Headphone jacks, expandable storage, and swappable batteries used to be common on the best Android phones, but have become increasingly rarer. Those features aren’t gone for good, though, and at least some of them can be found in the Galaxy XCover6 Pro smartphone that Samsung just revealed.
Samsung’s Galaxy XCover series has been around for a few years, serving as a more durable (and usually lower-end) version of the company’s Galaxy S smartphones. This new model has a ruggedized design, MIL-STD-810H and IP68 ratings (meaning it can survive drops onto ground or into water), a 6.6-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 5G, and Android 12. Samsung also says the phone will receive five years of security updates, just like the Galaxy S22 and some other recent Galaxy devices.
Since the XCover series focuses on durability over a sleek and thin design, it has a few features that are rare on typical smartphones. The internal 4,050mAh battery is easily replaceable and can be swapped with another Samsung-made battery. There is a standard USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, but the XCover6 Pro also has pogo pins for charging. The idea is that if a company or organization buys many XCover6 Pro phones for work purposes, someone can toss them all on a multi-device charger at the end of the day instead of fiddling with cables or wireless charging.
There’s also an ‘XCover Key’ that can be customized to perform different actions, like the remappable button on a few other niche phones, such as the Unihertz Titan Pocket. Expandable storage is supported with a microSD card, which is unfortunately becoming rare. However, there’s no mention of a headphone jack in Samsung’s press release — it looks like there’s one on the top in one of the provided images, but that could just be a microphone or sensor.
The XCover6 Pro will become available in July 2022, but only in “select markets across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.” Samsung says it will arrive in other regions “at a later date,” but unfortunately, that probably doesn’t include North America — last year’s XCover 5 was never sold in the United States. That’s a shame, because there aren’t many options for durable smartphones in ‘Murica, and even fewer phones with easily-replaceable batteries.
Source: Samsung Newsroom