Samsung Galaxy XCover 7 review: It’s a tough nut

Samsung recently launched their XCover 7 smartphone that’s targeted towards enterprise users who want a smartphone that lets them perform their work tasks without having to worry about the phone’s handling. The XCover 7 is only available from Samsung’s site and for enterprise users at Rs 22,024 with the Samsung Know Suite subscription bundled for an year.

The very first thing you might notice as you unbox the device is its user-replaceable battery unit. Some of you might remember this to be a norm rather than exception in the smartphone space. The device allows you to change the battery while you have put the device on charge and put the new one in place without the device shutting down if you do it within 10 seconds. The back panel can be quickly removed with a slid opening given near the corner. Removing the back panel would also reveal the SIM card slot and microSD card slot. The diagonal patterned hard polycarbonate back and sides are pretty grippy and never felt slippery, having said that the phone weighs 240grams, which isn’t exactly light. It’s an IP68 water and dust-resistant device that is also MIL-STD-810H1 to be usable in tougher weather conditions, including rain and extreme temperatures.

The front features a 6.6-inch (6.4-inch if you exclude rounded corners) (20:9 aspect ratio) display with expectedly thick and unsymmetrical bezels around it. The display also has Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus+ on top for added protection. The left side has an XCover button that you can be mapped to open any app, but by default it’s set to open flashlight. The right side locates the volume buttons and Power/lock key, which can also be configured to open any installed app when double pressed. The top houses the 3.5mm audio jack and secondary mic ; while at the bottom you have pogo pins, USB type C port, primary mic and loudspeaker.

The 6.6-inch full HD+ (2408×1080) TFT LCD display with support for standard 60Hz refresh rates. This is not a spectacular display by any means. It’s bright and usable under direct sunlight, which would be an essential point considering the whole rugged theme. The display’s touch functionality doesn’t completely go away with some drops of water on it and is also usable while wearing gloves. Other than that, it’s sharp enough and okay for watching videos or viewing images for work but it’s certainly not Samsung’s best display for media consumption at this price point.

The phone sports a 4,050mAh (15watt) battery unit that lasted me nearly a day quite frequently. With WiFi hotspot switched on while using 5G and 4G/LTE depending on coverage on the move, the phone lasted over 20 hours on a full charge. Its 5G network reception is also decent, not quite best in the price segment when it comes to latching to 5G continuously, but still fine to not be a deal breaker. Call quality and GPS, though, performed without any issues with clear voice on both sides and quick location lock-in whenever required.

You get a 50MP (f/1.8) rear camera (with dual flash) that can read multiple barcode and QR codes at once. It produces strictly okay photos and isn’t something for showing off which places you visited or what food you had. But it’s usable for scanning documents, scanning QR codes, basically what its main purposes are. The front-facing 5MP (f/2.0) can fulfil your video calling needs and that’s about it.

The XCover 7 comes equipped with MediaTek’s Dimensity 6100+ chipset (up to 2.2Ghz octa core processor and Arm Mali-G57 MC2 GPU) along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB UFS (expandable to 1TB using a microSD card). It runs on One UI 6.0 based on Android 14 with the February security patch installed. The performance is expectedly not the phone’s strength. You can expect to perform messaging, calling, play full HD YouTube videos and scroll one social media app fine, but don’t expect buttery smooth animations and scrolling. The device takes about 2-3 minutes for a restart. The mono loudspeaker is quite loud for gaming and music playback indoors.

Except little quirks, such as you can’t use WiFi and WiFi hotspot at the same time, something you can on a number of smartphones, including from Samsung; it’s a full fledged Samsung device inside where you can customise the how the OS looks as per your preference.

In a nutshell, the XCover 7 is pretty much in line with what’s expected from a mid-range rugged smartphone – it’s physically a tough nut, requires no extra physical care, can take care of your messaging, calling and call recording needs with work related camera tasks, but not much more than that – all with a decent battery life.