It would seem that people dropping their phone while getting out of the car, or forgot that it was on their lap don’t mean a lot to wireless manufacturers. However, Samsung is looking to grab those rugged people doing rugged things with their new Galaxy XCover Pro. Today, Samsung is officially announcing the phone and that it will cost $499 when it’s available in the US in the first half of 2020. Samsung says it’s working with Verizon to bring the phone to market.
For about $500, you’ll get a phone with a swappable battery. I love how they make it sound like an innovative idea, when most phones were like until about 5 years ago. In any case, it’s a meaty 4,050mAh, and the phone even supports 15W fast charging, as well as with special docks that use pogo pins. The XCover Pro is intended to be used by workers in industrial settings or out in the field, so that huge battery should theoretically let workers use their phones for longer and give them the option to swap in a fresh battery in a pinch.
The phone also has two programmable buttons, which Samsung says can be programmed for applications like push-to-talk. And if you’re a Microsoft Teams user, you can use that button with the new Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie feature.
Samsung says the XCover Pro is also EMV Level 1 certified, meaning you might be able to run a business where customers pay you by tapping their NFC-equipped credit card, phone, or watch to your Galaxy handset. The phone has Samsung’s point-of-sale software built in, and the company says Visa approved this phone for its Tap to Phone payments pilot program.
And to help the phone better survive the elements, Samsung says it has an IP68 dust and water-resistance rating, can withstand drops of up to 1.5 meters, and that it’s MIL-STD 810G certified, which means it should theoretically be able to withstand extreme altitudes, temperatures, humidity, and other difficult conditions.
Aside from those rugged features, the rest of the phone’s specs are mid-range: a 6.3-inch 2220 x 1080 display (which Samsung says you can use when you have gloves on), a 2GHz octa-core Exynos 9611 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage (with support for microSD storage up to 512GB). For cameras, the phone has a 13-megapixel front-facing camera in a corner of the screen and two rear cameras: a 25-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel camera.
It’ll also ship with the latest Android 10 and Samsung’s One UI 2.0.