Looking for a smartphone that can take a beating but won’t break the bank? The Samsung Rugby Smart might be right up your alley. The phone gets its moniker from a chassis that can handle dust, water and extreme temperatures, in addition to being a pretty respectable smartphone in and of itself. The 3.7-inch phone gets a standard Samsung Super AMOLED display, making it roughly the equal of the original Galaxy S line. (By the way, no Galaxy in the name? Freaky.) the Rugby goes on sale at AT&T store starting on March 4th, with a two-year contract price of $99.99.

Under all that impact-resistant plastic and rubber is an indeterminate processor and memory running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and TouchWiz. The 3.7-inch screen is 800×480, just about perfect for the size, and 4GB of user-accessible storage can be augmented with a MicroSD card (the slot is empty). a 5MP rear camera with 720p video recording is twinned to a 1.3MP front-facing cam. If the locking tab on the back of the phone is any indication, the back cover can be removed to swap out the 1650mAh battery. Wireless speed is limited to “4G” HSPA+.

The sturdy design can me submerged in up to a meter of water for thirty minutes without damaging the internals, so a quick dip in the kitchen sink or (ahem) other small bodies of water should present no challenges. Note the raised, physical navigation buttons – a rare sight, and certainly included to accommodate the tough-as-nails design. All in all the Rugby Smart looks like a surprisingly small and good-looking phone for being so tough, and you’d be hard pressed to find something similar in the $100 range – the older Casio G’zOne Commando doesn’t look nearly as good, in addition to being stuck on Froyo. We’ll see if we can get our hands on a review unit.

You can pick up the Samsung Rugby Smart starting next Sunday, March 4th.



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