We’ve all held our breaths as our phone slips out of our hands, waiting to see whether it survives the end-over-end tumble intact.
We’ve seen internet videos of the unboxing of the most recent iPhone, only to watch the purchaser fumble, drop, and smash.
We have friends who just can’t seem to stop breaking their phone screens.
For construction workers, damaged smartphones tend to be part of the job. With the host of mobile construction management software and construction mobile apps out there, construction managers and workers need to have their phones on site and protect them from damage.
If ruggedized smartphones aren’t your thing, there is an alternative.
Construction smartphone cases let you bring your smartphone along for work without limiting your choice when upgrading in your personal life.
We combed through available construction smartphone cases and collected the four highest reviewed, most durable, and best priced options for your consideration (presented in alphabetical order).
Let’s dive in (with no fear of breakage)!
Incipio’s NGP case enjoys a solid 4.5 out of 5-star rating based on 303 reviews on Best Buy’s website. NGP cases use “soft shell technology” to provide a flexible, impact-resistant case for all smartphone types.
Phone: Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, A3, A5, A7; iPhone 5/5s, 6/6s, 6/6s Plus, SE, 7/7 Plus; BlackBerry Leap, DTEK50; ZTE ZMAX 2, Maven 2, ZMAX Pro; Google Nexus 5X; HTC 10, Microsoft Lumia 650; LG Phoenix 3, Stylo 3, V20, Aristo, Tribute HD; Sony Xperia XA Ultra; Motorola Moto G5/G5 Plus
- Flexible, slim cover
- “Soft shell” technology that provides a durable barrier paired with a smooth exterior offering a no-slip grip
- Special polymer material that is stretch and tear resistant
- Translucent, shock-absorbing
- Not as thick or rugged as some cases, making it less ideal for particularly rough use
- A couple reviewers complained that the case didn’t fit properly, but most had no problem
Price: $19.99 on Incipio’s website
The iThrough series of waterproof cases provides protection in up to 20’6″ of water. The cases boast 4+ stars on Amazon for all versions, covering many different cell phones. They also allow users to take photos while under water.
Phone: iPhone 7/8, 6/6S, 6/6S Plus, 5/5S/SE, 5C, 4/4S; Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 4; LG G3
- Allows touchscreen access underwater.
- Comes with a neck strap for easy carrying
- Can survive a laundry cycle
- Thinner than other options on this list
- Finger reader works underwater
- Not fall resistant
- Fully closed case, so side buttons are inaccessible
- Some iPhone 6S users have complained that the case isn’t a perfect fit
Price: Starts at $10.89; varies by phone
Billy Brown of Wired was impressed when he came across the iPhone 5 version of the frē, writing: “LifeProof’s case has the lowest profile of the three iPhone cases we tested … and also has the highest waterproof rating.” He gave it a 9/10, while other cases reviewed didn’t surpass seven.
That’s saying something.
Other reviewers have praised the case as well. Lifeproof won the CTIA 2013 Best of Show award for their iPhone 5 case, frē for iPad mini, and Overall Product Line. Gadgetmac boldly claimed, “It is, (sic) the ultimate protective iPhone case without a doubt.”
Phone: iPhone 5/5S/SE, 6/6S/6 Plus/6S Plus, 7/7 Plus, 8/8 Plus, X; Samsung Galaxy S5, S6, S7, S8; Google Pixel 2, 2 XL, 5, XL 5.5; LG G5
- A great option for iPhones; most of the reviewer praise for Lifeproof applies to their cases for Apple products.
- Military Standard 810G-516.6 and IP-68 approved and can be submerged in water for an hour at a depth of two meters. This is a fancy way of saying that the case is completely waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shock proof.
- Easy access to fingerprint scanners
- Slim design; easily fits into pockets
- Long lifespan
- One-year warranty
- Does not review nearly as well for non-Apple products. There are complaints about poor grip, difficult-to-push buttons on the S6, and speakers and speakerphones being covered on the Droid Turbo.
- Requires an extension cable for headphones
- Some users have complained that the frē is not well-aligned with the speaker on the iPhone 6
It’s hard to look for construction smartphone cases without hearing about the Otterbox Defender series. Otterbox has been making rugged cases since 1998, and is regarded as being so rugged that people have tested durability with chainsaws and by dropping phones from the rooftops of malls.
While it isn’t IP-certified, this smartphone case can handle just about anything on a construction site—maybe even better than a person.
Phone: Almost any phone you can think of; iPad Air 2, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPad 2/3/4, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5/5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and beyond; Blackberry Classic, HTC One M9, LG G3, LG G Flex2, LG G4, Motorola DROID Maxx, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, Samsung Tab 4 10.1, Galaxy S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, Tab A
- Virtually indestructible. Drop, dust, screen, and scratch protection
- Built with a two-piece polycarbonate shell and a rubber slipcover to defend against shocks
- Belt holster
- One-year warranty
- Wireless charging works through the Defender case
- Well-fitted to phones
- The screen protector can produce a glare
- iPhone users have complained that the screen protector makes it difficult for the phone to detect touch
- Color wears off easily
- If you’re using a fingerprint scanner, the screen protector makes things difficult
- HTC One and Blackberry users have complained that the belt clip is not secure
Price: Varies by phone
What’s your favorite smartphone case?
I’m sure there are a number of construction smartphone cases that could be added to this list.
What do you use? Are you satisfied with it? Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!