The Samsung S5690 Galaxy Xcover brings a touch of class and authority to a lineup of durable dumb phones for the outdoor enthusiasts. Itís arguable whether it can take as much bashing as its less sophisticated siblings, but this rugged smartphone is trying to combine the best of both worlds.
The Galaxy Xcover is Samsungís response to Motorola, who are building their own squad of tough droids, with a 1GHz Gingerbread-powered update of their Defy due for imminent release. The Defy+ could be too strong a rival, but the rugged credentials will certainly help the Galaxy Xcover stand out in the crowded smartphone midrange.
It's an IP67 certified droid, meaning it can be immersed in one meter of water and last there for half an hour, on top of being dust-proof and shock-resistant. Ruggedness aside, it offers a 3.65" HVGA display with tempered Gorilla Glass for maximum protection and durability. It does well to meet, and exceed, the minimum smartphone requirements with solid connectivity, the latest flavor of Android and reasonably fast processing.
The Samsung S5690 Galaxy Xcover runs Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, with the home-baked TouchWiz skin on top. It looks the part too with rugged, ribbed sides and a grippy rear panel with a massive lock screw to keep the battery cover in place.
It's the perfect fit if you want to buy a smartphone with a distinct outdoorsy feel. It's no Galaxy S II and it shows. The display isn't as crisp and the hardware just knows it should keep out of the fast lane with dual-cores in the rear-view mirror. At least itís a phone that doesnít mind a bumpy ride down the dirt road.