Blackview BV6600 Pro review: The best budget rugged smartphone with thermal camera

I find thermal cameras endlessly useful. I can use them for diverse applications, such as finding electrical faults to finding where the heat escapes from my home.

And I’m also a huge fan of rugged smartphones. Sure, my daily driver is an iPhone , but there’s something very practical about having a smartphone that I can drop into water or mud, stamp on it a few times for good luck, and run it under a tap at the end of the day to clean it.

A rugged smartphone is perfect for a more unpredictable lifestyle.

And if you can combine a thermal camera with a rugged Android smartphone, then you have my attention.

Enter the Blackview BV6600 Pro.

Like

  • Rugged
  • Excellent built-in FLIR thermal camera
  • Competitive price
  • Android 11
  • Pre-applied screen protector

Don’t Like

  • Bulky
  • Low-resolution display (compared to modern smartphones)
  • User interface can feel a little laggy sometimes

I’ve covered a number of Blackview smartphones over the years, and I’ve found them to offer a good balance of performance, features, and durability, and the BV6600 Pro is no exception.

Blackview BV6600 Pro tech specs:

img-4384.jpgimg-4384.jpg

  • 5.7-inch IPS 1440×720 display
  • MTK6765V/CA Helio P35 octa-core 2.3GHz CPU
  • 8580mAh high capacity Li-ion polymer battery (430 hours 4G/Wi-Fi standby)
  • Reverse charging capable
  • Android 11
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Dual 16MP and 5MP rear camera
  • 80 x 60 active pixels read-mount FLIR Lepton thermal camera
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Global LTE bands
  • USB-C connector
  • Durability ratings: IP68 & IP69K & MIL-STD-810G

The BV6600 Pro retails for around the $300 mark (depending on where you buy it from), and for that price, you’re getting a really good handset. The FLIR thermal camera alone is worth that money for engineers or technicians who need that capability. Having that packaged into a robust, ruggedized smartphone running Android 11 is a bunch of cherries on top.

Also: Best rugged phone: Your adventure (phone) awaits

But let’s come back to that thermal camera for a moment. The FLIR Lepton camera that Blackview builds into its smartphones is an amazing bit of kit. You can do all sorts of things with it.

For example, you can point it at cats:

Thermal image of a catThermal image of a cat

Thermal image of a cat

See how hot electronics get:

And see through walls:

It’s a superb tool.

Is the BV6600 Pro rugged?

In a word, yes.

I’ve soaked it, thrown it, dumped it in mud and water, skidded it across rocks and sand, and the handset keeps ongoing. The frame is great at resisting impacts, and the pre-applied screen protector offers additional protection for the display against scuffs.

Blackview BV6600 Pro

I’d say Blackview has aimed the BV6600 Pro at outdoor engineers and technicians who need a smartphone that can handle abuse and who would find having a built-in thermal camera useful. I certainly use it regularly for a wide range of applications.

If you’re someone who just wants a day-to-day Android smartphone and don’t care for the ruggedness and thermal camera, then you might want to check out our expert picks of other Android phones.

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