What Is A Rugged Phone? Mil-Spec 810G explained

Tough, durable, IP68 rated, Mil-Spec certified: as part of the Did You Know? blog series, we explore the benefits of Cat® phones’ rugged credentials.

There are many terms and acronyms used to describe rugged phones but do you really know what they mean? And more importantly, why it matters?

Rugged phones are built to last. They are designed to survive more than just your average scrapes, falls, knocks and brief contact with water.

Here we’ll explain the term Mil-Spec 810G and what it means for rugged phones.

What is Mil-Spec 810G?

The confusing thing is you might also see this technology standard referred to as MIL-STD-810G or Military Standard.

Mil-spec 810G certified phone | Cat phones

Originating from the U.S. Department of Defense, this standard is established to test equipment and its design to its very limits, essentially to ensure that this equipment is ‘combat ready’. You might also hear the term ‘military grade’ used to describe some equipment and phones, which refers to the same standard.

There are over 20 possible laboratory test methods which must be satisfied to meet Mil-Spec. To achieve Mil-Spec rating, phones are tested against the following elements and more:

  • Drop
  • Vibration
  • Wind and rain
  • Sand and dust
  • extreme temperature
  • salt fog
  • humidity
  • high altitude

The benefits of Mil-Spec 810G 

All of smartphones from Cat phones meet Mil-Spec 810G standards.

Mil-spec 810G certified Cat phones used by first responders | Cat phones

With Cat phones, you don’t have to worry about drops, knocks on your phone, harsh, dusty environments, extremes of temperature or handling your phone with kid gloves!

  • Drop it out of your pocket and it won’t break. In fact, Cat phones are drop tested from a height up to 1.8m (6 feet) 30 times onto a steel plate to validate their durability. This is more than the industry standard which only requires drops from up to 1.2m (4 feet) onto a hard surface.
  • You can take it on a building site in any weather and leave it out in the open and it will withstand everything the seasons (or elements) throw at it.
  • You can leave it on the deck of your sailing boat and it will resist the corrosive nature of the sea water spray and salt fog.
  • Leave it on the floor, right by your side, when replacing a leaky tap under a sink and it will not shy away from water.
  • Take it with you from any hot environment into a cold area and back again, and thanks to the phone’s thermal shock resistance it will handle the extreme temperature changes comfortably with no impact on usability.

Why does having a Mil-Spec 810G phone matter?

Mil-spec 810G rated phone on job site | Cat phones

It matters greatly if you work in, tough, outdoor environments in either wet, cold weather or hot and dusty environments. Or if you work in remote locations or towns and cities that are often subject to extreme temperatures.

  • If you work at high altitude, the ability of the phone to handle accidental drops will be important. You’ll need to specifically check that your phone has been tested to the MIL-STD method that covers altitude.
  • If you work in an environment with rapidly changing or extreme temperatures like a warehouse or aircraft hangers, you’ll need to specifically check your phone has been tested to the method that covers thermal shock.

Tough, military standard phones: see for yourself

Looking for rugged phones that can handle the toughest environments? Discover a range of Mil-Spec 810G Cat phones, like the Cat S41 and the Cat S61 smartphones.


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