sanitation workers at beach cleanup using cellphone

Sanitation workers enter potentially dangerous work environments to ensure that other people can live and work in a safe space. For that reason, they need high-performing smartphones that can handle the demands of the job, boosting safety and productivity. With so many options on the smartphone market, picking the ideal choice that ticks all the boxes might be challenging.

We’ve curated a list of the top 10 smartphones for sanitation workers that will help them fulfill their duties.

Top 10 Smartphones for Sanitation Workers

CAT S62 Pro

Cat S62 Pro black rugged smartphone

A rugged high-tech device, the CAT S62 Pro boasts an impressive design that is invaluable for sanitation workers. Made from Cornell Gorilla Glass 6, this smartphone is incredibly durable and can withstand sudden drops and impact. The innovative FLIR thermal imaging technology turns the device into a multipurpose tool perfect for dealing with crises. Additionally, the CAT S62 Pro has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it is resistant to water, vibrations, and dust. Another user-friendly feature is the Push-To-Talk button that better enhances coworker communication and improves response time when calling for support or backup.


  • Thermal imaging
  • Resistant to water, drops, dust, and vibrations
  • Push-to-Talk button


  • Pricier option
  • Doesn’t support wireless charging

Ranking: 5/5

The CAT S62 Pro is a perfect fit for sanitation workers. It’s incredibly resistant, and even though it doesn’t support wireless charging, its powerful battery enables it to operate for up to two days.

Sonim XP5s

Sonim xp5 front and back cell phone

The Sonim XP5s features a minimalistic design that allows the rugged device to operate in harsh environments. A thick rubber layer covers the phone’s body and acts as a durable shock absorber that prolongs the device’s service life. The phone also features an IP-68 certification, so it won’t sustain any damage when submerged underwater. However, one drawback is that it’s less resistant to saltwater.

This smartphone might help sanitation workers streamline their communication since it’s equipped with larger glove-friendly buttons. With a battery life of up to 19 hours, the device is a reliable companion that provides necessary support during long workdays.


  • Rubber layer for shock absorption
  • Waterproof
  • Glove-friendly
  • Long battery life
  • Affordable option


  • Not resistant to saltwater
  • Smaller display

Ranking: 4.8/5

The Sonim XP5s is easy to use, even with gloved hands. However, more durable options on the market offer better resistance to the elements.

CAT S22 Flip

CAT S22 Flip Information open and closed

Compact and built for outdoor use, the CAT S22 Flip is a simple but durable solution for sanitation workers. The Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display won’t shatter in harsh working conditions, and the communication device has certifications that guarantee dust and water resistance.

The 2000mAh battery ensures reliable service during the entire day. As sanitation workers often have long hours full of driving and handling heavy machinery, the high-tech audio speakers minimize miscommunication in noisy environments.


  • Extremely durable
  • Premium audio speakers
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Shatter-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display
  • Affordable


  • Smaller display

Ranking: 4.7/5

The CAT 22 Flip is dust and water-resistant and features a rugged build that will keep the device damage-free. Although it’s a balanced blend of ruggedness and affordability, it might not be the most user-friendly option for sanitation workers due to the flip design.

Sonim RS60

Sonim RS60 Mobile Computer Scanner Energy Electronics Rugged Tablet

The Sonim RS60 is a smart device with a battery that provides a full day of constant use without charging. The 6-inch sunlight-readable display caters to workers in challenging environments. What’s more, the heavy-duty build provides users with a firm grip on this rugged mobile computer, ensuring the body won’t slip from gloved hands. The Sonim RS60 comes with loud audio speakers for improved communication in noisy outdoor settings.


  • Lasting multi-shift battery
  • Large sunlight-readable display
  • Glove-friendly
  • Drop-proof and vibration-resistant
  • Loud audio speakers


  • Pricier option
  • Bulky

Ranking: 4.9/5

A device with stellar resistance to the elements, the Sonim RS60 is a larger model that won’t feel awkward in your hands.

Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2

duraforce pro 2 black forward facing

Engineered using leading mobile industry practices, the Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2 boasts military-grade protection, making the sturdy device highly resistant to the challenges of the outdoors. The rugged body is built to last and remains damage-free even when used in harsh conditions.

Sanitation workers need a smartphone that can operate seamlessly in noisy environments, and the Kyocera DuraForce Pro 3 certainly rises to the occasion. The device minimizes background noise and enhances communication quality with its top-of-the-line noise-cancellation features.

The rugged device also has a 13 MP main camera that captures wide-angle 4K resolution videos, making it a handy asset for documentation purposes. The front camera snaps 5 MP shots, offering clearer images than traditional smartphone solutions.


  • Exceptional noise-cancellation system
  • High-resolution camera
  • Sturdy and durable


  • Bulky

Ranking: 4.5/5

 The Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2 is a device with a lot to offer, but it might be too heavy for sanitation workers who need a lightweight phone they can fish out of their pockets.

Motorola Moto X Pro

Motorola Moto X Pro black back and front

This thin and lightweight Android smartphone offers all the necessary mobile computer features. The Motorola Moto X Pro boasts a large high-resolution display that remains scratch-free thanks to the protective nano-coating. While this layer shields the responsive display from the occasional drop, it doesn’t make the device water-resistant. However, the powerful processor can run several complex applications simultaneously without delay or difficulty. Since there are no external storage expansion options, users must rely on the built-in 32GB storage space. The two microphones make the smartphone an effective noise-cancellation tool, while the wireless charging option helps the 3200mAh battery function seamlessly all day. Furthermore, the device supports hands-free calling, ensuring a secure line of communication.


  • Protective nano-coating
  • Large and responsive Gorilla Glass 3 display
  • Efficient noise cancellation
  • Supports hands-free calling
  • Long-lasting battery


  • Not particularly durable
  • No external storage support

Ranking: 4.3/5

While this smartphone is a powerful communication tool, more durable options are available. Sanitation workers would have to pay close attention to the phone to avoid damaging it, lowering their efficiency.

Oukitel WP8 Pro

Oukitel WP8 Pro black with orange highlights front and back

Another device that may help sanitation workers perform their tasks is the Oukitel WP8 Pro. The MediaTek MT6762D Octa-Core processor enables the device to run multiple apps without freezing or switching off, making this rugged smartphone a reliable work companion. With its 5000mAh battery, the phone can go through an entire day of constant use without charging. Dust, water, and drop resistant, this smartphone is equipped with a built-in toolbox that houses SOS and Warning apps that are useful in unexpected circumstances.


  • Highly-resistant
  • Powerful processor
  • Impressive battery
  • Built-in toolbox


  • Relatively large device

One of the more powerful rugged phones on the market, this model would greatly help sanitation workers looking to improve their efficiency. Due to its size, however, it might take workers some time to get used to the device.

Ranking: 4.6/5

Sonim XP8

Sonim XP8 Rugged Phone front tilt

Although the Sonim XP8 is relatively heavy for a smartphone, much of the extra weight comes from the protective outer casing, making this rugged device virtually indestructible. The phone’s water resistance bolsters the protection levels. The Sonim XP8 will remain in good condition even after being submerged in up to one meter of water. Additionally, the three built-in microphones ensure high-quality calls and cancel out background noise interference. With its 4900mAh Li-ion battery, this Sonic product provides users with a seamless experience perfect for shiftwork. The SOS button is installed on the side of the device, allowing for easy access in emergencies.


  • Incredibly durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Noise cancellation system
  • Powerful and reliable battery
  • SOS key for emergencies


  • Relatively thick and heavy

Ranking: 4.6/5

The Sonim XP8 has been designed to withstand harsh abuse, but its size makes it difficult to use, especially when wearing gloves.

Sonim XP3

Sonim XP3 flip phone open and closed

The Sonim XP3 has an ultra-tough build that offers consistent performance in demanding work environments. The body is covered in flexible rubber that shields the rugged device from drops and scratches. It also features a Push-to-Talk button that is easily accessible and an Alarm key. The 4800mAh battery keeps the device running for three days, so sanitation workers can rely on this mobile powerhouse to meet all their needs.


  • Ultra-rugged design
  • Highly resistant
  • Push-to-Talk button and Alarm key
  • Outstanding battery life


  • Not pocket-friendly

Ranking: 4.6/5

Although this tough phone can survive harsh environments, it may not be the perfect fit for sanitation workers due to its larger design.


CAT S42 H+ Medical Phone side tilt

The CAT S42 H+ is a rugged device that will benefit workers in different industries. What’s more, its specifications make it an excellent option for sanitation workers. Resistant to dust and water, the smartphone will remain in perfect condition even when handled in extreme weather. Designed to survive drops to concrete from up to six feet, it features antimicrobial protection and will support workers in challenging settings with potentially hazardous materials. The device is compact and relatively light, making it a perfect fit for a uniform’s front or back pocket.

The S42 H+ can be washed in warm water, soap, and harsh chemicals, including bleach. It can be immersed in liquid at a depth of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes.

The 4200mAh battery will keep the phone powered for the entire workday, taking the hassle out of communication. This rugged smartphone tackles the outdoors with ease since the sunlight won’t degrade the screen quality.


  • Antimicrobial protection
  • High-quality display
  • Compact design
  • Powerful battery
  • Resistant to water, dust, and drops


  • Doesn’t support wireless charging

Ranking: 4.9/5

What makes the CAT S42 H+ stand out among its competitors is its antimicrobial protection. Sanitation workers are exposed to many harmful materials, and they need a device that ensures their safety.

What Is a Rugged Phone?

man using rugged smartphone dirty

Rugged phones are designed to outperform standard smartphones in harsh conditions. Although they’re primarily used by construction workers, law enforcement officers, first responders, and sanitation workers, they have become increasingly popular due to their unique features.

Rugged devices provide seamless service in outdoor conditions because they’re built from premium materials. The manufacturing process guarantees that the devices withstand extreme temperatures, dust, impact, and water damage. These conditions typically cause traditional smartphones to malfunction, but this is a non-issue with their rugged counterparts. The models are tested and receive an Ingress Protection (IP) rating that signals their resistance level. The display is usually made from Gorilla Glass that contains mineral particles that enhance hardness, preventing scratches and water damage.

Another important aspect of rugged phones is that they double as efficient work tools. These devices are equipped with features like thermal imaging, noise cancellation, and Push-to-Talk buttons that boost productivity and engender teamwork.

Why Do Sanitation Workers Need Rugged Phones?

sanitation worker using cell phone in crowded street

Sanitation workers handle potentially hazardous materials and operate dangerous machinery on a daily basis. The nature of their work means that standard smartphones aren’t powerful enough to provide sufficient support. However, rugged phones come with features that keep these essential workers safe and create a more productive environment.

Since sanitation workers often do a lot of heavy lifting, they need a compact, pocket-sized phone that’s easy to use even when their hands are occupied. Sophisticated models have hands-free calling support and allow workers to remain on top of their tasks. Additionally, the sanitation equipment produces loud noises that may prevent effective communication among coworkers. But specific rugged models feature built-in noise cancellation systems that mute background interference and optimize call quality.

Sanitation workers do their jobs diligently, regardless of the weather conditions. A phone that keeps up with its pace has to be resistant to dust, water, and impact. As accidents happen on most outdoor job sites, the device should also be encased in a rubber layer with shock absorption properties.

Five Best Mobile Apps for Sanitation Workers

hands spraying rugged smartphone clean

Here are the five best mobile apps to help sanitation workers make the most of their rugged smartphones.

Sanitation Lawyer

Compatible with Android and iOS devices, Sanitation Lawyer is an app dedicated to safeguarding the legal rights of sanitation workers. Although the workers are trained to operate specialized materials and hazardous waste, accidents happen, and navigating the legal process might be challenging. The app provides tips on dealing with Line of Duty (LOD) injuries so that the workers receive appropriate compensation.

IPC-Wash Skills Development

UNICEF developed this app to help people further their education concerning sanitation. It offers bite-size courses on disease prevention, hazardous materials, hygiene, and more. Although used by healthcare educators as a training tool for new employees, the app can help sanitation workers expand their knowledge and enhance work performance. It’s available on the Google Play Store.


An app that lets essential workers streamline their workflow, Blink helps sanitation workers to monitor and log their activities in one virtual space. It also features document storage, reducing administrative work. Blink can be used as a messaging program, improving communication and encouraging quick and efficient decision-making.

A good smartphone to try Blink on is the Cat S62 Pro, which features Enterprise Ready options. The S62 can connect multiple devices in one business, keeping any sanitation company fully connected at all times.


Sanitation workers often experience high levels of stress – an issue faced by most essential workers. To ensure they have the focus and energy required to complete their tasks, they need an effective way to unwind. Headspace is an Android and iOS app that teaches users the principles of meditation and mindfulness. It’s aimed at lowering anxiety levels so that people are well-rested and content. It might give sanitation workers peace of mind and a simple way of recharging after a long workday.

office worker cleaning smartphone, gloves on


LumApps is a versatile digital workspace that caters to essential workers from different industries. Workers receive personalized news based on their team or geographical location, keeping them up to date with the latest job developments. The app can be used as a virtual scheduling board, so sanitation workers will be notified of the most urgent tasks well ahead of time.

How to Get a Bulk Discount on Rugged Phones?

Contact Energy Electronics LLC to receive a bulk discount on rugged phones. We offer a wide array of high-performing rugged devices that can survive extreme conditions and challenging environments.

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