For those of us who can’t afford a personal assistant, the smartphone has evolved as the next best thing. Just like a trusted righthand man, your phone wakes you up, reminds you where you need to go, and helps get you in touch with all the right people (or avoid those you don’t want to talk to).
But your smartphone relationship can be a delicate thing—a single spill could end it, and along with it, your social life (for a few days, anyway). That’s why we’ve been so amped for the newest trend in mobile technology: activity-proof phones. These hardy devices can survive a coffee deluge or a drop on the asphalt, yet don’t look like they’re designed to go to war. In fact, the latest iterations of these toughened-up phones are so slick, you’ll actually want to leave yours on the bar, rather than cram it in your pocket. Just don’t be surprised if you almost want some cute girl to drop her beer so you can see how well the phone works (and of course, so you can buy her another).
Sony Xperia Z
This smartphone from Sony is set to make a major splash. Loaded with an ultra-fast Qualcomm SnapDragon S4 quad-core processor, a 13-megapixel camera, and a strong-as-metal frame, the Xperia Z can take whatever you throw at it and then some. The screen, which was crafted with input from the engineers who make Sony’s TVs, features an anti-shatter film to ensure that a drop doesn’t spell doom for your device. sonymobile.com
Kyocera Hydro Edge
The Hydro Edge is IP57 (Ingress Protection) certified, comes with Jelly Bean 4.1, and packs a 5-megapixel camera for crisp images of whatever you’re looking to capture, no matter how intense the conditions. As long as you don’t bury it in the sand or let it sink to the bottom of the sea, it’s going to work just fine. It also features “Smart Sonic Receiver Technology” that will allow you to hear conversations more clearly in noisy environments, so if your buddies don’t believe the pictures, you can always call them. boostmobile.com
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
Adding even more to the already impressive Galaxy S line, the Active allows you to take pictures underwater at a depth of up to one meter, thanks to Aqua mode. It also features the same host of innovations that come with the standard S4, so you’re not giving up an ounce of productivity when switching to the tougher option. samsung.com