I like my iPhone. I like it a lot. But it spends all its time living in a ruggedized case because it really wouldn't put up with the way that I treat things for that long before it would need delicate - and no doubt expensive - repairs carried out it back at the Apple mothership.
For Android users out there, there are more durable options. One such option is the Blackview BV9000 Pro.
Right out of the box I liked the BV9000 Pro. Encased in hard rubber and solid metal construction, the BV9000 Pro feels robust and tough. The display comes with a screen protector already fitted (a nice touch), and there's a spare in case that one gets too tatty.
All the ports - power and the combination dual-SIM and microSD slot - are protected by thick, well-sealing rubber plugs, and the buttons are hardy and seem to do a good job of resisting water and dirt.
The BV9000 Pro is kitted out with everything you'd expect from an Android smartphone in the $300 price range, including a fingerprint reader, NFC, USB-C port, and gyroscope/compass.
One feature not present is wireless charging.
The BV9000 Pro runs a customized version of Android 7.1, but Blackview says that the Android 8.0 Oreo update is coming.
Display: 5.7-inch Full HD+ 2160x1080 18:9 display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Processor: Octa-core 2.6GHz Mediatek MT6757CD CPU with 900MHz Mali-880 GPU
Rear cameras : 13MP + 5MP
Front camera : 8MP
Battery: 4180mAh with 12V/2A Quick Charge
Protection: IP68 rated for dust- and water-proofing
Slots: Single slot with support for dual-SIM and microSD card support
In use the BV9000 Pro feels fast and responsive. I didn't benchmark it, but at no point did performance feel like an issue.
The BV9000 Pro feels like a normal mid-priced Android smartphone.
But what about durability?
Blackview BV9000 Pro (in pictures)
Over the past few weeks I've thrown a lot at the BV9000 Pro (and thrown it at a lot of things). Dirt, dust, water, and rocks don't seem to bother this handset, and I've dropped it from a variety of heights - up to a couple of meters - onto an assortment of hard surfaces and the BV9000 Pro remains both undamaged and in perfect working condition.
The screen protector looks a bit gnarly now after prolonged durability testing, but the screen underneath is still in pristine condition.
The BV9000 Pro is one tough handset.
So, is the Blackview BV9000 Pro for you?
Well, it's a solid, well-built, fully-featured handset that's got the benefits of built-in durability and dust/water-proofing. Could you take a regular Android smartphone and pop it into a hardened case? Sure you could, but the end result of relying on a case - no matter how well made and how well fitting it is - never feels that great to me.
It's a compromise.
The BV9000 Pro doesn't feel like a compromise. You get a smartphone that both performs well and is durable in a single package.