Today Samsung officially unveiled their latest mobile phone: the rugged Galaxy Xcover 2. The phone is a direct successor to 2011’s Xcover, and again trades leading specifications for added elemental resistance.
According to their announcement via Engadget, we’re looking at a phone with water resistance of up to one meter for half an hour – not amazing, but certainly enough to allow careful underwater photography and the like. The phone should also be physically rugged enough to withstand scratches and drops too, thanks to its reinforced chassis.
As the original Xcover was reminiscent of the Galaxy S yet was released after the Galaxy S II, this Xcover seems to have similar specifications to the Galaxy S II yet comes after the Galaxy S III.
Specifically, we’re looking at a larger 4-inch phone with a WVGA display, a dual-core 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM. Storage is also decent, at 4 GB upgradeable via microSD. The cameras are also okay, at five megapixels on the rear but only VGA on the front. Still, there is a physical camera button. Finally, we’ve got a 1700 mAh battery powering everything.
While these aren’t terrible specs by any means, there are a few points of worry. That 1700 mAh battery is only 200 mAh larger than the original, which seems like too littlw when you consider the additional screen size and faster components. The phone is also much heavier – at 148 grams, this is one of the heaviest 4-inch phones I’ve ever seen.
The software has been monumentally improved in the last two years here, and it’s put to good use in the Xcover 2. We’ve got the phone shipping with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, rather the Android 2.3 Gingerbread of its predecessor.
The OS used will include the same Motion UI features (including turning over the phone to mute incoming calls) as other recent Samsung phones, which is a blessing or a curse depending on your appreciation of Samsung’s additions. There’s also due to be a Cardio Trainer Pro workout application, which could prove useful for the more presumably active buyers of the phone.
While we don’t have any pricing or availability information on the Samsung Xcover 2 at this time, we’re certainly due to receive some during the Mobile World Congress, which is now only about one month away. The Barcelona-based event is always home to some interesting announcements, and I’m sure that’ll also be the case here.
What do you think of the phone? I believe a lot will depend on its final price point. Given that its rugged properties could be duplicated with a good Samsung Galaxy S3 case and you’d be getting a much more powerful phone, I think it’ll have to be quite low in order to prove a success.
Thanks for reading the article. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them below. Regardless, have a good day and enjoy your weekend.