Samsung’s small, cheap and rugged Galaxy XCover5 is now official and will land this month


We saw a couple of leaks from a new rugged phone from Samsung yesterday, and what you know, here it is. The Galaxy XCover 5 is a smaller, cheaper entry in the rugged series, a fraction of the cost of the XCover FieldPro. And more importantly, you are actually running a current version of Android.

The XCover 5’s spec list is purely inexpensive, with a 5.3-inch 720p LCD screen, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The Exynos 850 processor is the same that you will find in inexpensive phones like the Galaxy A21s. The rear camera module uses a single sensor, 16MP, with a 5MP front camera. The battery is pretty much a spare at 3000mAh, and Samsung’s announcement notably lacks any mention of 5G, although the phone does have a dual-SIM variant.

The specs aren’t what the XCover 5 is all about. No, this is a cheap little phone that’s designed to take an absolute beating. In addition to IP68 protection against dust and water, as good as any of the top-of-the-line Galaxy S series, the XCover 5 is MIL-STD 810H compliant. Exactly which sections of this extensive US Department of Defense standard were not mentioned were not mentioned. Its 9.2mm thick reinforced body and Gorilla Glass 6 screen (not as tough as Victus, but better than most) can withstand a 1.5 meter drop, and the screen can be operated with gloves.

The XCover 5 also features a couple of non-standard additions: an additional programmable button with a sleek red border, in the style of the Galaxy Active series, and POGO pins on the bottom for a 15-watt load on a proprietary base. This is technically “wireless”, as stated in the press release, but it is not the same as standard Qi charging. Both make the most sense for a device that will enter difficult territory. There is no fingerprint sensor, although Samsung’s basic face detection is available.

Samsung will sell the Galaxy XCover 5 in the UK from March 12, priced at £ 329 (about $ 460). That makes it considerably more expensive than its specs indicate, but the rugged nature of the phone will likely be worth the upgrade for many buyers. It helps that the phone runs Android 11 out of the box, and as part of Samsung’s Enterprise Edition program, the company has committed to five years of security updates.

It will also be sold in “select markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America.” There was no mention of a US launch, although availability could be expanded later.

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