When you hear the word “rugby,” most would initially think big, bulky, and rugged. Samsung has been able to challenge that stereotype with the Galaxy Rugby Pro. At first glance, the phone has a sleek and elegant look, leaving you to think there is no way this phone can take a beating, but don’t let that discourage you from giving this phone a second look. Samsung has put this phone through military specification tests to include blowing rain and sand, as well as high humidity and thermal shock. It also has an anti-scratch touchscreen (How many of you wish your screen was that now?) and backlit keys easily seen at night.
The Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro is running off the latest Android OS 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. Team that up with a 1.5GHz Dual-core Krait, Snapdragon Qualcomm processor and you are pedal to the metal. I put the phone through a benchmark test, using Vellamo, which rated this phone just below the Samsung Galaxy S III, which isn’t bad considering how far the phones have come that were designed to be indestructible. I had no problems downloading, updating, and running a few apps in the background at the same time with no hesitation or lag. Everything ran smooth and easy in transition from one thing to another.
With the demand for bigger, higher resolution screens becoming a key feature on today’s phones, the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro has a 3.4″ x 2.04″ touchscreen with 16M AMOLED technology. The resolution is 800 x 480 pixel, not exactly full 1080p HD but you wouldn’t think that while viewing anything from emails to playing games like Angry Birds, or even browser websites. With the touchscreen, you will experience deep, rich colors and clear text indoors and in direct sunlight. The display gives you a wider angle, so no matter how you look at the screen you will have no problems watching movies.
Having a great display also makes it easier to view and take pictures. The phone features a rear-facing camera with 5.0 megapixels and a front-facing camera with 1.3 megapixels. There is also a 4x digital optical zoom, so no picture is out of reach. The camera also comes with many features you can use to personalize your pictures. I took many pictures including ones outside during the day and night, inside with low light and normal lighting. The pictures came out acceptable but some were a little grainy with moving objects or low light. However, it’s still a good camera overall. It also captures live video and playback at 1080p resolution.
With Android 4.0, the home screen can be customized. This phone uses TouchWiz, where you can trail your finger across the screen to each letter without lifting a finger off the screen. Although I found it difficult to get use to, I also noticed there was a scroll point that you had to move around on screen and not having arrows to push. Call me old school, but it’s nice to have the control over where you want the cursor to go without having your finger to be exact on the screen. Although I did like how, when scrolling over individual words, correct spelling or suggested replacements would pop up.
Apps like Kies Air, Facebook, Google+, Qik, AT&T’s Navigator, FamilyMap, Locker, Code Scanner, and myAT&T come preloaded, and some might consider most of that bloatware. Others might find them useful.
All told, this phone is a solid choice for the masses. It offers all the Galaxy features and can survive the everyday abuse we put our phones through without the worry it will break or get wet. This phone is offered on the AT&T network as a promotional deal (at the time of this review) for $99.99 with a 2-year contract, with a no-contract price of $449.99. At that price, and with what this phone has to offer, it’s a great deal. You get all the features of the Galaxy brand, plus the durability of a solid case. You can’t go wrong. C+
Feel free to leave your own comments about the Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro and let me know what you think.