Samsung Galaxy Xcover Review
Although we've heard more than a few stories of smartphones surviving all kinds of abuse – being dropped from a plane, baked in an oven, or ran over by a car, to name a few examples, they are pretty vulnerable devices in general. The Samsung Galaxy Xcover, however, does not want to obey this unwritten rule and stands out with its rugged design and IP67 certification. In plain words, the phone is allegedly resistant to shock, dust, dirt, and submersion in water at up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
But being able to withstand the elements does not mean that the Galaxy Xcover belongs to the feature phone kind. It is powered by Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, packs a 3.65-inch HVGA display and a 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash graces its back. Besides that, you get GPS, Wi-Fi, and a 7.2Mbps 3G radio.
So in theory, the Samsung Galaxy Xcover is shaping up like a blend between an entry-level smartphone and a tough phone combining various bits of both worlds. But will the end result from such a concoction really deserve your attention? Let's take it for a spin and find out.
The package contains:
- Wall charger
- microUSB cable
- Getting started guide
- 2GB microSD card with SD adapter
Just a brief inspection of the Samsung Galaxy Xcover is enough for one to realize that this smartphone is meant to be tougher than the rest. Sure, the handset may not be among the prettiest we've ever seen, but it feels solid in the hand despite the fact that its body is made solely out of plastic. Strangely, we noticed that holding the smartphone gives the impression that you are using a larger device, but nevertheless, operating it with a single hand is an effortless process. Samsung has chosen to go with only physical buttons for the Galaxy Xcover. We are glad to say that they are all well exposed, which makes finding them with your thumb pretty easy.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy Xcover with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The handset’s textured battery cover provides a bit of extra grip, and the ridges on its side give it an adventurous look. Still, it is not quite clear how high of a drop the smartphone can withstand, and the lack of rubberized elements hints that its shock resistance is inferior to that of most tough dumb phones.
What glows on the front side of the Galaxy Xcover is a 3.65-inch scratch-resistant display, which is surely among the ugliest ones to be fitted on Samsung's recent Android smartphones. First of all, it has the unimpressive resolution of 320 by 480 pixels. That translates into a pixel density of 158 PPI, meaning that graphics look pixelized and fine text is difficult to read. What further disappoints us are its unsaturated colors and narrow viewing angles. On top of all its outdoor visibility is average at best, which is a shame considering that the device is marketed at the adventurous crowd.
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1. RamyRamz69 (Posts: 390; Member since: 12 Dec 2011)
Not getting ICS....pass
Would rather get the much better Xperia Active :)
2. fervid (Posts: 172; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Why is it when they make good rugged phones and/or phones with good battery life that people want they give them poor specs like this? Make some good phones already people!
3. AnttiV (Posts: 5; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)
First of all, what do you consider "entry level"? Please don't compare devices via numerals only. This device is easily as fast as the HTC Desire, which was their flashship not two years ago. It easily beats Galaxy Mini, Gio and even Ace.
Yes, it does not have a high resolution display, nor is one required. This is not a "superphone". The display is by no means pretty when compared to a SuperAMOLED screen. But, even when comparing to a relatively good screen, say, HTC Desire HD, the Xcover's screen is *bright*. It easily gives double the light output of Desire HD's screen.
IMO, the screen is good enough to read even rather small text (and I do have glasses). I wouldn't start to read a book with it, but then again it isn't designed to do so.
If you care about camera/youtube/movies/reading, this isn't the device you should be looking at. This is for people who care about durability, usability, reliability. The device has very good call quality, the battery lasts for a good while and as a bonus it doubles as a quite good Android phone with the ability to run most apps (not games, though). And can be used as a mp3 player. GPS is very accurate, though slow to lock (but that might be location).
Some of these MAY me different from yours, because here in Finland they sell this phone loaded with Android 2.3.6 (not 2.3.4). It may have some additional tweaks baked in.
Also, the screen in Xcover (note, not display) is miles better than Defy's. I don't know why, but the Xcover's screen is easily one of the best touchscreens I've ever used. It is very sensitive and works even through most gloves. Defy's, on the other hand, is one of the worst considering sensibility. If you have dry hands, good luck on using it. The display is clearer and looks waaaay better in Defy due to more pixels and better density overall, but the general experience of using the phone is better on the Xcover.
4. G2Noobin (Posts: 81; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)
Great conceptual try.....gotta up the ante (better screen) or make it suuuper affordable....