Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2: In-depth analysis and user experience

An interesting market where manufacturers have not emphasized until this 2013 is to smartphones resistant to water, dust and shock. For the first time we…




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An interesting market where manufacturers have not emphasized until this 2013 is to smartphones resistant to water, dust and shock. For the first time we are seeing high-end smartphones like the Sony Xperia Z or Samsung Galaxy S4 Active with these features, however not all who want a rugged mobile need to be high end. For all of them is the Samsung Galaxy XCover 2, the mid-range smartphone ultraresistant made by Samsung to have personally called “Chuck Norris’s phone”.

design and materials

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The main quality of the Samsung Galaxy XCover 2 is that SUV is a device, which is clearly reflected in the design. Unlike the achievements of Sony Xperia range (which combines perfectly with the design resistance), the Samsung Galaxy XCover adds more resistance but has a design, in my opinion, worse than its rivals. In addition, Samsung is committed to using plastic, but in this case its use is fairly justified as it is a material that absorbs shock better than others such as aluminum or glass.

When you have it in the hands, it is very comfortable to use thanks to the rear gummy, good button layout and overall good grip on the phone. This also contributes to its small size (130.5 x 67.7 x 12 mm), which was appreciated enough in most cases, especially if you’re used to using a large mobile as I do. However, the thickness and weight are highly improvable, as we speak of a terminal 12 millimeters thick and weighing about 146 grams, figures seem quite high considering that other similar smartphones are around 9 mm and 130 grams of weight. Although this is fairly forgivable since we speak of a ultra mobile and that means a greater number of parts inside to make sure that the internal circuitry is protected completely.

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One detail that I like is the theme of the eyelashes, especially in the case of the headphone jack. In the case of microUSB is true that there is no other way to protect (at least for now) in front of the water, but in the case of the 3.5 mm jack itself could have done without eyelashes, in fact other manufacturers like Sony and have done with the Xperia Z Ultra. And not just about discomfort, it is because I bet those tabs using eventually crumble and eventually sink water inside the phone despite having them closed (if not just ask our colleague Danny and Xperia Z) .

Another detail that I did not like is the inclusion of physical buttons. I do not know the internal structure of the buttons, but on a device whose main asset will be the resistance, the inclusion of physical buttons is a complete failure as it is proven to be one of the components that fail and worse shock resist . Instead, I think it would have been better to incorporate or incorporate capacitive buttons within the screen, as does Sony.

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By contrast, a detail that I do like is the inclusion of a dedicated physical button for the camera. This will allow us to take pictures under water (where the touch screen does not work) and, separately, to prevent blurring. As we can expect, has half press to focus and full press to take the picture.

A curious detail is that the back cover has a kind of roulette that locks and unlocks the back cover. Ie, depending on the position of the wheel, or can remove the rear cover. This is intended to ensure that, if the mobile is hit, shot out the back cover and the inside is exposed to water and dust.

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If we focus on the resistance of this smartphone, we must mention that features IP67 certification, which means it has the highest degree of protection against dust (is unable to enter the interior of the device) and effective water resistance for 30 minutes to a maximum of one meter deep. That is, features maximum protection from dust and the penultimate level of protection against water (the maximum grade is 8, while the XCover 2 has 7). This results in a device that will withstand without any problems most of the circumstances of our day to day without having to take care of it.

Hardware, software and autonomy

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In the hardware section, we could describe the Samsung Galaxy XCover as a mid-range device. In fact, we could say that is a clone of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, which already discussed a few months ago in The Free Android. These are their technical characteristics:

style=”line-height: 13px;”> 4-inch TFT display with resolution of 480 x 800

  • dual-core processor at 1 GHz and GPU Mali 400
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 4 GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD cards
  • rear camera 5 megapixels with LED flash and HD recording
  • VGA resolution front camera
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 1700 mAh battery
  • IP67 Certification
  • Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi and DLNA
  • This hardware is able to provide a more fluid performance on most occasions. If we move the device performance by different test, we find that sheds Quadrant 2400 figures and about 6400 points in Antutu, figures negligible considering the price for which they sell this smartphone. Moreover, to the surprise of many, unlike other models Touchwiz customization layer works quite smoothly and seems to be quite optimized, which helps the device performance is pretty decent.

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    With heavy games obviously low FPS rate significantly, although not difficult in no time playability. This is possible thanks to the powerful Mali 400 graphics and low resolution of the screen, a combination that makes this smartphone can run some of the titles “powerful” Android current market.

    In terms of battery, this Galaxy Xcover really two behaved quite well, managing to arrive a day without problems. Normally I achieved figures are 3:30 and 17 hours display on, combining 3G with Wi-Fi and an average use. To give you an idea, my Sony Xperia U endure two hours of screen and about 14 hours on with the same level of use.

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    Finally, as far as software is concerned, we highlight some of the Galaxy Xcover 2. Includes Jelly Bean Android 4.1.2 (which contributes a lot to the fluidity and ease of the system) and the same version of TouchWiz that Samsung Galaxy S3, although some other function has been omitted in this case to have lower technical characteristics. However, the appearance and some applications such as S-Voice (virtual assistant Samsung) remain intact in the Galaxy Xcover 2.

    Display, Audio Camera

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    The screen of this Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2 is composed of a TFT LCD panel 4 inches diagonally with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. much for the theory. In practice I think this screen is one of the best currently in this niche market, it has a correct color saturation, brightness quite acceptable and pretty good outdoor visibility. Only the HTC One SV, a panel SLCD 2 surpasses it.

    Obviously, this screen is far from that of the high ranges (especially in resolution, where there is a huge difference), but it is still bad considering screen the price of the device and, above all, the market niche which it is intended.

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    Audio is one of the areas where I hoped that the Galaxy Xcover 2 would disappoint me, but nothing is further from reality I was very pleasantly surprised. rear speaker device device offers quite rich and very loud, which makes it perfect for radio shower combined with its water resistance. The only complaint in this regard is the position of the speaker, which is in the back with the problems that this implies (drowning by placing the device on a flat surface).

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    Now to talk about the camera, a section which also waited for the Galaxy Xcover 2 me disappointed but ultimately not so. We find 5 megapixel sensor accompanied by an LED flash and HD recording capability at 30 FPS, which offers more than acceptable performance for most users.

    In good light conditions, the camera performs really well, with saturation, contrast and definition pretty good. The only problem I found was the approach, which is not as accurate as I would like, sometimes having serious trouble getting a photo in macro mode correctly quedase focused.
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    In low light, the camera of the Galaxy Xcover 2 suffers like most smartphones. Begins to show a lot of noise and focus problems are even more serious when photographs medium and close range. Nevertheless, under these conditions behaves exactly like most devices (except the HTC One, Lumia 920 and Lumia 925).

    So, the camera is pretty decent overall without being for a top 5. For the vast majority of users will be more than enough, but for anyone looking for something else, probably find something poor.

    Conclusions

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    Before you jump right into the conclusions, we must take into account the type of device you speak.’s say, not a smartphone either, it is a mobile designed for a very specific niche and that niche is great, because few can overshadow him. Nevertheless, if the extra strength is not necessary for you, probably be better alternatives like the Galaxy S3 Mini or HTC One SV.

    That said, there are two things that stand out positively Galaxy Xcover two and two do not. The first is the audio system, I honestly think it is the best I’ve seen so far in these ranges, and the second is autonomy, which slightly exceeds the average.

    As for negative points, especially cameras feature, that although they have been better than I expected, lag behind their nearest rivals. Additionally, the design is one of its negative points, but as I said, is fairly understandable considering we are talking about a smartphone ultraresistant.

    So, evaluating every aspect of this Galaxy Xcover 2, Note rate at which it is 7.1.

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    Article was published in The Free Android (The Android Blog reference. Applications, News, Games and Free Android smartphones)

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    The Free Android

    Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2: In-depth analysis and user experience
    Source: www.xatacandroid.com  
    July 3, 2013

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