You can’t blame us for having a bit of a soft spot for rugged devices. There’s something comforting about knowing you can drop or drown your phone and it wont be any worse for wear. That’s the reason we keep coming back to the Rugby series. Its specs dont impress and its certainly not a looker, but its sturdy masculine design kinda gets our blood pumping. So, we just had to stop by Samsung’s table at tonight’s AT&T event and spend some time with the Galaxy Rugby Pro, an updated version of the Rugby Smart we reviewed earlier this year. The basic design is the same — it’s a chunky slab of thick, ribbed, soft-touch plastic and rubber, with a sizable chrome screw holding the backplate in place. The textured rubber buttons up front have been reduced from four to three, in keeping with the updated user experience of Ice Cream Sandwich. Oh, did we mention it ditches Gingerbread for some delicious Android 4.0.4 goodness — a most welcome upgrade from the Smart. It’s not exactly smooth sailing on the 1.5GHz CPU, but the lag never got unbearable in our brief hands on time.
Perhaps the biggest knock against the device though, is the rather lackluster 4-inch WVGA screen. It’s a Super AMOLED panel, which means top-notch contrast, but colors were definitely off and a little washed out looking. It does however mean it should be perfectly viewable in direct sunlight — a major concern for devices such as this. The paltry 768GB of RAM and 8GB of storage aren’t really anything to write home about, but at least there’s a microSD slot under the battery. Along the left edge of the device is the volume rocker and a customizable key that can be used to turn on the torch or launch the camera or any number of other tasks, while the right side is home to the power / lock button. The micro-USB port is on the bottom under a tiny plastic door while the headphone jack is similarly protected at the top of the device. We can’t say we’re expecting much from the 5MP camera, but the extremely dark conditions at the AT&T event ensured that we couldn’t get anything usable out of it. For more check out the video after the break.
Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro