The tough phone used to get a bad wrap as the only offerings were rubber brick-like dumb phones with limited features, however over the last few years these rugged phones have become smarter. Here in our Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 review we take a look at the latest tough smartphone on the market.
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 Design and Build
As a tough phone the build of the Galaxy Xcover 3 is as rugged as you need with an IP97 certification giving it a dust resistant and waterproof casing. Previous tough phones have required vulnerable areas of the case to be plugged before getting them wet to protect them completely but the Xcover audio jack and USB port are protected without this need.
The ruggedised casing encloses the 4.5-inch display and for a tough phone it is actually quite slim at just 9.95mm and not too heavy weighing in at 154 grams.
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 features
The Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 ships with Android KitKat on board with a planned upgrade to Lollipop so you get all the familiar Google apps on board. The 8GB memory can be boosted with a microSD card up to 128GB so you can download plenty of new apps from Google Play.
The Xcover key is located on the side of the phone and allows users wearing gloves to simply press the key to access apps that can be assigned to a short key press or long key press, making it easy to access your most used apps.
The very latest 4G capability is on board so you can access superfast web browsing and downloading speeds when in coverage areas and with GPC, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth included all the essential connections options are covered.
A number of Samsung added features are on board including S Planner for managing tasks and events and Android apps come pre-loaded such as Gmail, Google Maps and Hangouts.
The battery life the Xcover 3 offers up to 13 hours of internet browsing or 10 hours of talk time and as with many Android phones the Ultra Power Saving mode can be enabled to make the most of any remaining batter power.
Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 camera
The camera package on the Xcover 3 is basic, but as this isn’t the main focus of the smartphone this will probably not be the ultimate focus of the potential phone user.
The 5-megapixel camera on the back captures snaps and video clips and includes various shooting modes such as Panorama, Continuous shooting and Best Photo. The Aqua mode has been optimised for underwater photography so you can have a bit of fun with this camera (freshwater only). This resolution is fine if you just want a keepsake of a moment but if you want to enlarge the images this camera won’t hold up.
The front facing camera has a resolution of 2-megapixels so while it won’t match up to a selfie captured on a flagship model it compares favourably to other models sporting a similar lens.
The Samsung Galaxy Xcover 3 may not jump out as the obvious choice for your next phone but if you need a phone to withstand a tough environment or to take along on outdoor pursuits this smartphone won’t disappoint. The 4G and connectivity options as well as a quad-core processor deliver a good responsive performance however if you love mobile photography you may want to opt for a higher-tier phone.
Written by: Carmel Brown