We got a taste of it on Thursday, but now it's official: Samsung's Galaxy Xcover Pro is coming to the U.S., removable battery and all.
The latest update to Samsung's almost decade-old line of more durable Galaxy smartphones seems like a big one. In addition to having a replaceable battery, the Xcover Pro also embraces the more modern Galaxy look of a button-free front display.
The $499 smartphone is IP68 water- and dust-resistant and sports a beefy enough design (MIL-STD-810), according to Samsung, that it can survive falls of up to five feet without a protective case. The highlight for most people will probably be the battery, though. It packs a 4,050 mAh power source that offers plenty of juice on its own, but it also lets you extend your usage unlike most other modern smartphones.
On the inside, the Xcover Pro packs 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, as well as a microSD slot. The 6.3-inch screen is FHD+, so it's not exactly the highest end of smartphone displays. But it's probably plenty for those who prefer the Xcover Pro's more durable design.
You also get cameras. On the back, there's a dual-lens setup sporting a standard 25MP sensor and a wide-angle 8MP sensor. There's also a front-facing 13MP camera, because is a modern phone really worth it if you can't take selfies?
Samsung has generally positioned the Xcover line as an enterprise option, and the Xcover Pro is no different. It's got a pair of built-in, programmable buttons that, thanks to a partnership with Microsoft, allow the phone to be used as a walkie talkie via Microsoft Teams.
The Xcover Pro's design and budget pricing is aimed primarily at what Samsung describes as frontline workers, but there aren't any purchase restrictions. In fact, in a CES 2020 briefing from TechCrunch, the site reports that Samsung "will also sell it to individual customers."
That report, along with Samsung's press release, says the phone is already available for purchase. At the time of this writing, however, it's not showing up in searches of Samsung's online store. Just keep on looking if you think this is the phone for you; the Galaxy Xcover Pro should be available for U.S. customers soon, at a price of $499.