While many users have obsessed over thinner bezels and foldable screens, there’s a niche of consumers who require more than just a pretty device. The Fossibot F101 Pro is a rugged smartphone that boasts not only brawn but also brains. This type of smartphone is engineered to withstand the harshest conditions, from extreme temperatures to dust-filled landscapes. While its robust exterior might catch your eye, it’s the surprises within that truly captivate. From impressive design to a unique secondary display nestled within the rear camera bump.

In this in-depth review, we embark on a journey to explore the F101 Pro, delving into its design, performance, camera capabilities, and much more. By the time we conclude, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of whether this rugged contender truly shines in its segment, offering a blend of rugged resilience and modern smartphones. So, join us as we unbox, examine its robust construction, put its display and camera to the test, assess its performance under demanding conditions, investigate its battery life that defies expectations, and ultimately weigh its price against the value it offers.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

Fossibot F101 Pro Features

  • Rugged Body & Premium Design
  • Latest Android 13
  • 5.45″ HD+ Display
    • 1.32″ Rear Screen
  • 24MP Main Camera
  • 15GB RAM (8GB+7GB Extended) & 128GB ROM
  • MTK Helio P60 Octa-Core SoC
  • 10600mAh Battery & 18W Fast Charge
  • IP68 And IP69K, MIL-STD-810G
  • NFC, Fingerprint, Dual 4G Network
Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

Unboxing and First Impressions:

Before we dive into the intricacies of the F101 Pro, let’s begin with the unboxing experience. The unboxing ritual is often a moment of anticipation and excitement, and the F101 Pro delivers on this front. Within the vivid orange box, you’ll discover an array of essential components that set the stage for the F101 Pro experience:

Upon opening the box, we’re greeted by the star of the show: the FossiBot F101 Pro itself. The device is thoughtfully placed on top, showcasing its robust build and design. Underneath the smartphone, we find a collection of essential accessories including a user manual providing essential guidance and warranty information, also includes a SIM ejector tool. To keep you powered up, you’ll discover an 18W Type-C charger and a high-quality USB-C charging cable. With the unboxing ceremony complete, our attention turns to the star of the show: the FossiBot F101 Pro.

Design and Build Quality

The Fossibot F101 Pro is a name that stands out in the market of rugged smartphones. But it’s not just about being tough; it’s also about making a statement with its design and build quality. At first glance, the F101 Pro may surprise you. Unlike many rugged phones that often prioritize function over form, this Fossibot offering strikes a harmonious balance between ruggedness and elegance. In front of the device, you have a full screen of 5.45 inches, The bezels around the screen are very prominent.

Back Side

What’s noteworthy is the strategic use of materials. This rugged phone is generally encased in heavy-duty rubber or plastic. The design is peppered with details that catch the eye. Bold lines and accents run across the device, accentuating its appeal. The FossiBot F101 Pro is available in three versions: black and red with a regular back surface, and black with an imitation leather finish. The choice of design provides users with options to suit their personal preferences.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

One of its standout design features is the rear display panel—a concept previously seen in the Cubot KingKong Star. Nestled within the camera bump, This 1.32-inch customizable IPS LCD screen adds an element of versatility to the phone’s design. Users can access notifications, control music playback, and even check the battery status without unlocking the phone. It’s a feature that not only adds utility but also uniqueness to the phone’s design. The camera block on the rear of the device is divided into two halves, housing three camera modules and an LED flash. Notably, the camera bump is designed to be relatively flush with the back of the phone, preventing it from protruding excessively. This design choice not only contributes to the phone’s sleek appearance but also minimizes the risk of damage to the camera lenses.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display


The first line of defense in the Fossibot F101 Pro’s rugged design is its metal frame. Unlike the conventional plastic frames seen in most smartphones, Fossibot opted for a metal frame that not only adds to the device’s durability but also enhances its aesthetics. Complementing this frame are reinforced corners that act as shock absorbers. This design choice helps protect the device from accidental drops and impacts, making it a reliable companion in the toughest of situations. While ruggedness is a fundamental aspect of the F101 Pro design, it doesn’t compromise on user comfort and convenience. At 338 grams, it’s not lightweight, but the design ensures that the weight is evenly distributed, making it comfortable to hold and use even for extended periods.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

Buttons Placement and Ergonomics

The button placement and overall ergonomics have been carefully considered to ensure a seamless user experience. On the right side, you’ll find the power button doubles as a fingerprint sensor for secure and quick unlocking, and volume rockers. The left side of the device houses the hybrid tray which can accommodate either two SIM cards or a single SIM card and a memory card. All buttons are made of durable, which gives them more solidity. In terms of ports, it’s equipped with a USB Type-C port and has dust plugs for its ports, which shows its dustproof capability.

Durability – Fossibot F101 Pro

Rugged smartphones, one of the first things that comes to mind is durability. These robust devices are built to withstand the harshest conditions and unexpected mishaps. The Fossibot F101 Pro is not just tough on the outside but also fortified against the elements. With an IP68 and IP69K rating, it offers an impressive level of water and dust resistance. This means the device can survive submersion in water up to a certain depth without any adverse effects. It can operate seamlessly in temperatures ranging from -35°C to 75°C. Such resilience makes it an ideal companion for adventurers and professionals.

To protect against accidental drops and impacts, the F101 Pro is equipped with reinforced corners that absorb shocks and provide additional protection to the device. This engineering design ensures that the smartphone can withstand accidental falls and rough handling. It also, boasts MIL-STD-810G certification, a military-grade standard that assesses the device’s ability to withstand various environmental stressors, including vibrations, shocks, humidity, and high altitude. This certification guarantees that the smartphone can endure the rigors of daily life.

Display Experience

The F101 Pro features a compact 5.45-inch display, making it an excellent choice for users who prefer smaller and more pocket-friendly devices. Despite its size, it boasts an HD Plus resolution of 1440×720 pixels and a pixel density of 320 ppi, delivering clear and crisp visuals. While it doesn’t offer an increased screen refresh rate beyond the standard 60Hz, the display performs its job admirably. The side frames on the device are impressive, a common feature in armored phones. However, the top and bottom bezels remain relatively prominent, which is in line with the device’s class, and do not offer any significant reduction in size.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

The display is multi-touch capable, supporting up to five simultaneous touches, which should suffice for most users. In terms of brightness, it offers 84 cd/m2, which, while not the brightest, performs unexpectedly well in outdoor settings, even under direct sunlight. The display utilizes an IPS matrix and includes a glove mode, making it suitable for various usage scenarios. The screen is protected by robust DragonTrail glass, ensuring it remains shielded from damage and scratches.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

This type of screen is the best you can get on a budget phone and provides good color reproduction with no picture distortion. I find it perfectly adequate for web browsing and content consumption, you will get the best value for what you pay, a large and high-quality screen suitable for media consumption, whether you are watching video, playing games, or browsing social media.

Secondary Rear Display

However, the real surprise awaits on the phone’s back, where you’ll find an intriguing secondary display. This touch-sensitive display boasts a round design with a diameter of 1.32 inches and offers a resolution of 360×360 pixels. The F101 Pro ships with an impressive selection of 60 watch designs for this rear display, allowing you to change the style of your phone’s back at your convenience. You can activate this feature with a simple double-tap, or you can sync it with the main screen.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

The secondary display’s versatility knows no bounds. It offers a clock, time, date function, music controls, notifications, quick photography options, battery level, calls accept/cancel, pedometer, timer, recorder, and even a compass. This innovative feature not only adds a layer of personalization to your device but also enhances its functionality.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

Playing Content

Playing the content on YouTube, was very smooth. You can play videos at a maximum of 720p at 30 FPS without any problems or lag, And this is the highest quality you can get. My major issue however is the lack of Widevine L1 certification which restricts the video resolution on most streaming services to a mere 480p. While this does not become an immediate deal breaker, if you like watching your content on your smartphone, this might be an issue. This level may be difficult to find in many Chinese smartphones without exaggeration.

Camera Capabilities

The FossiBot F101 Pro is equipped with a versatile rear camera setup, including a 24MP primary camera from Samsung, a 5MP macro sensor, and a 0.3MP depth sensor for stunning bokeh effects. This diverse array of lenses allows for a wide range of photographic possibilities, from crisp close-ups to stunning landscapes. On the front, an 8MP selfie camera ensures that your self-portraits radiate with clarity and detail.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

The rear camera is put through its paces, capturing both photos and videos, even in challenging windy conditions. The results are impressive, showcasing the camera’s ability to deliver high-quality images and videos. The front camera, dedicated to selfies and video calls, is also put to the test, consistently producing remarkable results.

The user-friendly interface of the F101 Pro, coupled with a variety of camera modes, including bokeh, HDR, night mode, pro mode, macro, fullscreen, and beauty mode, makes this smartphone a versatile tool for photography and videography enthusiasts. The reviewer demonstrates the ease with which these modes can be accessed and utilized, ensuring that the device caters to a broad spectrum of creative needs.

Performance and Gaming

At the heart of the FossiBot F101 Pro lies a MediaTek Helio P60 processor (also known as MediaTek MT8788), built on a 12-nanometer process. This octa-core CPU incorporates four energy-efficient cores and four high-performance cores, creating a balanced blend of power and efficiency. For graphics processing, the device relies on a Mali-G72 GPU, a respectable mid-range unit.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

F101 Pro has 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, which ensures smooth multitasking and fast app switching. Also, offers an interesting feature known as “Virtual RAM Expansion” This feature allows the smartphone to allocate a portion of its storage space up to 15GB to act as additional virtual RAM, essentially increasing the available RAM for running apps and processes. This can lead to improved multitasking and smoother performance, especially when dealing with resource-intensive applications.

When it comes to storage, this phone offers flexibility to suit your needs with 128GB. This ample internal storage capacity allows you to store a vast amount of apps, photos, videos, documents, and more without worrying about running out of space. Moreover, if you find yourself needing even more storage, with its microSD card support. You can expand the storage by up to 1 TB.

Performance Benchmarks

To thoroughly assess the F101 Pro’s processing capabilities, we’ve turned to several renowned benchmarking tools, including AnTuTu Benchmark, Geekbench, and 3DMark. In AnTuTu Benchmark, the F101 Pro manages to secure a score slightly above 240,000, which aligns with its positioning in the low category. It showcases its ability to handle everyday tasks and even some more demanding applications with ease.

Geekbench paints a similar picture, with the device delivering solid multi-core and single-core scores, reflecting its competence in multitasking and handling everyday usage scenarios. When it comes to 3DMark, this benchmark assesses the device’s graphics performance. The F101 Pro doesn’t disappoint, demonstrating its capability to handle graphical workloads efficiently, which translates to decent multimedia and gaming experiences.

Gaming Performance

While the F101 Pro may not belong to the category of specialized gaming smartphones, it undoubtedly has its merits when it comes to gaming. Our gaming tests delve into its gaming performance, assessing frame rates, graphics quality, and overall gameplay experiences.

  • Tanks: Even with graphics settings set to the low end of the spectrum, Tanks provides a smooth gaming experience on the F101 Pro, delivering a consistent 60 FPS. There’s no trace of lags or stuttering, thanks to the device’s dependable Mali-G72 GPU. This showcases the smartphone’s reliability for casual gaming sessions.
  • PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds): The F101 Pro offers minimal or low graphics settings for PUBG gameplay. While it maintains a stable 30 FPS, users may notice occasional frame drops during intense in-game battles. Nonetheless, it’s possible to enjoy PUBG on this device, though the experience may not be as seamless as one would hope.
  • Genshin Impact: Genshin Impact, a graphics-intensive game, pushes the F101 Pro to its limits. Even with graphics settings minimized, the device struggles to provide a consistent gaming experience, with frame rates fluctuating between 12 to 15 FPS. This means that while Genshin Impact is technically playable, users may encounter occasional lags and delays, making it a less suitable choice for demanding gaming sessions.
Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

Thermal Management

Throughout our extensive gaming tests, we diligently monitored the device’s temperature. Impressively, the F101 Pro maintained a temperature of just 41°C even after a grueling 20-minute gaming session. This temperature control not only prevents overheating but also ensures that performance remains stable, even under heavy loads.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

Software and User Interface Experience

The software experience on the Fossibot F101 Pro is refreshingly straightforward clean and bloatware-free. This rugged smartphone runs on Stock Android 13, and that’s a significant advantage, especially in a market where many rugged devices come with heavily customized Android skins. The absence of bloatware or unnecessary pre-installed applications is a breath of fresh air. You won’t be bombarded with apps you never use, giving you the freedom to customize your device according to your preferences. One of the standout features of the F101 Pro’s user interface is its responsiveness. The smartphone handles tasks smoothly, and app launches are swift. Android 13 brings several performance optimizations and privacy features, ensuring that your device runs efficiently while keeping your data secure.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

However, equipped with 11 different digital tools, this device can aid you both outdoors and indoors. The built-in flashlight is useful for outdoor activities in the dark, while tools like the Hanging Painting tool can assist with home improvement projects. You can personalize the device’s color scheme, theme, language, and even themed app icons. Additionally, it offers enhanced privacy and control over notification permissions and other settings.

In the software of the Fossibot F101 Pro smartphone, one of the unique features is the presence of settings for the screen faces of the back screen. This secondary screen, located on the rear side of the device, offers a range of screen face options for the back display. Users can access and customize these settings to choose their preferred design or information to be displayed. The available settings include different watch faces, each with its own style and design. Users can easily switch between these screen faces based on their preferences.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

Battery Life & Usage

The most astonishing aspect of the Fossibot F101 Pro is undoubtedly its battery capacity. At a staggering 10,600mAh, it’s not just a battery; This device offers a battery life that is nothing short of extraordinary. When put to the test, it’s capable of achieving up to 3 days of battery life under moderate usage, and with heavy usage, it easily lasts throughout the day. But what about when it’s finally time to recharge? The F101 Pro doesn’t leave you waiting, equipped with an 18W charger, this device replenishes its massive battery in no time, In testing, the F101 Pro charged from 10% to 100% in approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes. This fast charging capability ensures that you won’t be without your device for extended periods.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display


One of the key considerations for any smartphone, especially a rugged one like the Fossibot F101 Pro, is its connectivity options. The F101 Pro provides the convenience of using dual SIM cards from different carriers simultaneously and covers an extensive range of 4G global LTE bands, Broad network support means you can stay connected to high-speed data networks and make HD-quality voice calls in various regions across the globe.

Also, it supports the following satellite systems: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou. And supports a variety of WLAN protocols, including 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n 2.5 & 5GHz Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC, making it compatible with services like Google Pay.

Cubot KingKong Star Review - The New Star in Rugged Smartphones?

Final verdict and value

In conclusion, the FossiBot F101 Pro is a standout device in the market. It offers unique and innovative features, all at an affordable price point. The compact design, dual displays, rugged build, powerful performance, and long-lasting battery make it an excellent choice for those seeking an all-around device. While it may not compete with flagship devices in terms of performance or camera capabilities, it offers a compelling package, especially considering its affordable price point.

Fossibot F101 Pro Review - Best & Cheapest Rugged Phone with Unique Rear Display

The Fossibot F101 Pro is a rugged smartphone that enters the market with a promise of affordability without compromising on performance. The price of the F101 Pro phone is $159.99, but during the period from November 11 to 17 on AliExpress, it will be $129.99, and it will be reduced to $109.99, and the first 500 people will get it for only $99.99!! Also, the price on the official website will be $169.99 and will be $119.99 during the period November 11-17.