loss). That is an experience that is more likely to translate across various setups as opposed to specific speeds.What to look for in a VPN
To get the most out of a VPN you need to consider a few factors. First, you want something that respects your privacy and logs as much information as you’re comfortable with. If that means no data at all then something like Mullvad or ProtonVPN is best for you. If you don’t mind a little logging and your primary concern is speed or Netflix support then there are many VPNs that will suit that purpose. Speed is also a concern since you want to make sure the service can support whatever it is you want to do, be it streaming video, gaming, or just browsing the web. Going with a known quantity is also critical since VPNs are handling such important, and personal, data you need to know who’s behind the company and what their reputation is—reading reviews will help with that. Finally, after all that, consider pricing and what best suits your budget. Keep those tips in mind and you’re likely to find an excellent VPN service that’s right for you.
That’s it for our roundup of the top five Android VPNs. If you want to take a look at more VPN services check out PCWorld’s complete VPN roundup. While the reviews are focused on PC, almost all of the services we’ve covered offer an Android app as well.
If you’re interested in also using a VPN with your other devices (which we highly recommend), check out some of our additional best VPN roundups to learn more:FAQ
1.What is a VPN?
A VPN, otherwise known as a virtual private network, disguises your identity and encrypts your internet traffic while browsing. In addition, you can connect to VPN servers all across the world. So if you want to access location restricted content like streaming services, you can connect to the appropriate country’s server and gain access to that country’s specific content.
2.How does a VPN work?
A VPN effectively hides your IP address by redirecting it through a remote server hosted by the VPN company. If anyone is watching, the VPN server then appears to be the source of your data instead of yourself. These remote servers can be located both in your own country as well as in different countries around the world. Additionally, your network traffic from your computer to the VPN is encrypted adding an extra layer of privacy.
If you are connected to a VPN while browsing the internet, the VPN will act as a kind of middleman between your computer and a website. When your computer sends a request to the VPN, it then passes it along to a website. The website in return, sends its response back to the VPN, which forwards it via a secure connection all the way to your computer.
3.Are VPNs legal to use?
Yes! In the United States as well as most countries, using a VPN is legal. You may find that certain websites try to block VPN connections, but they are still okay to use. You should know though, while using a VPN is legal, some of the activities done while using a VPN might be illegal. Activities such as downloading pirated copyrighted content or accessing dark web markets are both illegal with and without a VPN.
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