The Samsung Galaxy xCover is tough by name, but is it really? Sure it has IP67 certification that means it is water resistant in waist deep water for 30 minutes plus being dust and dirt proof but the phone in hand doesn’t feel overly rugged if I have to be honest.
The plastics used on the phone gives off a strong cheap sense. But while the build materials are rather cheap, build quality is up there. As light as the plastics may be, because of the rather simple design of the phone itself, they don’t feel as if they’re going to be the first component to fail on this device.
The Galaxy xCover gives off more of a “oh whoops I dropped my phone in water” vibe rather than creating a “take the phone and the dog to the park and play fetch” reaction. The latter is the reaction I got from my time with the Xperia Active I have already mentioned several times.
Where the Active felt as if it could be used as a (rather poor) skimming stone the xCover feels about as good for a source of music in the shower. Where the Active would alert me that the external ports are open, the competitor from Samsung does not. Where the Active has wet finger tracking technology as part of its display, once again the xCover is left lacking.
I’m not saying it isn’t tough though. It will obviously survive more than most smartphones, the xCover is akin to the old Nokia candybars everyone used to have in terms of durability.
The review wouldn’t be complete with a quick water dip either so I took it with me on a walk lasting some 30 minutes in a steady downpour; with no umbrella. It then happily sat in a rather soaked pair of shorts for half a morning. Only to later take a dip under a heavy waterfall (faucet) and sit in a lake (sink) for a few minutes. I have read elsewhere that some reviewers found that water had leaked into the battery compartment, I can say with confidence that this didn’t happen to my unit.
Point being, if you are looking for a truly rugged phone, you honestly cannot go past the Xperia Active. If you are looking for something waterproof and somewhat rugged, then you get to choose from the xCover, Active or Motorola’s Defy.