Samsung's new smartphone is out: Not the Galaxy S8 but something far beefier

Samsung's new Galaxy option, the rugged Galaxy Xcover 4, specced to US military standards, will come with Android Nougat.

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Samsung has launched the Galaxy Xcover 4, its tough new smartphone for anyone who needs a device that has to be able to survive a thrashing in the elements.

While fans eagerly await the launch of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge later this month, the Xcover 4 is another Samsung phone that demonstrates its efforts to make a Galaxy phone for just about everyone.

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Its latest Galaxy Xcover is for those who don't really care about its Galaxy S premium features, but do need a mid-range phone that can survive being dropped into water and extreme temperatures.

As with 2015's Galaxy XCover 3, Samsung is promoting its rugged successor as IP68-certified, as well as certified to MIL-STD 810G, a set of guidelines for equipment made for the US military.

While the IP68 certification means the device is protected against dust and water, MIL-STD 810G covers things like extreme temperatures, mechanical shocks, intense sunlight, and salt-water mist.

Some companies that provide phones to employees might appreciate the additional ruggedness. Also, according to Samsung, gloves won't prevent owners of the Xcover 4 from making calls, writing messages, or tapping on apps.

The rugged phone comes with Android Nougat 7.0 and features a 720 x 1,280-pixel display, with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage and microSD card support, according to the specs sheet. It weighs 182gm (6.4oz) and comes with a 2,800mAh battery. The phone has a 13-megapixel main camera and five-megapixel front-facing camera.

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Samsung reckons gloves won't stop owners of the Xcover 4 making calls, writing messages, or tapping on apps.

Image: Samsung

These would all be welcome improvements for anyone looking to upgrade from the Galaxy XCover 3, which launched two years ago with Android 4.4 KitKat installed. That model featured a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB RAM, 8GB storage, a display at 480 x 800-pixel resolution, and a five-megapixel main camera with a two-megapixel front camera.

The Galaxy Xcover 4 will go on sale in Europe in April for €259 ($272) and is available only in black, according to Samsung Germany.

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