Prepare for Any Environment with a Builder's Phone

Designed for those who live and work in rugged environments, a builder's phone is a mobile phone with added protection against damage. Although simple call/text models are available, some builder's phones come bundled with a bevy of pro-construction features for additional functionality. For work sites or wilderness adventures, eBay will have a builder's phone to suit your needs.

What makes a phone rugged?

Builder's phones are ready to take a serious beating. Whether you chose a smartphone model or a feature phone version, rugged phones will have the following features:

  • Dust-proof and waterproof: Prepared for construction sites, builder’s phones are more resistant to damage by dirt incursion and water immersion than standard waterproof models.
  • Extreme protections: These phones are all resistant to impact from vibration, shock, temperature extremes, low pressure, blowing rain, salt fog, solar radiation, and humidity.
  • Volume: The speakers are extremely loud so that they can be easily heard even in extremely loud environments.
  • Glove-friendly: To account for the need for layers, builder's’ phones have touchscreen displays that respond to gloves.
What construction-specific functionality is available?

In order to make them even more site-friendly, some rugged smartphones have thermal imaging capabilities. Built into the phone's camera, these features help to detect heat loss around doors and windows, spot missing insulation and moisture, identify over-heating circuitry and electrical appliances, and offer visibility, even in complete darkness.

What operating system do they run on?

Many builder's’ phones come with the Android OS pre-installed, offering all the apps that regular smartphone users will expect. Android device manufacturers, such as Zebra, CAT, and Samsung, are adding functionalities designed to run Android on rugged devices. The added capabilities include hardware integration APIs, custom security APIs, and other management features for rugged devices. The performance and overall functionality of the phone would depend on the device’s hardware specifications. See the manufacturer’s website for full specifications.

Is there a benefit to choosing a non-smart builder's phone?

Yes. If you like keeping your professional and personal phones separate, a simple call/text model would suffice. By keeping the functionality to a minimum, you would also extend your phone's battery life as the power requirements would be much reduced. However, you may lose out on the thermal imaging camera, so go through the model’s specs sheet and make sure it ticks all the required boxes.