When you’re a rugged style device, being fashionable or good looking is the least of its worries. Rightfully so, that’s blatantly obvious with this one. Practical in every way for its category, the Rugby Smart exhibits all of the qualities akin to any rugged style device – like its rubber grippy sides, textured back plastic cover, and a lock mechanism for its rear cover. Of course, it all culminates together to offer a resounding sense of durability in easily handling the usual normal wear and tear we put our devices through on an everyday basis.
Beyond that of course, it meets military standard 810F for protection against dust, humidity, rain, shock, and temperature. Even though it’s able to withstand “shocks” from heights of 5 feet in our testing, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll survive being thrown out of a two-story building. Nevertheless, it’s undoubtedly better protected than your average smartphone, and on top of that, it’s waterproof up to 1 meter under water for 30 minutes, which are things you don’t tend to see that often with most devices.
Around its sides, everything appears to be reinforced to solidify its impervious nature. For example, its volume rocker and power button are fashioned out of tough plastic, while still offering a tasteful response and feel. Furthermore, its ports are well protected thanks to plastic covers tightly shielding its 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port.
Accidental presses are pretty non-existent with this one because it opts to employ rectangular sized physical Android buttons instead. Thankfully, this modern smartphone doesn’t skimp out with things just because it’s deemed as being rugged, and with that, we’re grateful to find a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.
In the rear, a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash is placed squarely in the middle towards the top edge of the phone – with two notches nearby for its speakerphone. After moving its lock mechanism to remove the rear cover, we’re given access to its 1,650 mAh battery, and underneath that, we find its SIM card and microSD card slots.
Classified as a mid-range smartphone, we’re intrigued to see it packing a generous 3.7” WVGA (480 x 800) Super AMOLED display that’s no doubt attractive with its good details and vibrant colors. Much like anything else with a Super AMOLED panel, we’re treated with something that easily catches the attention of our eyes – like its wide viewing angles and iridescent glow. Sure, we’re still finding ourselves shielding it away from the sun when trying to view it outdoors, but we’re forgiving since it’s still usable and simply shines blindingly in the dark.
Interface & Functionality
Hardly anything new in the software department, since it’s essentially the same rehashed TouchWiz experience, we’re not totally shocked to find it running Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread out of the box. Yes, we know that it’s mind-boggling to not see this one with Ice Cream Sandwich, but nonetheless, that’s just the way it is and we simply have to accept that. Underneath all of the fancy TouchWiz widgets, the Samsung Rugby Smart still offers the same deep level of personalization attached with Android as a whole – and for that, we’re gladly accepting of it all.
No doubt spoiled by some handsets with super large displays, our fingers struggle to type out long messages on the Samsung Rugby Smart and its cramped on-screen keyboards. Even though it maintains a decent responsive rate in registering the touch of our thumbs, its layout is simply too cramped to comfortably type with minimal mistakes.
Well folks, there’s nothing new with its core set of organizer apps, but that doesn’t stop us from being content by it all. For example, it offers the same lovable Gmail experience found with all other Android smartphones – so yeah, it’s good enough for most things without too much complications.
Similar to any other smartphones on AT&T’s lineup, it’s stacked to the roof with the normal set of preloaded third party apps – though, AT&T makes sure to make its presence known. Specifically, we find AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator, Featured Apps, and myAT&T. As for those third party apps, they consist of AllShare, Amazon Kindle, Qik Lite, Quickoffice, and YPmobile.
Processor & Memory
Previously, mid-range devices were mostly sporting 1GHz single-core processors, but with this, Samsung increases the ante by outfitting it with a 1.4GHz single-core CPU with 512MB of RAM. Naturally, it’s able to handle most basic tasks with ease, but we do notice some sluggishness popping up every now and then.
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