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Samsung has a new rugged phone and tablet, and you can use one without a battery

The two devices also share enthusiast features like a 3.5mm port and microSD card slot.

Published onJanuary 10, 2024

The Samsung Galaxy XCover 7 and Galaxy Tab Active 5.
  • Samsung has launched the Galaxy XCover 7 and Galaxy Tab Active 5.
  • The former is a rugged phone while the latter is a rugged tablet.
  • The tablet can also be used without its battery.

A European retailer accidentally listed the Samsung Galaxy XCover 7 this week, but we didn’t have to wait long for the actual launch. Yes, Samsung has now launched the new rugged phone along with a rugged tablet.

The Korean brand peeled the curtain back on the new devices today, and the XCover 7 is broadly in line with previous leaks. In terms of design, you’re getting an IP68 rating, MIL-STD-810H certification, POGO pins for charging, and a programmable hardware button.

Otherwise, the new rugged phone brings a 6.6-inch FHD+ TFT screen with a waterdrop notch, an unnamed processor (believed to be the mid-range Dimensity 6100 Plus), 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,050mAh battery. 

Samsung Galaxy XCover 7 official

Best of all, the Galaxy XCover 7 also brings a 3.5mm port, a microSD card slot, and a removable battery. Each of these three additions are rare to see on modern smartphones so we’re glad to have all of them on one phone.

Other Galaxy XCover 7 features worth knowing include a solitary 50MP rear camera, a 5MP selfie snapper, and Gorilla Glass Victus Plus protection. There are a few notable omissions though. These compromises include no fingerprint scanner (using camera-based face unlock), Wi-Fi 5 instead of a more recent standard, and a 60Hz refresh rate for the display.

Galaxy Tab Active 5 brings a battery trick

Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 5 official

Samsung’s latest tablet brings a durable design to the table, featuring an IP68 rating, the older Gorilla Glass 5 display protection, and a MIL-STD-810H design. In fact, the included S Pen also offers an IP68 rating. Samsung is also offering a rugged case in the box, with the Korean brand saying your tablet should be able to withstand a 1.8-meter (5.9-foot) drop when using this case.

When it comes to the more conventional specs, the Galaxy Tab Active 5 brings an 8-inch 120Hz TFT screen, an unnamed chipset, 6GB to 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of (thankfully) expandable storage, and a 5,050mAh battery.

In a cool touch, this battery is removable and the tablet can still be used without the battery (via the charger). Samsung says this “No Battery Mode” allows users to preserve battery health in hot environments such as in a kiosk or vehicle. This could also be a boon for the device many years down the line, allowing you to still use the tablet if the battery no longer holds a charge or becomes swollen. If you can’t find a spare battery, that is.

Other Galaxy Tab Active 5 features include a 3.5mm port, 5G connectivity, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP selfie snapper, a fingerprint scanner, and a remappable hardware button.

Samsung’s rugged devices: Pricing and availability

Intrigued by Samsung’s new rugged phone and tablet? Well, the company says these new products will be available this month. Unfortunately, there’s no official word on pricing just yet. We’ve asked Samsung for more pricing information and will update the article if/when it gets back to us.

Samsung Galaxy XCover 7: Hot or not?

229 votes

For what it’s worth, the Galaxy XCover 7 was listed at ~$400 via a European retailer. So we’d expect broadly similar pricing for the US.

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