Tough smartphone

Which mobile phones are the strongest?

The fear of dropping your smartphone in the toilet or on hard concrete is real. And warranted. Phone drops happen to the most coordinated among us.

So we decided to do a little bit of research into which (popular) phones are best for handling the tumultuous elements of everyday life. Toilet swims. Drops, from ear and hip height. Dust resistance.

In short, which are the toughest smartphones out there?

Here’s what we found.

The three toughest (popular) smartphones on the market:

3. iPhone 6

Surprisingly, coming in at number 3 is Apple’s latest and best of the iPhone series, the iPhone 6.

Almost in spite of its beautiful, ultra-modern design, the iPhone 6 (and to a slightly lesser extent the 6+) is one of the more durable phones currently on the market.

Although the iPhone 6’s screen didn’t end up clad in the Sapphire glass screen as many expected it would, the glass is tough. Apple calls it Ion-Strengthened glass, which effectively means that it’s been strengthened chemically. And as evinced in this video, a stronger glass screen certainly appears the case. Take a look how it comes up after being run over by a BMW.

It’s technically not waterproof, nor is it marketed as such. Nevertheless, if it slips between your fingers during a little bout of toilet texting, this video shows that its odds of surviving aren’t all that bad. A great-to-know for Apple fans.

2. Sony Xperia Z3

According to Sony, the Sony Xperia Z3, Sony’s flagship phone of 2014, is both dustproof and waterproof. To be clear, it's not merely splashproof; it is indeed capable of withstanding up to 30 minutes submerged in clean water. It’s even chocolate-proof.

Not compromising on its sleek design or state-of-the-art features, the Sony Xperia Z3 is in every respect quite an amazing phone; it boasts a 20px camera, PS4 Remote Play compatibility, and a microSD up to 128gb. Yet still, it’s highly waterproof and dustproof, its ports capable of sealing to ensure maximum resistance. If durability is something that you’re after, definitely take a look at the Z3.

Keep in mind, however, that the phone doesn’t do so well in salt water or if the ports aren’t properly secured. And Sony isn’t particularly sympathetic with those who’ve not read the fine print regarding the extent to which the device is actually waterproof. Buyer beware.

1. Samsung Galaxy S5

Coming in at number one is Samsung’s flagship model in the s series, the Galaxy S5.

Like the Xperia Z3, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is also waterproof and dustproof. That it is jam packed with features – a camera that supports HDR and fast auto focus, ultra power-saving mode, a heart rate sensor, a fingerprint scanner, and a large 5.1”HD AMOLED display – makes the Galaxy S5’s toughness all the more impressive.

In this video you can see the phone being submerged in a metre of water for half an hour, as well as it taking a full 50-minute cycle in a washing machine; in both instances, the phone came out almost unscathed. It’s also resilient to drops on concrete, taking a fall from over 6 feet like an absolute champion. If you’re a diehard Samsung fan but need a phone that can soak in a punch or three, the S5 has you covered. Watch an SUV run over it and tell me you’re not impressed.


Some of us want a durable phone but aren’t prepared to go out and buy something that looks like it’s from the late 90’s to meet that end. If you’re that sort of person, someone who’s looking for a smart, sleek phone, brimming with the latest features and gadgetry, but something that’s also durable, able to carry on through some serious water spillage or a severe case of butter fingers, you should do fine with any of the above three. Keep in mind though, a phone, no matter how smart it is, is still a phone. Treat it thusly.