We found the cheapest rugged smartphone that’s actually usable

Santin P68 - $87.47 at AliExpress

Santin P68 - $87.47 at AliExpress
The Santin P68 is a basic Android-powered device, most notable because of its absurdly low price. An eight-core processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage make it good enough device to work without fuss. 

Doogee S40 Pro - $199.99 at AliExpress

Doogee S40 Pro - $199.99 at AliExpress
Want something slightly better? The Doogee S40 Pro costs a bit more, but comes with a newer version of Android, much bigger battery, faster processor, Bluetooth 5.0, one additional camera sensor and a fingerprint reader.

We’ve seen dozens of rugged smartphones over the years, from plenty of companies - Blackview, Ulefone, Doogee, Homtom, Cat, Zebra, AGM and Vernee to name a few. 

Santin, however, is new to us entirely and its devices are currently only available from Chinese retailer AliExpress.

This Chinese mobile brand currently delivers the cheapest usable rugged smartphone on the market. It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage, which in our view is the minimum customers should look for to ensure a smooth experience on Android.

The Santin P68 also has an 8-core processor, small 5.5-inch HD+ display, two cameras, the ability to house two SIM cards, a 4,000mAh battery and (surprise, surprise) a Type-C connector.

We liked the phone's utilitarian design and the fact it runs on what looks like a stock version of Android 9.0.

We couldn’t find any reviews of the handset online, so buyers beware. However, if you’re looking for a phone that can withstand a few knocks and can be used in adverse weather conditions, the P68 seems to fit the bill.

Bear in mind

  • If this product comes from mainland China, it will take at least a month to arrive in the UK or US. You may be levied an additional tax, either directly or through the courier.
  • If you've managed to get hold of a cheaper product with equivalent specifications, in stock and brand new, let us know and we'll tip our hat to you.
Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.