Earlier this year, we saw the Samsung Rugby Smart come to AT&T, which set it apart from other smartphones with the carrier, as it was designed to be a rugged Android device.
Now eight months later comes the follow-up, the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro – it has a larger 4” display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, and is running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. If that wasn’t enough, 4G LTE is also on-board, so you can get faster data connection while in an AT&T LTE coverage area. Add all of that together, and you have a smartphone that has a nice appeal to it with only a $100 on-contract price.
Included in the retail box is the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro SGH-I547 smartphone, 1850mAh battery, wall charger with detachable microUSB cable, and user guides.
The overall design of the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro hasn’t changed too much from the Rugby Smart. It still exhibits all the qualities of a rugged device, with thick rubber gripping on the sides, and a textured locking battery cover. This does make the device feel a bit chunky in the hand, but no more so than a standard smartphone with an add-on case installed.
Since the Galaxy Rugby Pro meets military standard 810F, it is resilient to blowing rain and sand, high humidity, thermal shock, and is waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. The display and front keys also have an anti-scratch coating on them. We were able to drop the phone several times (on tile) from a height of 5 feet, and there were no visible signs of damage to the device.
Below the display are three physical buttons for menu, home, and back, and around the sides of the device are the volume rocker, power/lock key, and customizable key, all of which are easily found by touch alone, as they have a nice texture on them. Up on top is the 3.5mm headset jack, and on the bottom is the microUSB port, both of which are protected by a plastic cover with water seal.
Even though the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro is built to withstand the elements, it remains a mid-range smartphone, but we're glad to see that the display size has increased from 3.7” to 4”, though the resolution remains WVGA 480x800 pixels. This means that small text appears slightly jagged at times. But since it is Super AMOLED, it provides eye-grabbing colors and excellent contrast when viewing images or watching videos. One feature missing is any type of automatic backlight brightness setting, which means that you have to manually set the screen brightness yourself. This can be annoying when going from a dark environment to outside in the sun, as you’ll have to keep adjusting the backlight. The only work around is to set it near the middle, so it wouldn’t need readjusting too often.