Samsung has started working on its first 5G-enabled rugged smartphone. The information comes from the Dutch website GalaxyClub, which claims the device could have entered development with the model number SM-G501B. This indicates that the phone will come with 5G connectivity.
This handset was also recently benchmarked in HTML5TEST running Android 11. Apparently, it has a display aspect ratio of 20:9. No other details about this device are available at the moment. It's also unclear whether Samsung plans to launch this phone in a 5G variant only or there will be a 4G LTE model as well.
Since 5G will likely become mainstream in several regions over the next couple of years, there's a good chance that it will have just one 5G variant. However, if a 4G variant exists, then it will likely carry the model number SM-G500F.
Samsung has a rugged 5G smartphone in the pipeline
Rugged smartphones and tablets have carved out their own niche over the years. These devices cater to a specific group of people who mostly work outdoors or, as they say, frontline workers. And as we transition into 5G wireless networks, the demand for rugged 5G mobile devices will likely rise.
Chinese phone maker Ulefone launched the Ulefone Armor 10 5G earlier this week, claiming it to be the world's first 5G rugged phone. Samsung doesn't want to be left behind and has started work on its own rugged 5G phone.
The Korean giant already has a dedicated XCover series of rugged smartphones that have been selling pretty well. The last model in the series, the Galaxy XCover Pro, was launched in January this year. It appears the device is now getting a sequel, with 5G connectivity.
It's unclear what the newly-discovered SM-G501B will be called though. The model preceding the XCover Pro was called XCover 4s, which launched in July last year. This device was essentially a revamped version of the older XCover 4. So if the upcoming model is a direct sequel to the XCover 4/4s, then it will likely debut as the Galaxy XCover 5. In that case, it should be a budget offering even with 5G connectivity. At $499, the XCover Pro is slightly on the expensive side of things.
That said, the SM-G501B is still in the very early stages of development and a lot can change by the time it becomes ready to hit the market. We should be hearing more about it in the coming months, as Samsung progresses with the development of the device.