Cell Phones

Looking for cheap rugged phone that works in Canada

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 6th, 2020 10:21 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 9, 2014
197 posts
130 upvotes
Ottawa, ON

Looking for cheap rugged phone that works in Canada

I'd like to get a rugged (rainproof, dust proof) phone for use when I'm out hunting/fishing/camping. My use for it would mostly be in offline mode in parts of Ontario or Quebec where cell-phone coverage is crap. I do want it to be usable in Canada and I don't want to cry too much if it gets destroyed.

It's tough finding the combo of ruggedized + inexpensive + works in Canada. I'd love to hear some reasonable suggestions - my budget is up to about $250 CDN.
9 replies
Sr. Member
Dec 4, 2017
539 posts
230 upvotes
I recommend that you pick a short list of cheap but reliable phones, such as the Moto G or E series, and look for a two-layer cheap case. This way, you are not limited to ruggedised phones specifically.

Amazon has lots of cheap cases of brands that are probably unfamiliar. If you want a mid-range brand that will use polycarbonate instead of possibly plastic for the outer case' rigidity, look for Spigen brand.

The reason to get a two layer case is that single-layer ones typically protect against either drops (cushioning) or crushing/flexing (rigidity). A full-coverage two-layer case will do both.

Putting the case-covered phone into a ziploc bag will add waterproofing without bulk.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 12, 2008
4156 posts
190 upvotes
Toronto
See if you can source an older sonim phones. Those things are durable as hell (early iterations had a small screen but enough to get the job done). Either that or caterpillar devices are rugged too. Not sure if you can find them used.
Nothing to see here...keep looking.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 9, 2014
197 posts
130 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Thanks for the advice. I looked into the Moto G line. The Moto G Power from Costco (or one of the strange ones from amazon.ca) seems like it hits my major points. It's slightly more expensive than I thought, but I like the battery life a lot. Is there any downside to a phone like this?
Thanks again!
Sr. Member
Dec 4, 2017
539 posts
230 upvotes
redmondflagger wrote: Thanks for the advice. I looked into the Moto G line. The Moto G Power from Costco (or one of the strange ones from amazon.ca) seems like it hits my major points. It's slightly more expensive than I thought, but I like the battery life a lot. Is there any downside to a phone like this?
Thanks again!
You are welcome. The only downside is that there may be a limited selection of cases. Note that what is currently billed as the Moto G Power is not the exact same phone as the G8 Power. The G Power is mainly aimed at the USA market; it adds CDMA capability and Wi-Fi bands, but loses the telephoto camera and high speed charging.

Personally, I would get the G8 Power, given that it's now on sale for $289 at Best Buy. It's one of those on-line order deals where Best Buy just acts as a gateway to a different on-line merchant. https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/ne ... e/14597058
[OP]
Jr. Member
Nov 9, 2014
197 posts
130 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Just wanted to follow up on this recommendation. I went with the G8 Power from Costco and I'm very happy with it. The camera is good, the battery life is amazing and the phone does everything I need. I'm super happy with it at the price point and functionality. The only issue I've had is that there are not many options for cases - I went with an Otter Box that fits perfectly, but you don't have a lot of choice. Thanks IanBrantford.
Jr. Member
Nov 18, 2019
139 posts
53 upvotes
GTA
Why don't you get latest Nokia 3310? It's ~ $100 and apparently still lives up to its indestructible legacy.

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