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You can't buy the Galaxy S23 Tactical Edition even if you wanted to

It is similar in hardware to the regular Galaxy S23, but has a slew of software features for mission-critical needs.
By

Published onSeptember 21, 2023

Samsung Galaxy S23 Tactical Edition
Samsung Galaxy S23 Tactical Edition
TL;DR
  • Samsung has released Tactical Edition variants of the Galaxy S23 and the Galaxy XCover 6 Pro.
  • These phones have a programmable hardware button but are identical in specifications to their consumer variants.
  • Software features include Stealth Mode, Covert Lock, Dual VPN chaining, and more.

Rugged smartphones are hard to find these days, as no one seems interested in releasing them for the mass market. Your options are pretty limited, and you’d have an easier time pairing a rugged case with an Android flagship instead, even though that would compromise ruggedness. Samsung is increasing options for rugged smartphones with the Galaxy S23 Tactical Edition and Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Tactical Edition, but you can’t buy them as a retail consumer even if you want to.

Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Tactical Edition
Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Tactical Edition

As announced by Samsung, Tactical Edition phones are the same as the regular Galaxy S23 and Galaxy XCover 6 Pro in hardware specifications but with some extra software features on top. Samsung has partnered with Juggernaut Case and Kagwerks to develop rugged military-grade cases, which are sold separately.

These phones can be connected seamlessly with select tactical radios, drone feeds, laser range finders, and external GPS. They are also compatible with AT&T’s FirstNet network. They also have a programmable side key.

Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Tactical Edition 2
Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Tactical Edition 2

Software features unique to the Galaxy S23 Tactical Edition and Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Tactical Edition are as follows:

  • 5G band-locking mode: Allows the phone to connect exclusively to certified 5G networks.
  • Stealth Mode: Disables LTE and e-911 and mutes all radio frequency broadcasting.
    • Covert Lock: Goes one step further to de-energize the baseband communications and GPS, fully securing the device from emitting an RF signature.
  • Night Vision mode: Allows viewing through night vision optic devices.
  • Auto-rotating lockscreen: Allows easier use in flip-down chest mounts.
  • Adjustable Screen Timeout: Extends screen timeout periods.
  • Dual VPN chaining: Enables two VPN connections for inner and outer tunneling of data in transit.
  • Server-less Licensing for Knox.
  • Extended four-year software maintenance cycle: Customers are promised software support until January 2027.

The Galaxy S23 Tactical Edition and Galaxy XCover 6 Pro Tactical Edition are available for purchase through select IT channel partners. These devices are not meant for the average user like you and me and, therefore, will not be available through regular retail channels. Pricing details are also not disclosed publicly.

Note that Juggernaut sells its cases to retail consumers. You can explore rugged cases for the Galaxy S23 if all you want is the same level of hardware protection.