How to Stop Your Rugged Smartphone Screen From Breaking

There’s a lot you can do to stop your device from being damaged in its daily use, especially when it comes to things like your rugged smartphone screen.

We are truly passionate about providing the right rugged mobile hardware when it comes to business users. If you take a look at our guide to ruggedness you’ll learn that it’s not just about being waterproof and drop proof. There’s an awful lot that you, as the user, can do to stop your device from being damaged in its day to day use. This is especially good advice when it comes to things like your prized rugged smartphone screen!

We sometimes forget that all rugged devices are still precision electronic devices that are packed with technology that will go wrong if not cared for. The screen is one of the biggest items on a mobile device where we see the most issues occurring. The bad news is that screens are still made from glass or plastics that will scratch and break if mistreated. The good news is we’ve got some proven experience when it comes to helping you and your users to stop screen issues in their tracks!

Here are our top tips to help you stop cracking or scratching your rugged smartphone screen.

Screen Protector

A screen protector will save your business so much money! Most of the screen damage our repair centre sees are from scratches and everyday use of the screen. Many rugged devices now have plastic dual layer screens to protect the LCD from damage in the event of a drop. But this means they’re vulnerable to scratching. All our Raptor devices are supplied pre-fit with a screen protector but if it gets worn or damaged, replace it.  It’ll be the best £5 you ever spend!

Stylus misusage

If your device still has a resistive touch screen, then it can be used by anything that can apply pressure. Ballpoint pens, bits of wood, screws, nails and anything else like that will work. However, they’ll screw your rugged smartphone screen up pretty quickly. So make sure you always carry a spare stylus or just use your finger.


Whilst using your device with gloves is a benefit of rugged devices, be careful that your gloves aren’t dirty. Gloves that are gritty, laden with abrasive powders, such as cement or road dust, can be a real hazard to your screen over time. If you use gloves, then use a screen protector that can be replaced when it’s worn out.

Use a holster

Raptor E5 holster
Many screen cracks come from drops that occur when the user is not using the device. We see drops from pockets when getting out of vans, devices sliding off the top of forklifts and even devices dropping from decks of boats into the sea. All these could have been avoided with a £20 belt holster to keep the device safe when not in use.

Use a cradle

Likewise, secure your device when in use if that’s possible. Van drivers who leave their devices on the floor or on their dashboard could have avoided screen cracks if they only had a vehicle cradle to securely hold it when in use.  

Raptor R5 Car Holder

We sell Raptor R5 cradles for your vehicle. 

Tether your device

A device tether is something that stops you from dropping your device a long way.  We sell these to people up ladders, on platforms, on boats or anywhere where the user can drop their device and lose it forever. A tether will stop your device from being dropped, making it almost impossible to crack your screen.

Beware the toolbox

We see a lot of screen issues from engineers throwing their mobile device into their toolbox or bag that is full of tools. Close the lid and it’s easy for a screwdriver or wrench to apply enough pressure to the screen to scratch or crack it.  If you use a toolbox, then find a proper place for the device or put it in a holster or case first.

Use education

This isn’t a cop-out, but more about getting users to understand the device they’re using and to educate them to use it responsibly. We see too many companies who think they can throw it up in the air 30M or not have to look after it at all just because a device is labelled as rugged. All too often this just leads to user screen cracks that are clearly user abused scenario’s and are not covered.  A little education can go a long, long way to helping you minimise all damage, let alone screen issues.

Don’t rely on Gorilla glass

Gorilla glass isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the minds of most users, even though it does work to reduce scratches. Firstly, we’re yet to see any indication that it protects against cracks at all. In our own testing, we have never found that any gorilla glass screen has resisted drops at all. Secondly, whilst it does help with lighter scratches, bigger gouges into the screen aren’t so well protected, like keys in a pocket or a tool being wedged against it.  We’ve found that a good screen protector coupled with the advice above is way better than relying on a hardened glass.

Fortunately, we provide support for all Raptors. If you need a solution to protect your rugged smartphone screen, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

Posted by Raptor Paula

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