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Waterproof phone not actually waterproof
on March 26, 2014
This phone is decent, but that's about the extent of it. When I purchased it, it had a mediocre processor and screen, and was missing a couple of features that are pretty standard (notification LED and automatic brightness sensor are the ones that leap to mind). But the big draw was that it was waterproof and could handle being fumbled without completely destroying itself.
I've dropped it once or twice, and had no problems. Based on experience with another Samsung rugged phone (the B-2100), I assumed that when Samsung said it was waterproof, they weren't kidding. The 2100 is amazingly rugged and truly waterproof. However, a minor dousing of this phone has, at least temporarily, damaged its ability to sense touch on the touch screen. It'll probably dry out and be just fine, but that's not really the point -- it should not be disabled by minor exposure to water in the first place. Obviously a smartphone that can't sense touches on the screen is completely useless, so now I have a brick until it dries out.
Fortunately, the 2100 and this phone share the same size SIM card, so I can swap the card over and be back in business with calls and texting. But it's pretty ridiculous to make a big deal out of a phone's waterproof rating, and scale back the CPU, memory and features to meet a price, then fail on the waterproofness.
As a phone, when it's working properly, the Xcover 2 works well enough. The screen has fewer pixels than the S3 I came from, but I was able to work around that. I like that it's physically smaller. The CPU is adequate. I miss having a notification LED. The front-facing camera is pretty terrible, but I didn't get it for the camera. The speaker is quite powerful, and while it still sounds like a phone, it can pump out a good bit of volume. The 1 GB of available storage space is pretty limiting, and is probably the greatest weakness of the phone if you intend to load a lot of apps on it. The battery life is surprisingly good.
Discounting the lack of waterproofness, I'm reasonably happy with this phone. With the waterproof fail, I'm kind of disappointed. Now I have a relatively weak phone that can't even boast the one thing that made it worth the compromises.