Samsung Brings Two Rugged Galaxy Devices To The U.S.

Samsung is introducing a couple of tough new devices in the United States, though neither one is aimed at the general public. Instead, the rugged gadgets are being pitched to frontline workers and people whose jobs take them into tough environments. Both a smartphone and a tablet are on offer, each one with physical features that enhance their durability, as well as software that promises to add an extra level of security. Other features include 5G connectivity, which allows for fast data transfer speeds in areas that support it, and replaceable batteries.

The new phone is called the Galaxy XCover6 Pro, while Samsung's rugged tablet will be sold as the Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro. The South Korean company claims to have improved the devices' resistance against vibration, humidity, altitude, and temperature without packing on too much extra weight. Although durable smartphones and tablets have existed for a while, bigger tech companies have dipped further into the market in recent months. Apple's current top-end smartwatch, the Apple Watch Ultra, was also presented as a piece of tech that can operate in extremely harsh conditions.

In a statement, Samsung's Vice President and Head of Mobile B2B at Samsung Electronics America, Chris Balcik, explained exactly what the devices were designed for. He says: "With durable, water-resistant designs, replaceable batteries and 5G connectivity capabilities, these devices help frontline and field workers get the job done from anywhere there's a connection, whether they're on their feet, in trucks or at stores."

Durable but light

Both the phone and tablet are built with durability in mind. The Xcover6 Pro has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ installed and can cope with drops from heights up to 5 feet, while the tablet comes with Gorilla Glass 5 and is capable of surviving a fall from over 3 feet. Both devices are also pretty slim and light for rugged models, with the phone being just over a third of an inch thick and weighing under 9 ounces. The tablet isn't much thicker and weighs around 1.5 pounds, which is more than the phone but not a lot for a durable tablet.

Samsung says that both devices feature "6nm Octa-Core advanced processors." The Galaxy XCover6 Pro comes with 128GB of storage, while the tablet also comes with a 64GB option. The storage on both devices can also be expanded up to 1TB if a micro SD card is installed. As far as security goes, both devices benefit from Samsung's in-house Knox encryption software. The Galaxy XCover6 Pro will pack a number of biometric features, including facial recognition and a fingerprint scanner, while the Galaxy XCover6 Pro has the option of an enterprise edition that includes enhanced security and support. The enterprise edition also comes with a year of Samsung's Knox suite security bundle included.

Built for frontline work

The replaceable batteries are a key feature that could set the devices apart from standard smartphones and tablets. Not only does changing out one of the device's life-limiting parts become simple, but users also have the option of just installing a fully charged battery when their device is low on power. Some of the features Samsung has mentioned are clearly designed with frontline workers in mind. The adjustable touchscreen sensitivity is a good example, as it allows first responders to use their phones more effectively even when they're in a situation that requires latex gloves. The tablet also comes with an integrated S-Pen, so users can interact with it even if their hands are covered by a thick pair of gloves.

The Galaxy Tab Active4 Pro is available now through Samsung's business website and priced from $649, while the Galaxy XCover6 Pro is due to release on October 20. Pricing for the smartphone is not yet available, but Samsung says it will be sold through its website, business website, Amazon Business, IT channel partners, and select carriers.