Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 Review
Galaxy Xcover 2 is Samsung's first shot at rugged telephony for the year, as the Android handset sports water-, shock- and dust-proof certifications.
The Xcover 2 upgrades the specs of its predecessor, and throws in some neat features, like a dedicated shutter key and an Aqua mode in the camera interface that lets you shoot underwater without special housing.
Is the phone's tough soul a worthy enough advantage to overlook the midrange specs and somewhat bulky exterior? Read on the review to find out...
Despite the comparatively thick chassis, the Galaxy Xcover 2 is very light and pretty comfortable to hold due to the patterned back and sides that aid your grip significantly. The handset feels very ergonomic in the hand, too – no sharp edges and a solid feel, so it is indeed a good choice for when you are in motion and the last thing you want to think about is careful handling of a thin and fragile handset.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The dark gray plastic chassis and black fascia with metal earpiece grid hint that Samsung's designers haven't spent countless hours busting their heads over the chassis, as it looks like a typical company midranger from the front. The back is a different pint of beer, though, as it sports that circular screw which keeps the back cover shut tight, so as no water or sand can get into the electronics when the going gets tough.
Xcover 2 is IP67-certified, meaning that it is dust- and sand-proof, and you can also submerge it in up to three feet of water (not beer!) for up to 30 minutes without worrying about the internals – the phone sounds like a good match for the beach or your next rafting trip.
The physical keys below the screen are solid, with good tactile feedback, and very easy to feel and press without looking. The same goes for the power/lock key and the camera shutter on the right, as well as the volume rocker up left.
That same volume rocker is given another handy function – long-press the volume up for a second or two, and the powerful LED will come on as a flashlight, even when the screen is locked.
As for the flip covers that protect the charging and audio ports – they are one of the few we've tried so far that can be easily pried out and then fit back almost perfectly.
regular 480x800 pixel WVGA 4-incher with 233ppi pixel denisty. Colors seem true, however, and the viewing angles are excellent.
There is one unpleasant downside with this screen, though – there is no automatic brightness adjustment sensor, so you have to manually choose the level from the slider in the notification bar or in the settings.
Moreover, the screen is not very bright to begin with, and even at the maximum settings, outside visibility under direct sunlight will be an issue, which is a bit puzzling for a phone that is aimed for outdoor usage. Also, for a rugged handset, Samsung could have included a touchscreen that can be operated with gloves and other objects, like on some Nokia and Sony units.