Samsung officially unveils new rugged phone with modern software and archaic design

Samsung officially unveils new rugged phone with modern software and archaic design
If you don't remember Samsung's Galaxy Xcover line of mid-range smartphones with robust designs, respectable specifications, and reasonable price points... we can't say we blame you. The rugged Android handset family never enjoyed the same aggressive advertising treatment as the company's flagships or even its more "mainstream" mid-end products. Besides, the world's largest mobile device vendor appeared to give up on the series altogether after 2017's Galaxy Xcover 4.

Of course, that wouldn't have been entirely unprecedented, as Samsung also nixed the high-end Galaxy S Active series after releasing the S8 Active in, you guessed it, 2017. But in line with recent rumors and detailed leaks, a long overdue Galaxy Xcover 4 sequel is now officially announced under the Xcover 4s name. Unfortunately, the sturdy new 5-incher has a launch date and price tag attached to its name in a single European market, with no information on US availability disclosed just yet.

What's perhaps even more disappointing is that the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4s looks pretty much identical to its ancient predecessor on the outside, with the exact same massive screen bezels and trio of physical buttons located below the 5-inch TFT HD panel with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and a "traditional" 16:9 aspect ratio. Measuring 9.7 mm in thickness, the Xcover 4s packs the same 2,800 mAh battery as its forerunner as well, while naturally providing a decent upgrade in the processing power department.

An octa-core Exynos 7885 SoC takes the quad-core Exynos 7570's place running the overall performance show here, aided by the latest (stable) version of Android (9.0 Pie) on the software side of things. The Exynos 7885 is the same respectable upper mid-range chipset found inside the likes of the Galaxy A8 (2018) and A8+ (2018), pairing with 3GB RAM for what should be a decent multimedia, multitasking, and casual gaming setup.

The Galaxy Xcover 4s also comes with an improved 16MP f/1.7 rear-facing camera, while retaining its predecessor's IP68 water and dust resistance and military standards-compliant rugged build. That essentially means this bad boy should be able to withstand quite a bit of abuse, including drops, shocks, and exposure to extreme temperatures, without flinching. 

Due out in Italy next month at a recommended price of €300 ($340), the muscular phone may or may not be expanded to additional territories down the line and may or may not signal the impending arrival of a Galaxy S10 Active too. One can dream, right?
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