Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Xcover Pro for the first time in Finland. The tech giant has now launched the rugged Galaxy smartphone in the US, hitting the market with a price tag of $500. The phone looks a little like an updated version of the Galaxy S Active line from recent years.
Moreover, the tech giant has started shipping its new Galaxy XCover Pro ruggedized phone for frontline workers. The phone is designed to help those in the public sector, logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and other verticals work faster and more efficiently.
— MSPoweruser (@mspoweruser) April 20, 2020
What do they mean by a ruggedized phone?
The Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro is officially introduced as a rugged smartphone for frontline workers. The ruggedness of the build makes it suitable for use by field workers who work in terrain that is not friendly to the regular high-end smartphones. The device is also crammed with features that make it a business-oriented model.
According to Forbes, “Using rugged multi-use devices for frontline tasks save employees’ 58 minutes per day while increasing productivity by 34%”. Their IP68 rating makes them resistant to dust, dirt, sand, and water. Owing to this, Samsung has titled it as a military-grade phone.
Order the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro on @verizonbusiness, a rugged phone that elevates the capabilities of every team member, wherever their job takes them: https://t.co/xQWhkidwyW pic.twitter.com/L3CGhzFAxp
— Samsung Healthcare (@SamsungHealth) April 20, 2020
In terms of the hardware, the Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro features an IP68 rugged build, meaning, it can survive 1.5m underwater for 30 minutes. It is also MIL-STD-810 certified and can withstand drops from 1.5m heights. The device packs a huge 6.3-inch AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.
The phone also has a Glove mode and can detect touches from wet fingers. Furthermore, there are two programmable keys, which can act as shortcuts for the most commonly used functions. It crams a 4,050 mAh battery under the hood with support for 18W fast charge. The device has a set of Pogo pins for wireless charging on a dock.
It also has a base configuration of 4 GB of memory, 64 GB of embedded storage and a MicroSD slot that enables up to 512 GB. It also comes with a single 13 MP camera and dual rear cameras, 25 MP and 8 MP respectively. A fingerprint sensor is built-into the side of the phone to go along with facial recognition for extra security.
Read more: iPhone 12 – What to expect and when?
When Samsung introduced the Galaxy XCover Pro ruggedized phone earlier this year, the company showcased it integrated with Microsoft Teams. Simultaneously, Microsoft launched a walkie-talkie feature coming to Teams and highlighted that it will first appear on Samsung’s new Galaxy XCover Pro.
Initially, partners can release the Galaxy XCover Pro’s walkie-talkie feature right away on Verizon’s network. To make use of it, the Verizon Push To Talk Plus application is bundled from the carrier on the phone. Partners can acquire phones from Verizon or its distributors. Later, Verizon will offer them in its retail stores.
Partners can also offer the phones on other 4G LTE networks with unlocked versions of the Galaxy XCover Pro ruggedized phone. The unlocked versions are available from distributors, as well as directly from Microsoft and Samsung.
According to Forbes, using rugged multi-use devices for frontline tasks save employees’ 58 minutes per day while increasing productivity by 34%
How does the walkie-talkie feature help frontline workers?
According to Samsung’s website, “The Galaxy XCover Pro elevates the capability of every team member by enabling them to perform multiple tasks all on one device, no matter where the job takes them”.
Push-to-talk is intended to make frontline workers more productive. It enables them to have instant communications with their colleagues. Target environments include retail stores; even other customer-facing settings such as hotels, hospitals and transportation, both companies have emphasized.
“This new push-to-talk experience enables clear, instant, and secure voice communication over the cloud, turning employee- or company-owned smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie,” according to a post by Microsoft corporate vice president Emma Williams.
Microsoft and Samsung introduced their respective push-to-talk capabilities at the National Retail Federation Big Show in New York. Chris Briglin, head of marketing for B2B products at Samsung, told Channel Futures that the Galaxy XCover Pro is well suited for retail. In a retail setting, customer-facing frontline workers need to communicate and gather information.
“It’s a rugged smartphone that we think is going to enable frontline workers to be extremely productive”, Briglin said. “It balances the line between traditional rugged devices and the consumer device with the case.”
The Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is the company’s latest effort to meet the needs of frontline workers requiring more rugged devices. The IP68 rating ensures that the Galaxy XCover Pro can withstand drops of up to five feet. Similarly, Samsung claims it can tolerate dust or be wet. It has a display designed to work with those wearing gloves.
Samsung is also emphasizing the Galaxy XCover Pro for those looking to streamline workflows for frontline workers. The company has lined up support for third-party scanners, image recognition software and other peripherals.
Among partner offerings available with the Galaxy XCover Pro are the Infinea XC 1D/2D scanner from Infinite Peripherals, the SKX SmartSled Bluetooth barcode reader from Koamtac and the wearable MARK Basic barcode scanner from ProGlove. Scandit, which offers real-time data scanning software, has also developed a software update without requiring modification to existing Android apps.
Samsung commits to keep the Xcover Pro available for two years and releases security updates for three years. While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of Samsung’s $1,000-plus Galaxy S20 line, the Galaxy XCover Pros are lower cost mobile phones, priced at $499.