on June 27, 2012
I bought this phone 3 months ago because of its ruggedness and water proof capability. I bought it for our family trip to Disney World and Cruise. I thought about purchasing a rugged digital camera for the trip but I thought it was a good idea to buy a rugged phone that can capture video underwater and take photos in the pool or waterpark. Besides my two contract was up. This was one of the best purchases as this phone exceeded all expectations. I had over 300 photos taken at the Disney's waterparks and oceans. I also captured more than 50 videos under water while snorkeling. The salt water didnt damage any part of the phone and still in a perfect condition. I love this phone and highly recommend to anyone. This phone made my family trip truly memorable.
on June 8, 2013
I have had this phone for over a year now. I will try to create a helpful review for you and maybe it will help you out.
There are a lot of issues I have with this phone and overall, I would not recommend it to anyone unless a rugged, durable phone are your first 5 preferences that you are looking for in a phone.
1. Durable, tough phone. It can take a beating and last for some time in water.
2. Camera - I've noted that this will take exceptionally good pictures.
3. Call quality - You can hear very well.
1. Slow, slow and slow - It takes this phone several seconds to run simple tasks. This is due to the phone having little RAM. Sometimes it will take a long time for the function you are trying to get it to do. Other smartphones will pull this feature off quickly. The Rugby Smart will take forever.
2. The screen - If you are outside good luck trying to see your screen. Even on the brightest setting it still isn't good.
3. Volume - If you are playing something you have to have it on full blast and most of the time you can't even hear it. Not good.
4. Battery life - Is awful!!! Even if you have your phone on the best power saving options you are going to find yourself needing to charge it multiple times a day. This also can be contributed to RAM as your phone will work hard to get things running. If you are having a good time playing apps and things like that this phone will not last but 3 hours.
5. Freezing - I have had this phone freeze on me countless times, especially if you are running apps.
6. Apps - You won't be able to enjoy most of them because of this phone. It will either run slowly or freeze.
Recommendation - I would not buy this phone again. Smartphones are getting tougher with every new one that comes out. You can buy cases that are pretty durable and you will get a lot more done. I'm disappointed with this phone and I think you would do well to avoid it.
You should get this phone if you are looking for:
on April 27, 2012
I had been using my Samsung Rugby for over 4 years and THAT phone took some serious abuse. It got run over, dropped in mud repeatedly, thrown in a fit of rage. It was the best, but as times and needs change, I needed a phone with "smartphone" capabilities. Pretty much need to access email remotely.
I got the Rugby on 4-22, with insurance and a 30 day trial period. Knowing the abuse that my old phone went through, I needed to see if this one would cut the mustard.
4-23, I dropped it on the floor at work (first time on purpose, second time accidentally) it seemed ok. Dropped a little harder, chipped the back cover. Nothing major, but odd for a "rugged" phone...
The Rugby smart says it can withstand a bath up to 1m for 30 minutes. Well, since I will be using it in rain, snow, etc, and will likely answer a call with muddy hands, I NEED this feature.
Into a glass of water it went, for like 2 minutes. Took it out, touch screen won't work while wet, but works after a rough toweling off. "Great!" thought I! Until I tried to charge it that evening...
I would plug it in and get a weird message about the battery being disconnected. WTF? I opened it up and there were water droplets behind the battery. I grabbed a can of air and dried it out. It seems to be working now but seriously? Jacked up after a single dunk??? Something to note is that there is not a rubber gasket behind the battery cover. The Rugby had one there, which I think helped waterproof it.
This is my first smart phone, so I can't really comment on how it compares to other smartphones. In general I can't type while the phone screen is in portrait orientation. I can manage when it is in landscape, however.
I can't add my own text ringtones. I also can't figure out how to change the email notification tones.
The talk to text feature crapped out on me 4/26, but after turning the phone off and back on, it came back.
I tried changing the homepage for the internet to something other than the att site, but no dice on that either.
The screen is REALLY hard to see outside, even in the shade on a sunny day.
Also the phone dialing touchscreen is oddly difficult to use. Maybe I'm just not used to it. Who knows?
The battery has lasted me through the day thus far, and is still over 3/4 when I plug it in to charge overnight and I'm texting talking and emailing through a 12-14 hour workday. Granted, the phone is less than a week old, I'm sure that will change.
Also, you can't run this one over, at least my ATT salesman was honest. He told me that nothing smart he or his competitors had would stand up to the kind of abuse that my orignal Rugby had.
on October 17, 2012
I give Amazon wireless good marks because anyone can end up selling a lemon. My total experience with this phone was not good or easy but Amazon really helped so I'm giving the experience 4 stars even though there were a number of speed-bumps. A week ago I would have given 1 star. I reviewed ATT Wireless on Yelp very harshly because the local store was not helpful even though both ATT and Amazon say they are supposed to be . They acted like I bought this off the back of a truck somewhere...
The device does what it is supposed to do but there are some things I don't like. Since owners are tied to ATT with this phone, it is fair to critique the whole package including the bundle of services. For what I was looking for, it meets the need for a smart phone and a 3 GB plan that wouldn't bankrupt me. The phone was "free" with a 2 year contract. When you do the math, compared to buying a phone and data plan, it is a good deal with break-even at about 1 year. It annoys the hell out of me that people have to pay for texting, though, when they have a high bandwidth data plan. I declined the add on and was charged $0.25 each for the "welcome" messages originating from ATT. A call to them when activating the replacement wiped that but, really???!!! As an engineer I know that texting uses garbage bandwidth that can be slipped in between high priority traffic. It is nothing less than dishonest to act like this costs the carrier a dime compared to streaming video or phone calls where packet drops would be noticed.
First, as an Android phone there is supposed to be an "open architecture" aspect to these phones that is absent from Apple. The performance seems good but there were a number of applications that were specific to this phone and this provider that I couldn't remove. When I was troubleshooting the battery drain issue, I couldn't run the Start-up Manager app with this phone - Google Play said it was incompatible. To troubleshoot the drain, I switched the phone to "Airplane mode" and it still drained - at that point I contacted Samsung who told me to reset the phone to factory conditions. I did and it didn't help. I used a free version of "Green Power" to get a percentage display which is absent by default. There is really no excuse to use a segmented battery icon, a motif dating from old segmented displays, for a device that can play HD movies. The Green Power application was very helpful in diagnosing power state because it has a percent remaining displayed with its icon.
Second, when I got the new phone I asked them to leave a number of default add-on applications off so I could be sure that it wasn't some rogue program draining the battery - I wasn't sure that these weren't waking the device up, turning on the radios and causing the battery to drain. Since the replacement sent by Amazon is now holding a charge - that is no longer a concern. These programs weren't very useful to me but may make it easier for newbies. These are part of the phone by default and you can't turn them off or uninstall them - that bugged me. Btw, you MUST have a gmail account to activate this phone it seems. That was my impression from activating it.
Finally, I always try to review a device with respect only to my personal experience. For this device - I was kind of frustrated for the first week or so but one day into the replacement, my problem seems to be solved by the new device. I know my mom or other non-techie person would have given it one star or just lived with the short battery life in ignorance. To be fair - the problem I had was just bad luck with a battery. I had to look hard to find what the expected battery life in standby was though - this was not in the manual - this phone is rated for over 350 hours in standby (nearly best in class) by independent reviewers. Samsung should make this prominent - giving usage cases which will tend to run it down. I love the choice of free applications and that the device is nominally waterproof and dust proof. I got a shell for it ($5.85 from Amazon) that adds to its robustness. The most frustrating part for me was when I went to the ATT store - the young woman there made no attempt to help me. She didn't even take it out of the case or open the back - they didn't have a battery to swap and acted like Amazon phones were not something they supported. In fact, she acted like the 36 hour battery life was "normal" for a smart phone - Yeah, one in frequent use maybe, but not in standby or Airplane Mode I told her. ATT and Amazon both said the local store was not acting in accordance with their policy - if you buy an ATT phone - they are supposed to help at the local store - mine didn't.
on October 16, 2012
I've realized that, perhaps especially in the Android market, there are two large classes of users (amongst many):
- The n3rd. This Android user compares every Android device to some holy grail marriage of hardware and software. Anything not performing near perfect is simply unacceptable and overlays (which a normal person wouldn't even notice) is sacrilege.
- The klutz. This Android user complains that their phone doesn't work after they drop it on the concrete while fishing for their keys. They think that somehow because a device is "rugged" that it will stand whatever abuse they manage to dish out.
The actual reality of the Rugby Smart is that it is the most "rugged" of smart phones, which isn't really saying that much. It's a delicate piece of hardware with a lot of circuitry piled into a very small device (relatively speaking here). If you want the toughest Android device with a decent user interface, this is a great option. If you want to use it as a hockey puck or compare it against rooted models designed specifically for performance, you're looking at the wrong device.
on November 23, 2012
When I was shopping for a phone I noticed that there is a category of phone labeled "rugged." I was interested in what that meant and did some research and according to all consumer reports the Samsung Rugby Smart was the best rugged smartphone on the market as of 2012. I personally have put this phone in a glass of water more than once and the only issue I had was poor speaker quality for about 24 hours. Which is actually pretty INCREDIBLE since this is one of the only smartphones that can handle taking on water. I also threw my phone with significant force down a gravel driveway. The cheap case I bought for it broke off and the phone continued down the driveway. I had no issues with the phone after doing this and there was minimal scratching to the exterior of the phone.
The reason this phone lost the first star is because it is SLUGGISH. It only has 355 MB of RAM. A good amount of RAM for a mid-90's desktop computer. I probably use the advanced features of my smartphone a little bit more than the average user and I know that lots of apps and widgets can slow down any phone. So when I initially noticed my phone was running slowly I got rid of my live wallpaper, cut the home screens from 7 to 3 and limited myself to 5 pages of apps (about 80). Currently after the phone has been on for 12-18 hours my phone will start crashing. I go into to Task Manager and clear the RAM and then go into Running Services and force stop all the apps that don't need to be running constantly (Facebook, Google Maps, Media Hub, etc). Usually this will get my phone to 320 out of 355 MB of RAM used. This is fine until you open just about any app. The only way I found to get around this is to shut the phone down. But the phone loses a star because Samsung could have easily added a little bit more RAM. 500 MB would have been perfect. I also understand from the consumer reports that the processor on this phone is a little on the weak side.
The reason this phone lost the second star is because of an issue with the EXTERNAL SD CARD. According to several online forums this is a problem with all Samsung smartphones including the Galaxy. Under Manage Applications there is an option to move an app to the SD card. However instead of actually moving the app to the SD card it moves it to a partioned section of the internal memory labeled "external sd." This is very frustrating because I bought a 32 GB SD card planning on being able to store everything on that thinking it would help speed up my phone (apps can load more quickly from a good SD card than they can from certain places within the internal memory).
OVERVIEW: I would suggest buying the new Samsung Rugby Pro because it has twice as much RAM and a dual core processor and Android 4.04 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
on September 30, 2012
Buy the Samsung Rugby Smart at your own RISK! This phone has been a nightmare from day 1. When I first received the phone I could not receive a lot of my multimedia text. Now it's over six months later and I'm still battling with this issue. The dang thing just will not download my multimedia pictures. I have called AT&T several times over the last few months trying to find out what the source of the problem is. They have been of little help, they only give me excuses of what the problem could be. The last solution that they gave me was to have all multimedia text send to my G-mail account. What an inconvenience, not only to me but to anybody sending me multimedia text. The next biggest problem I have with this Samsung Rugby Smart, is the phone says I do not have enough memory. I believe this phone comes with 8GB of memory, plus I have a 8GB memory card installed. I only have a couple of games on the phone and a couple of family photos which I can not get to my photos because it's saying "I do not have enough memory delete some items". Neither can I get to my music because it's saying the same thing. And my phone shows it has plenty of internal memory! And by the way my memory card is empty and it shows that it is empty, but I can not transfer anything from the phone to the memory card because when I try to do so, it says that the memory card is full. It makes and receive phone calls just fine. It takes pictures just fine, but you can not see them using this phone, you have to take the memory card out and put it into another device! This phone is a piece of JUNK! If all I wanted to was make and receive phone calls, I could just bought a prepaid phone of the wall at Wal-Mart. I guess I'll try to file an insurance claim on it, which will cost me another fifty bucks! Hopefully they will replace it with something different!
October 11, 2012 Update:The entire phone had to be erased. The phone had to be restarted back to the point as if the phone was brand new. The phone now seems to be functioning the way it is suppose too. The down side to this is, all the memorable and funny videos are gone forever!
on July 28, 2013
I purchased this phone to withstand my rugged profession and lifestyle. After reading many positive reviews, the purchase seemed like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, my displeasure started soon after the purchase. I found that almost immediately, the battery lasted only 6-8 hours (this is using battery saving mode at 30% battery life). Disabling multiple features really only gave me another hour or two of life. This is unacceptable in a profession with a strenuous on-call demand. Furthermore, I found that the processor was easily bogged down with the simplest of tasks. After having added only the most reputable of apps (i.e. low liklihood for viruses or malware), my phone locks up and often requires cutting off the power to reset. After only a year, I am anxiously awaiting my next upgrade with my cellular service as I feel this phone would be more useful as an impact and water resistant paperweight.
on June 5, 2012
My husband bought this phone 6 weeks ago because it claimed to be rugged and virtually unbreakable. Last night it fell in the floor as he was taking it out of his pocket and the entire screen shattered. It looks like someone stomped there foot on it. This was less than a 3 foot fall, very dissapointing.
on November 1, 2013
Phone is not the most capable in the world but it is tough. I've probably dropped it from my shirt pocket bending over 50 times or more on concrete or in dirt/mud with no damage. Also dunked it accidentally in water troughs with no ill effects. Got a nick in the screen right after first I got it, but it must be tempered glass because it hasn't cracked after a year and a half. Battery is no longer holding a charge, however, so I am buying a new replacement battery. If it was faster it would get five stars, but it has been pretty reliable except for the battery wearing out (replacement is like $10).