Just before the weekend Samsung surprised us all by announcing a new smartphone, despite Mobile World Congress being only a few weeks away. The device is the Galaxy Xcover 2, a follow-up – as you may have guessed – to the Galaxy Xcover from mid-2011, which had a limited release here in the UK later that same year.
The Xcover 2 takes the same rugged, no-nonsense approach of the first phone, and adds more modern internals and a few cool new features too. It has a screen which measures 4-inches and it has a 480 x 800 pixel resolution, while the processor is a dual-core, 1GHz chip of unknown heritage. It has been given 1GB of RAM to play with, plus there is 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot ready to boost that figure by 32GB.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the operating system of choice and Samsung has blessed it with a few of the features seen on its upper-range Galaxy smartphones, including Smart Stay (which keeps the screen switched on when you’re looking at it), S-Voice, Best Shot and gesture controls through the Motion UI.
What makes the Xcover 2 special is its ability to withstand some harsh treatment. The casing is IP67 certified, which means it’ll keep sand and dust at bay, plus it remains waterproof at a depth of one metre for up to 30 minutes. This makes it ideal for people with tough jobs or those who like to flirt with danger by using their phones in the bath.
Samsung has also enhanced the GPS with GLONASS support, the battery has a standby of 570 hours and there’s a special workout app built-in. The spec list is completed by a 5 megapixel camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity.
Although the phone is official, Samsung hasn’t provided a release date or any idea of whether the phone will be coming to the UK. We expect to find out these details at MWC.