Samsung's New Rugged Galaxy Phone And Tablet Combo Are Designed To Take A Beating
Gravity is the enemy of most of the fragile glass sandwiches that pass for smartphones in 2022, but the rugged device niche lives on. Samsung has just announced a new generation of rugged devices for the US in the form of the Galaxy XCover6 Pro smartphone and Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro tablet. These devices run the same Android software you can get on mainstream devices, but they have reinforced bodies, replaceable batteries, and extra-sensitive touchscreens.
The previously announced Galaxy XCover6 Pro is a follow up to 2020's XCover Pro, which shared its design aesthetics but lacked 5G support. The XCover6 Pro is ready for the future with support for sub-6 5G bands via its Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G chipset. That's a bit older than what you find in today's mainstream smartphones, but the XCover6 makes up for it by retaining some classic features like a removable battery, a headphone jack, and a microSD card slot.
Thinness is not generally compatible with rugged design, and that's true of the XCover6 Pro. The phone is 9.9mm thick and weighs 235g—both significant increases over similarly sized mainstream phones, but it's got a big, rubberized frame to protect it from drops. This phone sports a 6.6-inch 1080p LCD covered with Gorilla Glass Victus+, which is the latest and greatest screen material for smartphones. It should be more resistant to scratches and cracks than older devices, but this is still a big piece of glass on the front of the phone. Samsung claims it can survive a 1.5-meter drop and it's IP68 rated for water and dust resistance. The screen also supports enhanced touch sensitivity for workers who have to wear gloves on the job.
The Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro has many of the same features as the phone. It's based on the same Qualcomm chip but comes in a Wi-Fi-only flavor in addition to 5G. It has support for all three major US carriers, with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64 or 128GB of storage. Like the XCover6 Pro, the Tab Active4 Pro has a removable battery, which is almost unheard of in tablets. You can even power the device over USB without the battery installed if necessary.
The tablet's 10.1-inch LCD screen also steps down to the older Gorilla Glass 5 material. You still get a big, beefy frame to protect the tablet from impacts, and it comes with an S Pen stylus. It slots into the frame securely, and it's built more robustly than the S Pen you get with mainstream Galaxy Tab S slates (it has an IP68 rating just like the tablet). The Tab Active4 also has physical navigation buttons below the screen, which certainly aren't as sleek as on-screen controls, but they're more reliable and easier to press with gloves on.
The Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro is available starting today in the US, priced at $649 for the Wi-Fi model. You can pick one up from Samsung's business site, as well as through other enterprise channels. The Galaxy XCover6 Pro goes on sale October 20th. Samsung hasn't announced pricing yet, but it will be on Samsung's business site as well. It will be offered through carrier business channels, too, so pricing will probably vary based on how many units a company wants.