Samsung Galaxy Xcover Extreme S5690 review

Samsung's first rugged Android smartphone hits the deck

Samsung Galaxy Xcover Extreme S5690
Samsung's first rugged Android smartphone is scratchproof

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Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover is a rugged Android smartphone, and in that it has only two real competitors - the Motorola Defy and the newer Defy+, so the comparisons are inevitable.

The build doesn't feel quite as solid as that of the Defy, and the general specifications aren't as advanced either.

The Motorola Defy+ has a 3.7-inch 480 x 844 pixel screen vs a 3.65-inch 320 x 480 screen on the Samsung Galaxy Xcover.

The Defy+ camera shoots at 5MP as opposed to 3.1MP here. The Defy + processor runs at 1GHz as opposed to 800MHz on the Galaxy Xcover.

And there's no price difference to mirror that, with the Defy+ currently costing exactly the same as the Samsung Galaxy Xcover, priced at £225/$385.

We liked

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover looks neat - its bronze sides really help it stand out from the crowd.

The microSD card is under the battery, where it's best protected from water and dust.

The camera LED can be used as a torch thanks to a feature added to the volume rocker.

We disliked

The build feels a bit on the plasticy side, and there was a little water seepage under the backplate in our 'run under the tap' test.

Web browsing isn't too great, with poor text reflow and no Flash support.

The handset feels a bit big in the hand considering its screen size, and it is in particular a bit on the tall side.

Screen resolution is on the low side for a modern smartphone.

Camera resolution is quite low, at 3.1MP, and video resolution is woeful, at 640 x 480.

Final verdict

Samsung has made rugged handsets before, and not done too bad, but this is the first time the company has brought rugged features to an Android smartphone, and we aren't all that excited, because the general specifications are average rather than great.

If we were choosing a rugged smartphone right now, we'd choose the Motorola Defy+ rather than the Samsung Galaxy Xcover. Sorry, Samsung.