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First Energizer Android Phone Should Keep Going and Going

The first Energizer Android phone packs one of the highest capacity batteries yet. But a European-based company is hoping that you'll also associate the brand with extreme durability.

The Energizer Hardcase E550LTE will be one of the toughest phones yet. Credit: Avenir Telecom

(Image credit: The Energizer Hardcase E550LTE will be one of the toughest phones yet. Credit: Avenir Telecom )

Avenir Telecom plans to sell phones under the Energizer Hardcase label worldwide. The 5.5-inch Energizer E550LTE should hit the U.S. this summer, priced around $400 to $450.

If there's any question what the chief selling point of this Energizer phone is, it was immediately answered as I watched a representative slam the phone — repeatedly — against an unforgiving table during a Mobile World Congress product showcase this week. The E550LTE, featuring both a Gorilla Glass 3 screen and an Asahi tempered-glass screen protector, survived the slams no worse for the wear.

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The battery may be the most impressive thing about the E550LTE, fitting given the Energizer branding. It's a 4,000 mAh battery that also supports quick charging, suggesting that the E550LTE should be as long-lasting as it is durable.

The E550LTE sports an IP68 certification for drops, dust and water, as you would expect for a phone that touts its ability to survive whatever you throw at it. More surprising is how thin the Energizer phone is — about 0.4 inches. It's a relatively slender design for a phone this durable.

The internal specs in this Android Nougat-powered phone won't exactly put the pressure on flagship models. The 5.5-inch E550LTE offers a full HD display and a midrange MediaTek 6755 processor. The Energizer phone doesn't skimp on the RAM — you get 4GB — and it offers 64GB of storage. The 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-MP front shooter are pretty standard for a phone these days.

In addition to the 5.5-inch version of the Energizer phone, a 5.2-inch model with leaner specs is also due out this summer. It should cost around $300, a company rep told me.

Rugged phones generally require a tradeoff, forcing you to accept a fairly bulky design in the name of extra protection. The comparatively svelte look of the Energizer E550LTE could offer some appeal to people who want a phone that can withstand punishment without looking like it's more at home on a construction site than in your pocket.

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.