Samsung unveiled its rugged Xcover 4 smartphone in March of last year. A new report by leakster Roland Quandt says that it's time for Samsung to bring out its next-generation rugged smartphone, and that it could arrive on June 12th.
Quandt's new report gives photos of the upcoming XCover 4s smartphone, with the "s" implying something of an iterative upgrade instead of a major leap in design, software, and so on. Images below come courtesy of Roland Quandt at Winfuture.
The upcoming Galaxy XCover 4s, bearing model number SM-G398F, features a 5-inch LCD screen ("LCD" standing for "liquid crystal diode," in case you were wondering), with a 1280 x 720p screen resolution and a pixel density of 294ppi (pixels per inch). This is the same screen and resolution layout as last year, so no changes on the display and resolution.
This means that the screen production will be HD, not Quad HD as Samsung has unveiled with its premium, high-end smartphones such as the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S10+, for example.
Under the hood, the Galaxy XCover 4s will see Samsung's proprietary, octa-core Exynos 7885 SoC clocked at 1.6GHz, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage with a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
The octa-core SoC beats the quad-core SoC for the Xcover 4 last year. 3GB of RAM in the XCover 4s is slightly more than the 2GB of RAM on the Xcover 4, and the XCover 4s's 32GB of internal storage is double that of last year's XCover 4 (16GB).
On the back cover of the Galaxy XCover 4s sits the 16MP back camera with an f/1.7 aperture. There is no optical image stabilization (OIS), however, but merely scene optimization instead. The 5MP selfie camera comes with an f/2.2 aperture but does not feature a camera flash. HD video is possible.
Powering the Galaxy XCover 4s is a 2,800mAh battery that Samsung has made removable. This is a good move for power users who still like the idea of carrying a few spare batteries around for all-day usage.
In contrast, last year's 2,800mAh battery in the Galaxy XCover 4 was non-removable, so it seems as though Samsung has added this feature for budget-friendliness or simply a change of heart on removable batteries.
The upgrade to the XCover 4s charging capacity is that it carries USB Type-C charging now whereas last year's Xcover 4 carried only micro-USB charging. Users should see faster charging speeds now in the next-generation ruggedized smartphone.
The XCover 4s is a rugged smartphone, which means that Samsung brings along IP68 water and dust certification for the ride. This means that you're looking at a water-resistant and dustproof phone that you can place in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
There's a difference between "water-resistant" and "waterproof". "Water-resistant" means that some water (not all) will roll off the phone and not affect it, while "waterproof" means that no water can get into the phone.
The XCover 4s is water-resistant but not waterproof, so you won't be able to put this phone in water for the sake of reckless abandon. Last year's Xcover 4 provided the same IP68 certification, so nothing's changed on this front.
Other surprises for the Galaxy XCover 4s include Bluetooth 5.0 and the return of the headphone jack. Samsung also continues its proud tradition of the Xcover Key. If you recall, this was the same key design for Samsung's Galaxy S Active series.
The Galaxy S4 Active, S5 Active, S6 Active, S7 Active, and S8 Active all included a special key (with a special color to stand out) that let users tap to access a favorite app or service (one tap to access Google Drive, or Spotify, or Samsung's former Milk Music radio service, for example).
Samsung has since discontinued the Galaxy S Active series, so it seems likely that the XCover 4s, as with the entire XCover series, is the "Active" line reborn but with a more affordable price tag than the S Active series. The XCover Key here is a dead giveaway to the "Active" series reborn from the technological ashes. The front keys are also a reminder of the Active Series' trademark button lineup.
With the possible June 12th unveil date, Quandt says that the Galaxy XCover 4s could cost as little as 250 euro. There's currently no word on whether or not this phone will ever step foot outside the European Continent.