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Samsung Galaxy Xcover Extreme S5690 review

Samsung's first rugged Android smartphone hits the deck

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 158 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 3 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 13.30 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 320

View full specification

For

  • Looks nice
  • Rugged features
  • Well protected microSD card slot
  • Torch function
  • Gorilla Glass screen

Against

  • Low screen resolution
  • Some water seepage in our under the tap test
  • Poor camera
  • On the large side
  • No Flash support

We all know that Samsung isn't exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to smartphones. It has a wide range of handsets, spanning all price points and covering Android, Windows Phone and even its own Bada operating system.

Samsung has been in the rugged mobile phone arena before, although only with 'dumb' phones such as the Solid Extreme B2100. Now, though, Samsung seems to have finally noticed the success Motorola has had with its Defy and Defy+, and has decided to jump onto the bandwagon with a rugged handset of its own.

The result is the rather heavily named Samsung Galaxy S5690 Xcover Extreme, which you'll probably see referred to as either the Samsung Galaxy Xcover or the Samsung Galaxy Extreme. We're opting for the Samsung Galaxy Xcover for this review.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover is IP67 certified, meaning it's able to survive under a meter of water for up to 30 minutes, and can withstand dust too. Clearly it needs to be well sealed to perform these feats. The sealing looks relatively subtle, but we'll test it later.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

Both the headset slot on the top and the USB slot along the bottom are protected by hinged covers. The USB slot is also quite recessed, and we had trouble getting our usual 'one size fits all' connector to fit into the hole.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

The power button on the right and the volume rocker on the left are fairly flush with the chassis, and presumably well protected underneath.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

The backplate is held firm with a screw-type lock, and even when you release this you need to prise it away. There's a secondary seal around the battery for double protection. The Samsung Galaxy Xcover's screen, of course, is made from Gorilla Glass.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

The handset is a somewhat chunky beast, measuring 121.5 x 65.9 x 11.95mm and weighing 135g. There is a lot of unused space above and below the screen that makes it seem a bit over-engineered, and the 3.65-inch screen looks a little lost.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

Beneath the screen are three fairly large buttons for Home, Back and Menu. Yes, they're well sealed against water and dust, but this doesn't in any way affect their comfy feel under the fingers.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

Look closely at the volume rocker, incidentally, and you'll see a torch icon. Hold this end of the rocker down and you can toggle the camera LED for use as a, well, as a torch.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

Specs-wise, Samsung hasn't really pushed the boat out with the Galaxy Xcover. Android is version 2.3 Gingerbread. The 800MHz processor isn't what we'd call state of the art, and with just 150MB of free storage you'll need a microSD card almost immediately.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

The camera is another letdown, offering just 3.1MP of shooting power.

Considering that Clove, who supplied our review sample, is selling the Samsung Galaxy Xcover for £226.80 SIM-free in the UK, then maybe these specs are to be expected. In the US, we found it priced at $385 SIM-free on Amazon.

Samsung galaxy xcover extreme s5690 review

There's also the usual GPS, Wi-Fi and HSDPA on the Samsung Galaxy Xcover.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory158 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
SAR Value0.58 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Xcover
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution3 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack, Orange
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time13.30 Hour
Product ModelGT-S5690
Screen Size9.3 cm (3.7")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)100 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerMarvell
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Timer, Caller ID, Conference Call
Pixel Density158 ppi
Height121.5 mm
Width65.9 mm
Depth12 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy Xcover Smartphone
Processor Speed800 MHz
Product LineGalaxy Xcover
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-S5690KOAXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Endurable Smartphone to stay socialised

An ultimate performer in your daily life, the Galaxy X cover handles your daily needs with efficiency and ease ! Whether you're connecting with friends, finding your way via Google Maps or surfing the internet, this mobile can do it all !
This mobile is so functional, you'll take it everywhere. Luckily it can withstand even the most active lifestyles!

Dust & Waterproof (IP67 certificated)

This mobile can withstand whatever you throw its way. Suitable in any situation, it is certified with an IP67 rating to be water and dust proof (temporary immersion in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and completely protected from dust). You don't have to overly worry about protecting the mobile when around dirt or water.

Limited Warranty2 Year