Samsung has plenty of phones in its portfolio, but the Samsung Galaxy Extreme Xcover S5690 is a bit different from the rest. Not only because of it’s got a super long name, but because it is rugged. Its nearest competitor is the Motorola Defy range, the Defy, newer Defy Plus, and the imminent Defy Mini.
Tough little cookie
What makes the Samsung Galaxy Extreme stand out is its arduous features. It is IP67 rated – that means it can withstand dust and water, surviving immersion in up to a metre of the latter and for up to 30 minutes. To do that it needs a solid, enclosed chassis.
Two elements are key. The back-plate is held in place by a screw lock and there’s a secondary protective raised ridge, around the battery, to help protect it from water. The microSD card and SIM card slots are under the battery, where they’re least likely to get attacked by water.
Then there are the hinged covers that protect the microUSB and headset slots, from both dust and water. These are fiddly, particularly the headset connector cover, but very important. The display is made from Gorilla Glass screen, which makes the screen very difficult indeed to scratch or crack.
Samsung hasn’t pandered to the rugged features, and the Galaxy Extreme is a nice looking phone. Its bronze chassis is distinctive, and there are nice ridges along the long edges to assist with grip. The stippled back-plate also helps in that respect. If you hold down the volume rocker, on the left of the chassis, you can turn the camera’s LED on and use it as a torch. Physical buttons beneath the screen look pretty standard, though you may note there are only three of them: Menu, Home and Back. The Google Search function is easily accessed, from an on screen widget.
Not the best
While the rugged features and general design may impress, the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Extreme leave a bit to be desired. The 3.6 inch screen is short on pixels with only 320 x 480 at its disposal. The camera shoots at 3.1 megapixels, and the processor is a relatively slow at 800MHz. There is no Flash support for embedded video, either and only 150MB of built in storage.
What this means is that despite the presence of the usual Android smartphone features, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, GPS, it is, of course, Android 2.3 itself, which allows the Samsung Galaxy Extreme to sit towards the middle of the range. The Defy Plus actually has better features, for ever the so slightly more outlay.
Contact: 01202 552 936
- Solid and rugged; good chassis design.
- General specifications lean solidly towards the mid-range.