Archives for


5 Best Android Phones with Qi Wireless Charging Capability Built-In

Once a highly marketed feature of high-end smartphones, Qi wireless charging technology is now common even in the mid- and low-end category of Android phones. Customers like the idea of simply placing their devices onto a charging pad and not having to deal with tangled cables and broken charging connectors.

Best Wireless Charging Phones LinkPrice on
BlackberryBlackberry Priv195
MotorolaMotorola Moto X Force191
CaterpillarCaterpillar CAT S50189.99

If you don’t own a Qi-capable device but would like to get one, this article is just what you need. We have selected top 5 best Android smartphones with Qi wireless charging capability, making sure to select something interesting for everyone.

The Difference Between Qi and PMA Wireless Charging Technologies

Even though Qi wireless charging technology is the best-known wireless charging standard in existence, alternatives exist. One such alternative is PMA (Power Matters Alliance), which is a suite of interface standards for smart and energy-efficient transfer of wireless power founded by Procter & Gamble and Powermat Technologies in March 2012.

Its practical implementation is called Powermat, and it uses the same basic inductive charging and power transfer method as Qi, relying on magnetism to send small amounts of electricity across the gap between a smartphone’s charging circuit and a charging pad.

Despite this underlying similarity, the two standards are not compatible, so your Qi-capable device won’t charge on a Powermat charger and vice-versa. The only except is the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, which include both standards.


Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Unlike the explosive Galaxy S7, the Edge is a safe bet for anyone who wants a premium Android experience in the sleekest package that’s currently out there. What makes Edge so unique and charming is its curved, 5.5” Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 534 ppi pixel density and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 technology for extra protection.

Samsung uses the two curved edges of the display to give you access to handy shortcuts, news headlines, and various settings. Thanks to the Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820 chipset with Adreno 530 GPU, the S7 Edge works great as an entertainment device, having more than enough power to run all the latest games without any hiccups.

Depending on where you buy the S7 Edge, it might come either with Qi or PMA wireless charging. In either case, the smartphone supports fast battery charging, allowing you to go from 0% to 60% in just 30 minutes. The 3600 mAh non-removable battery should last you a whole day, unless you get lost in a AAA mobile game.


  • Gorgeous curved screen
  • Excellent performance
  • Water-resistant
  • Useful shortcuts and tweaks


  • Pricy

Motorola Moto X Force

The Motorola Moto X Force is a flagship Android device with Qi wireless charging for clumsy people. It features Motorola’s Moto ShatterShield technology, which is an exclusive system consisting of five layers of screen protection designed to absorb shock and guaranteed not to crack or shatter, explains Motorola on their website. In practice, it makes the screen resistant to normal drop damage, as Motorola illustrates with their own drop tests from five feet onto a tiled floor. The only downside is that you can see the extra protective layer on the display, especially if you look from a side.

Apart from the extra ruggedness, you get a stock Android experience and flagship performance. The combination of the two is something we are personally extremely fond of, as we enjoy creating our own Android experience with a combination of independent apps from the Play Store, rather than being forced to accept the manufacturer’s vision of how the Android user experience should look like.

Underneath the crack-resistant 5.4” AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 1440 x 2560 resolution is a Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810 chipset with Adreno 430 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. On the ballistic nylon-covered back of the smartphone is a 21 MP camera with phase detection autofocus and dual-LED flash. The 3760 mAh battery supports fast battery charging and holds more than enough juice to get you through two days of moderate use.


  • Rugged and highly durable
  • Stocked Android experience
  • Confident performance
  • Large, warm screen


  • Visible protective edge

BlackBerry Priv

In the previous decade, BlackBerry was synonymous with the business world. They stood out in the vast ocean of clumsy dumbphones with the infamous T9 input method and smartphones with horrible resistive touchscreens. However, as we entered the modern smartphone era, BlackBerry failed to keep up with the constantly changing market.

The BlackBerry Priv is BlackBerry’s attempt to rise from the ashes, giving their loyal fan base and new customers alike a QWERTY physical keyboard and an assortment of useful security features in what is otherwise a stock, flagship Android device.

The 4-row physical keyboard is hidden, until you slide the display up. It’s compact but spacious enough even for people with larger hands. There’s really no comparison when it comes to how quickly the physical keyboard allows you to compose emails, respond to text messages, and write lengthy notes. What’s more, the keyboard features a capacitive layer, enabling it to double as a large touchpad.

To keep their customers safe in a world where mobile malware is becoming a larger problem with every day, BlackBerry Priv guarantees to keep all files and sensitive information on the devices encrypted and pledges to roll out monthly security updates to patch any holes in Google’s operating system. Given the strong focus on security, the only thing missing from the smartphone is a fingerprint reader.


  • QWERTY physical keyboard
  • Useful security features
  • Stock Android
  • Fantastic screen
  • Strong performance


  • Missing fingerprint reader

Motorola Nexus 6

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset and Adreno 420 GPU, the Nexus 6 is a Google’s first phablet. The huge 5.96” AMOLED capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels, resulting in a sharp image quality and stunning multimedia experience. The powerful hardware handles all the latest games with ease, and seeing them on such a huge screen makes everything a lot more immersive.

The device ships with a stock Android Lollipop, with the possibility to upgrade to Android Nougat, the latest version of Google’s operating system. During our testing, we have enjoyed the 13 MP rear camera with optical image stabilization. It produces sharp, lively images and copes well with low-light conditions. The smartphone’s non-removable Li-Po 3220 mAh battery just edges the “full-day-of-use” point.


  • Sharp, big display
  • Great performance
  • Stock Android Lollipop experience
  • Camera with optical image stabilization


  • Maybe too big for some users


The CAT S50 is a high-end, rugged smartphone with a quad-core processor designed to meet military standards for durability, making it great for active people who are looking for a bit more durability than what the average smartphone can offer. According to CAT, the S50 can cope with anything you throw at it. That includes water, dust, extreme temperatures, drop damage.

The extremely high durability is provided by the smartphone’s thick metal bezel and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 glass protection technology. To keep the screen from shattering, CAT has opted for a smaller, 4.7” IPS panel with 312 ppi pixel density. While the HD resolution of the panel isn’t impressive by today’s standards, its brightness certainly is. You should have no problems operating the device even out in the blazing summer sunshine.

Performance-wise, the Qualcomm MSM8926 Snapdragon 400 and Adreno 305 GPU do a decent enough job, as far as the target market is concerned. After all, the main purpose of the smartphone isn’t to score record numbers in artificial benchmarks; its job is to survive out in the wild and get the job done.


  • Meets military standards for durability
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Bright display
  • Adequate performance


  • Very thick

Our Take

Each of the five devices on this list has something unique to offer, but they all have one thing in common: they support Qi wireless charging. With it, you can get rid of ugly charging cables that are ruining the look of your office desk and nightstand.

[Deal] Rugged Caterpillar CAT S50 smartphone for $299.99



Let’s be honest, we all love rugged phones. The #CATS50 is one such device. A generous retailer on eBay is now offering the device for just $299.99, which is an amazing deal considering its original pricing of $399.99. So saving 25% on a smartphone such as this is certainly a big deal.

So what are you getting for this price? Well, the CAT S50 comes with a 4.7-inch 720p display, a 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (expandable), an 8-megapixel rear camera, a VGA front camera, Android 4.4 KitKat and a 2,630 mAh battery.

The handset is MIL-STD-810G certified which makes it resistant to salt, dust, humidity, rain, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock. That’s quite rugged if you ask me. So while the handset might be lacking in terms of internal hardware, the CAT S50 more than makes up for it with the exterior performance. Hit the link below for more details on the deal.

Get the CAT S50 for just $299.99 via eBay!

Best waterproof Android smartphones money can buy – fall 2015 edition

If you like singing in the rain, swimming in shark-infested waters (literally), and just generally exposing yourselves to various types of liquid interaction while packing Android “heat”, then chances are you’ve been on the prowl for the perfect waterproof phone.

Underwater smartphone

First of all, sorry to break to you, but there’s no such thing. Secondly, even the world’s objectively best waterproof phones often come with limitations as to underwater use. Want a handheld to handle rain drops and shower splashes? Your selection is virtually limitless.

Seeking a device completely impervious to any and all liquid contacts, no matter the time spent immersed, depth and pressure? That’s a lot trickier to find. Be wary of hidden warranty conditions before choosing one of the following ten contenders to the title of world’s best waterproof phone, and make sure you understand the difference between water-resistant and waterproof.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Active – $650 unlocked

Galaxy S6 Active

The first Android soldier on our list isn’t necessarily the all-around top choice for everybody. But it’s the costliest, and not without reason. IP68 certification means you’re technically covered against 30-minute dunks up to 1.5 meter in addition to fully protected for dirt damage.

Then, you have your MIL-STD-810G approval for salt, dust, humidity, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock shelter. Basically, the GS6 Active is indestructible in normal real-life circumstances, and you’ll need to want to harm it to do so. Which shouldn’t be the case, also given the beautiful 5.1-inch Quad HD AMOLED screen, powerful Exynos 7420 SoC, smooth Lollipop software, and generous 3 GB RAM.

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact – $540


We could have easily recommended the “standard” Full HD Z5 or the 4K-enabled Premium over this “diminutive” 720p model, but both those powerhouses are too damn expensive. Granted, the 4.6-inch Xperia Z5 Compact is pretty prohibitively priced itself, due to import taxes and whatnot.

Hopefully, Sony will give it the official US green-light soon, and perhaps reconsider the controversial water-related warranty policies. Wouldn’t it be awesome to take proper advantage of the IP68 rating here, and snap 23 MP photos in the pool if not in the ocean as well?

Sony Xperia Z3 Plus – $465 factory unlocked


The eerily familiar Z3 sequel is protected for half-hour swims beyond 1.5 meters, but no deeper than 9 feet or so. It also sports scratch-resistant glass, a 5.2-inch 1,080p IPS LCD panel, octa-core Snapdragon 810 muscle, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, 21 and 5 MP cams, and 2,930 mAh battery.

It’s hard to tell why the high-end Xperia incremental upgrade received so much flak in the first place. As long as you don’t pay attention to its family tree, it’s actually a fairly robust flagship, don’t you think?

Sony Xperia M5 – $430 factory unlocked

Xperia M5

Why would a mid-ranger be worth about as much as a high-ender? Well, because despite what the name suggests, the M5 is no pushover. It’s different, as it trades the SD810 chip for a MediaTek Helio X10, and it’s 0.2 inches smaller, but it’s not necessarily inferior to the Z3+.

IP68-certified too, the 5 incher stands out in the photography departments, courtesy of 21.2 and 13 MP cameras, it’s Full HD-capable, and a multitasking workhorse, thanks to 3 gigs of memory.

Kyocera DuraForce – $0 with AT&T device financing; $419 outright

Kyocera DuraForce

Durable, tough as nails and… a tad on the chunky side, this Ma Bell-exclusive 4.5 incher flew under our radar back in March in spite of a commercial launch last November, but shouldn’t escape your attention now. It’s both IP68 and MIL-STD-810G authorized for everything from water dives to drops on hard surfaces and lengthy solar exposure.

It’s ideal for one-handed use, although you’ll need a firm grip, at 4.5 inches in screen diagonal and 200 grams weight. Finally, it should go on for ages between charges, backed by a massive 3,100 mAh battery.

Moto X Pure Edition – starting at $400

Moto X Pure Edition

Technically not waterproof or water-resistant, the 5.7-inch new X, alternatively dubbed Style, features a so-called water repellant nano-coating and much weaker IP52 certification than all our nominees so far. What that means is you probably shouldn’t willfully expose the Snapdragon 808 giant to either immersion or water jets, but mild rainfall won’t harm a hair on the vanilla Android-running phone’s head.

This is far from the X Pure’s main selling point, with the quality-price ratio boosted chiefly by the respectable hexa-core CPU, 3 GB RAM, 21 and 5 MP LED cameras, 3,000 mAh juicer, and Quad HD display.

Cat S50 – $400

Cat s50

If you want to get things done on construction sites and possibly even war zones, the 4.7-inch 720p S50 won’t take a bullet for you, but close enough. Aside from an IP67 stamp of approval that falls just short of others’ excellence, the bad boy withstands plunges onto concrete from 1.2 m high. The rest of the specs start feeling somewhat trivial in the face of such a unique engineering feat, don’t you think?

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 – $300

Galaxy Xcover 3

In a nutshell, this could be considered the smaller, humbler, less snazzy, non-Galaxy S, IP67-powered brother of the GS6 Active. That said, it looks a little obsolete, although it only saw daylight six months or so ago, with a dreadful 4.5-inch 800 x 480 pix res screen in tow, as well as a quad-core Marvell chip under the hood, 1.5 GB RAM, 8 GB on-board hoarding room, and 5 MP rear shooter.

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua – $200

Xperia M4 Aqua


Before spawning a remarkable follow-up, the M4 Aqua stole the mid-priced IP68 waterproof spotlight, with an unusually slim 7.3 mm profile, decent overall specs (HD 5-inch display, octa-core SD615 processor, 2 GB RAM, 13 and 5 MP cams), and flamboyant colors. Too bad the coral red flavor is $228, compared to the two Benjamin-valued black variant.

Motorola Moto G (3rd generation) – $179.99

Moto G 2015

Isn’t this odd? Not to mention ironic. Lenovo saw fit to make its subsidiary’s latest X hero IP52 water repellant, while the “low-end” G3 skips dust protection altogether, upping the liquid resistance ante to level 7, where you shouldn’t sweat over accidental falls in the typically destructive toilet bowl. As long as it’s less than a meter deep, you’re fine.

Needless to mention the 2015 G is much more than an adequate, semi-rugged device, offering plenty for its wickedly low sub-$200 tag: a 5-inch HD display, Marshmallow readiness, Snapdragon 410 punch, 13 MP photography skill, 2,470 mAh energy.

Best rugged Android smartphones money can buy – Updated for October 2014

Alright, manly men, hardcore outdoor enthusiasts, war seekers, iPhone haters and, last but not least, Android lovers. We’re back with a new set of rugged gear recommendations. We’ve just tackled the best, most durable tablets around, so this time, we’ll shine the spotlight on some of the toughest smartphones in the world.

Bruce Willis phone

Better put, we’ll shine it back, as, believe it or not, a lot has changed in the world of John McClane-friendly Android handhelds these past months. Specifically, four brand new contenders want to bid for the heavyweight title in robustness, pushing out of our top seven four aging heroes.

Farewell, Kyocera Torque, our silver medalist from back March, bye-bye, Hydro XTRM, CAT B15 and Runbo X5. We wish we got to know you better. But there’s no time for nostalgia. Without further ado, we’ll sink our teeth in the rookie quartet, then evaluating the wow factor and vigor of our veteran trio.

Army phone

For the record, we haven’t ordered the list this time around, as we didn’t feel comfortable directly pitting two-year-olds against gadgets literally just launched. Here’s the magnificent seven ergo, in no particular order:

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active – $150 with AT&T contracts, $660 outright

Okay, so the S5 Active isn’t exactly the sturdiest of the bunch. As Pocket Now put it in their review, it’s not “everything-proof”. But it is really your only flagship rugged option. Flagship through and through, that is, with not just a muscular exterior.

There’s brawn under the hood too, courtesy of a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2 GB RAM, and the 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display is extremely sharp, at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, aka Full HD resolution.

Galaxy S5 Active

Available exclusively on AT&T, the GS5 Active is perfect for Android power users who spend a fair amount of time outside, but don’t intend on starting a war anytime soon. Water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes, the camo green or titanium gray-coated device is also theoretically protected against vibration, solar radiation, dirt, humidity or thermal shock.

Kyocera Brigadier – $100 with Verizon pacts, $400 outright

Considerably cheaper than the S5 Active, both on and off-contract, the Brigadier is the exact opposite of Samsung’s top-shelf rugged effort in almost every way. It’s nowhere near as zippy, the spec sheet on the whole is mediocre, but it’s virtually indestructible.

Kyocera Brigadier

And it definitely looks the part, tipping the scales at 187 grams and measuring 13.2 mm thick. That’s 17 grams and over 4 mm more than the S5 Active, even though this is a 4.5 incher.

But did we mention exactly how unbreakable the Brigadier is? Phandroid’s abuse compilation video, embedded below, speaks volumes to that. Spoiler alert: these torturing guys dunk the chunky phone in various liquid-containing objects, toilet bowl included, drop it… repeatedly, throw rocks on it, let a dog lick it (?!), knife it and try to blend it, and the 4.5 incher escapes without a single scratch.

But, but, but how does one kill it in a rise-of-the-machines scenario?

CAT S50 – $600 factory unlocked

Standard drop test? You’ll have to do better than that to harm a single hair on CAT S50’s head, as this Terminator candidate can bounce back after hard contacts with concrete from heights of up to 1.8 meters.

Almost exactly as fat as the Brigadier, and 2 grams lighter, the S50 does offer a bit of extra screen real estate. 4.7 inches in total, with 720p resolution. Also, a decent quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and, get this, 2 GB RAM.


On the not so bright side of things, the rubberized corner-sporting device is bizarrely rated on-par with the S5 Active for water and dust resistance. IP67 certification is clearly not enough to justify the extravagant price tag, so it’s perhaps wiser to hold off for discounts. They’re definitely coming.

Kyocera Torque XT – $50 with Sprint service agreements

Well, well, well, what do we have here? A slightly tweaked version of the OG Kyocera Torque, available, like its predecessor, squarely on Sprint. Just as robust and unflinching in the face of danger as the original, the Torque XT offers 20 GB internal storage space (say what?), and improved battery life.

Also, pre-installed Android 4.4 KitKat software goodies. And sure, it’s disappointing to see it pack dual-core processing power and tout a sub-par 4-inch WVGA panel, but that’s perhaps for the best.


If Kyocera were to increase screen resolution and size, they’d need to adapt with a different design and possibly mess the perfect indestructibility of the MIL-STD-810G-compliant Torque. There’s also the question of unrivaled pricing.

And if you want to save an extra buck or two, the OG Torque can be had at a penny with contracts, and $107 outright.

Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro – $1 with AT&T pacts; $200 unlocked

The first of our three veterans still standing is a classic. It almost needs no introduction, and right now it’s mighty affordable. For crying out loud, it’s dropped a whopping $250 outright in six months. Remember, the Rugby Pro continues to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (damn it, Sammy), and handle anything you throw at it, from dust to rain to solar radiation to thermal shock.

Galaxy Rugby Pro

NEC Terrain – $85 unlocked

This retro Alpha male wasn’t treated with the same discounts as the Rugby Pro, chiefly because it was dirt-cheap right off the bat. And it’s dirt-cheap these days too, plus it’s the only rugged smartphone aimed at elders.

NEC Terrain

Or just text messaging nuts who can’t wrap their heads around touchscreens and on-screen keyboards. IP67 certified for short, shallow water immersions, the Terrain of course adheres to military standards, and is thus usable on any sort of terrain, wink, wink.

Casio G’Zone Commando 4G LTE – $300, no contracts needed

The key selling point of Verizon’s latest G’Zone Commando? It’s in the name of the gizmo. 4G LTE connectivity, which is a pretty big deal at $300. Of course, the technically discontinued 4 incher cuts a number of corners in various areas, such as screen resolution (800 x 480), processing power (dual-core 1.5 GHz), or battery capacity (1,800 mAh).

Casio GZone Commando 4G LTE

Not camera performance, though, as an 8 megapixel sensor is fairly neat for this price range, and certainly not rugged features. You have water resistance, a shock and drop shield, incredible opposition to extreme temperatures, the whole nine yards.

That’s a wrap, gentlemen and… gentlemen, and now it’s time to take your pick. Will you go for affordability, power and good looks or maybe a retro feel in your hands? Let us know in the comments section below, and feel free to add any other rugged contenders we may have forgotten to mention. Let’s see some teamwork, mmkay?