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Samsung Rugby III review

4.2/10 AVG.

Informr score
The Samsung Rugby III currently has an Informr score of 4.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 6 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Good speakerphone
  • Long battery life

What's bad

  • Poor call quality
  • Questionable durability (unable to survive independent water test)

The Samsung Rugby 111 is a flip phone with an internal and external display, alpha-numeric keypad with large keys, and a battery rated for up to 9 hours of talk time. It features push-to- talk for walkie-talkie-esque capabilities, a speakerphone, microSD and a 3.5mm jack. The external display shows date, day, time, battery remaining indicator, etc., and rests just below a large speakerphone grille.

As the name implies, the Rugby 111 is designed to be durable. Built to military specs, Sony claims it can withstand dust, rain, shock, vibration, humidity and can be submerged underwater for up to 30 minutes.

However, some reviewers found the phone unable to deliver on some of its promised durability. Phonearena subjected the phone to two inches of water for 30 minutes. “After 30 minutes we retrieved it to find the device powered off and unwilling to power back on.”

Most reviewers found the call quality to be subpar. CNET said it was “sadly, one of the worst audio experiences I've had in a long time, and on a simple cell phone like this, that's inexcusable.” Phonescoop said the quality “is abysmal. Every conversation I had sounded like I was talking through a wall.”

There’s a basic WAP browser onboard and a 3 megapixel camera that can shoot 320 x 340 video through a variety of modes. The phone also lets you set up restrictions on calls, messaging and access to the address book. “This is handy for businesses looking to deploy fleet phones, since they can ensure that the phones be used only for business purposes,” Phonearena said.

Most reviewers were underwhelmed by this phone. CNET summed up by saying, “although I like the phone's aesthetics, based on poor call quality in my tests, I can't recommend buying the Rugby 3 for personal or company use.”

Operating system
468 MHz
Screen Size
3+ MP

What the Critics Are Saying...


The Samsung Rugby 3 has a terrifically responsive dial pad and enhanced push-to-talk support.

- Jessica Dolcourt, Cnet
Phone Scoop

The Rugby III is a jack of all trades, but master of none. If you're looking for a basic handset that can withstand some abuse, it manages to accomplish that with ease. Nearly every other feature, however, earns a "B" at best.The biggest detractor is call quality. It's simply not good enough, not fo...

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop

The Samsung Rugby III isn’t a sleek phone, nor is it a smart phone. It is intended to be a big, rugged device that can withstand rough environments. While it performed as expected as a phone, it unfortunately was not able to meet the advertised certifications. The only reason you buy a phone l...

- Brian K., PhoneArena

Prices (Where to Buy)

Common Questions

Samsung released the Rugby III on December 14, 2012.

We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Rugby III user manual here.

Samsung backs up the Rugby III with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.

If your Rugby III has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.


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Quick view

Screen Size

The Samsung Rugby III's screen size is 2.4 inches with x pixels resolution.

468 MHz

There is a STE PNX6809L 468 MHz processor (CPU).


The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

3+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 3+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

256 MB

Internal memory is 256 MB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1300 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 20 days standby time.

Rugby III Specs

Release date December 14, 2012
Regions available USA
Mobile / Cellular Data
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
850/1900 MHz
SIM card size
Dual SIM No
Operating System No
Processor STE PNX6809L 468 MHz
Internal Storage 256 MB
RAM 128 MB
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.47 W/kg
Body: 0.56 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1300 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) No
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 20 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Flip
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 10.4 x 5.3 x 2.1 cm (4.1 x 2.1 x 0.8 in)
Weight 132 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design Yes
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 262k
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 167 pixels
Size 2.4 inches
Secondary Display LCD (STN), 128 x 128 pixels, 1.3 inches, 65k
Sensors Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Standard / 12-key Numeric
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard Yes
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity 1000
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, MMS
Push-to-talk (PTT) Yes
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 2.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, BPP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility No
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Main Camera
3+ megapixels
2x digital
Additional Rear Camera Info
Effects, Frames, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Smile detection, White balance, Mosaic, Metering Exposure
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
15 fps
Front Camera
Additional Front Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR, WMA, M4A
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Streaming Video No
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable ()
Included Software / Apps -
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung SGH-A997, Samsung Rugby 3

Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Rugby III Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Rugby III
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