Samsung's newest smartphone is rough, tough, and... outdated

Samsung's newest smartphone is rough, tough, and... outdated
There aren't a lot of major smartphone manufacturers that sell rugged models right now, allowing Samsung to frequently experiment with many different designs of extra-muscular handsets, some of which happen to feature surprisingly advanced specifications.

Unfortunately, that's not the case for the freshly unveiled and rigorously leaked Galaxy XCover 5, which follows in the footsteps of the 2017-released XCover 4 and 2019's XCover 4s rather than last year's XCover Pro. 

Instead of a trendy hole punch look and a large 6.3-inch screen surrounded by incredibly thin bezels, that means this new mid-ranger has a small 5.3-inch display with "traditionally" large borders going for it. Curiously enough, there are no physical buttons mounted on the phone's front, despite there clearly being plenty of room below the aforementioned HD+ panel for the same handy trio of keys found on the XCover 4 and XCover 4s.

The relatively compact XCover 5 packs a 3,000mAh battery under its robust hood, and although that certainly doesn't sound impressive by "modern" high-end standards, Samsung undeniably deserves a little praise for making said juicer easily replaceable and equipping it with 15W fast charging technology.


Of course, the outdoor-friendly design and features are undoubtedly the key selling points here, guaranteeing not only standard water and dust resistance, but also top-notch protection against drops from up to 1.5 meters high and various other tricky environmental elements.

Designed to be used in all kinds of challenging work environments, the Samsung Galaxy XCover 5 comes with "improved touch sensitivity", allowing you to wear gloves sans impacting the handset's functionality in any way, as well as "unique partner-enabled mobility solutions for a wide range of business scenarios", state-of-the-art Knox security, push-to-talk, and a customizable side-mounted "XCover Key."

While business users and hardcore fans of rugged devices may not care about specs as much as everyday mobile consumers, we'd be remiss not to point out the Galaxy XCover 5 features a middling Exynos 850 processor, 4 gigs of RAM, 64 gigs of internal storage space, NFC support, a single 16MP rear-facing shooter, a 5MP selfie camera, and Android 11 on the software side of things right out the box.

Alas, it's impossible to judge the value for money provided by Samsung's latest rugged smartphone in the absence of a recommended price point, although all should be clarified by the end of this month, at least in "select markets" across Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Following this global March 2021 debut, the Galaxy XCover 5 is set to expand to "other regions at a later date." No words just yet on whether or not the US will be included on that mysterious list of "other regions."

If that happens, the $500 retail price and the recent $100 discount of the unlocked Galaxy XCover Pro obviously make us hopeful of a significantly lower tag somewhere in the $300 ballpark.

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