There is a broad spectrum of handheld rugged devices in the market today, ranging from semi-rugged general-purpose smartphones on one end to highly customized handheld computers on the other. The device selection process for enterprises depends on a number of factors including the types of business applications running on the device, the vertical industry and the physical work environment. Traditionally, enterprises have deployed rugged handheld devices for outdoor or challenging work conditions, such as manufacturing or field service.

These costly, purpose-built devices are often bulky and extremely restrictive, running a fixed set of proprietary applications. More recently, enterprises have been shifting their focus to rugged and semi-rugged Android-based smartphones which benefit from an open operating system, strong app ecosystem, enhanced versatility and advanced productivity features, typically at a reduced cost versus legacy, purpose-built handhelds.

According to VDC Research, smartphones represented the majority (67 percent) of the 4.3 million B2B handheld rugged device shipments in the Americas in 2016. These smartphones are sub-categorized as either semi- or fully rugged devices with a roughly equivalent split. Within the semi-rugged smartphone category, industries with the highest revenue share are retail services, transportation and industrial/manufacturing. The chart below breaks it down into the following percentages:

Smartphone usage pie chart

Combating the Cost of Repairs

As device design and innovation continues to drive thinner, larger display devices, businesses need to identify solutions to address and manage the increasing costs associated with device repair and replacement. In 2015 alone, Americans spent $4 billion on smartphone repairs. By utilizing rugged devices within the workplace and in the field, departments can increase IT cost savings, as they are suited for a host of potentially damaging elements.

Enterprises are increasingly employing individual liable and BYOD programs to reduce cost and offer their employees the latest, most advanced smartphones available in the market. Additionally, as an increasing number of consumers desire a smartphone that meets the needs of their active personal lives, many individuals seek a semi-rugged smartphone as their primary device for both work and play.

Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 Active is the ideal smartphone for business users working in highly mobile or diverse work environments who may also have a busy lifestyle. Galaxy S8 Active represents the latest generation in a long line of Active smartphones dating back to June 2013, when the initial Galaxy S4 Active was released.

Timeline of rugged devices

Greater Durability

The Galaxy S8 Active offers best-in-class durability with a flagship experience. The device is engineered for durability without sacrificing its sleek, attractive design that employees demand. The S8 Active has a large 5.8-in. flat QHD+ Super AMOLED display with a strong protective metal frame designed to maintain the overall shape of the device and provide resistance to tilting and twisting. The device comes with a shatter-resistant dual layer screen system, consisting of a Gorilla Glass 5 bottom layer and polycarbonate top layer. All of these design elements mean the Galaxy S8 Active can be used right out of the box without the need for a separate protective case, which might chip or crack over time in such harsh environments.

The Galaxy S8 Active is designed for business productivity across a diverse range of usages including, employees who work outdoors, in harsh and/or highly mobile environments. With IP68 certification, the Galaxy S8 Active can withstand dust, dirt and sand, and immersion in up to 4.9 ft. of water for up to 30 minutes.

In addition to IP68 certification, the Galaxy S8 Active passed military specification (MIL-STD-810G) testing against a subset of 21 specific environmental conditions. These tests include extreme temperatures, dust, shock and vibration and low pressure/high altitude. By designing the device to work in these diverse environmental conditions, the Active addresses usability needs of various industry verticals such as logistics, manufacturing, healthcare and retail where there’s a lot of handling and potential dropping of devices.

The Galaxy S8 Active has Samsung’s largest smartphone battery designed to provide all-day, uninterrupted usage. With a 4,000mAh battery, 33 percent larger than the Galaxy S8, and ultra-fast wired and wireless charging, highly mobile workers have a device that will last the entire day and then some, depending on usage factors.

In addition to its durable design and large battery, the Galaxy S8 Active comes with the same flagship features as the Galaxy S8, including the large 5.8-in. phablet display, 10nm application processor for high performance and energy efficiency and enhanced services such as Bixby and DeX. The Galaxy S8 Active also offers defense-grade security with Samsung Knox and advanced biometrics and multifactor authentication options with iris scan, fingerprint and face recognition. There are also dedicated Activity Zone and Emergency Zone apps.

And with Samsung, you have access to the most up-to-date operating system and ecosystem of Android enterprise applications.

With the Galaxy S8 Active, businesses can rest assured that their employees’ smartphones are highly durable and powerful enough to keep them productive through the entire workday. And business users can enjoy the benefits of an attractive, highly capable device purpose-built for their active lifestyles.

See how enterprise mobile solutions are changing the way that employees work on a daily basis.