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on 4 September 2013
-Very resistant to water; dropped it a couple a time with no water damage
-Built in apps are useful
-Good grip
-easy to use

-Not a lot of memory space; put in an extra 13gb card but phone still says im running out of memory with only 8 apps installed and the highest of which is 40mb
-Not exactly shatter proof: the screen cracked when i dropped it (on gravel) and cant find repair kits for it
-Zoom on camera is awful; picture goes blurry
-Hard to get back off; which is a good thing if you drop it; but not to change sim card
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on 19 August 2014
This phone is great, except there seems to be a problem with the usb port breaking so the phone no longer charges. When sent back as still under warranty Samsung claim damage through misuse so warranty is invalid. If you look at the internet it seems that lots and lots of people have had the same problem. --I would not recommend buying this phone as it does not seem to last very long and Samsung customer service seems to be very poor if you have a problem.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 May 2013
Warning - this review and rating is based on the phones use for outdoor activities ( hiking etc ) rather than general use of the phone.

I didn't buy this to replace my daily phone - I bought it for one purpose and that's to take with me when I go hiking.

It will replace the aging SatMap 10+ which I used for a few years but its slightly bulky and the screen was dated 10 years ago and now its ancient in computer terms with its 3.5 inch screen with 240 x 320 pixel resolution.

I kept hoping SatMap would launch an updated model but this now seems very unlikely.

I looked at the Garmin alternatives but their screen and resolutions are not much better.

I'd been using my "normal" smartphone for a while but concerned about waterproofing and ruggedness. The last thing I need is to be lost up a mountain in the mist and heavy rain and for the phone to pack up due to water ingress. The SatMap is at least waterproof and pretty drop proof too ( as I have tested by accident! )

Anyway the Samsung XCover 2 with its high ( compared to the SatMap ) resolution screen and waterproofing looks ideal.

I installed the excellent ViewRanger app and various 1:50000 and 1:25000 maps of the UK.

I've only had the phone a week and not yet tested it in any rainy misty situations but I have tried in bowls of water without issue.

It seems rugged - though doesn't feel as rugged as the SatMap - though short of throwing it against a wall I can't be sure.

The only downside will be battery life. The SatMap could easily last 12 hours on 1 charge and have some juice to spare.

I very much doubt the XCover 2 will last that long while using GPS but when I get to test it for real on a long hike I'll update the review.

The other thing I've not been able to properly test is how good it is in bright sunlight. Living in the UK it may be some time before I can test that! Strangely its lacking an auto brightness option - which I find quite useful on other phones.

Of course the other advantage of the XCover vs a Garmin or SatMap GPS is its a phone! I'll still be carrying my main phone as back up and its good to have 2 GPS devices which are also phones - just in case one packs up in the middle of nowhere.

One issue that does concern me is the phone does feel slightly slippy - despite the dimpled back plate. Its hard plastic and not rubber - I'd have preferred a more grippy rubber exterior.

Another issue is it does seem fairly easy to switch the phone on. I don't know if this will happen in practice but its a concern.

Size wise its not too bad. Much smaller and lighter than a SatMap but still a little chunkier than many phones these days.

The phone interface is nice and fast - no lag or other issues. Jellybean is a joy to use compared to the old versions of Android which personally I never liked.

One big con is the lack of memory on the phone for apps. Though it says 4GB in the specs - over 3gbs is already used by the Samsumg apps which you can't remove and to be honest I never use.

Which leaves something less than a GB of memory for all your apps and I couldn't find a "Move to SD Card" option for apps as there is for my other phone. I would imagine you can get an APP to do it but not looked.

--- Update 24 May 2013 ---

I had change to do a couple of hikes with the phone to test it out.

Battery life is pretty good. I left on an 8 mile hike and it was at 99%. With the GPS permanently on and tracking my location and occasional use of the screen it was down to 83% when I got back just over 2 hours later.

I'd guess this phone will give 5 - 8 hours of use as a GPS depending on how much you look at the screen as opposed to it being in your bag.

The screen is not that bright outdoors and needs to be on maximum even on a dull summer day. It gave me no problems reading the screen.

The reason I've given the phone 3 stars rather than the original 4 stars is down to the GPS.

It starts off well - with the phone pointing at the sky it was using 18 satellites and giving an accurate location and even height.

When things went downhill was when the GPS was in an outer pocket of my waterproof coat I was wearing. Every so often I checked the track it was creating and was shocked how out it was sometimes! It did a surprisingly poor job of recording exactly where I'd been. Also when I took it out my pocket at a known place it was often a good 30m or 40m out.

My existing phone - a Motorola Razr Maxx was in comparison was spot on with tracking and also my location when I took it out my pocket.

I found accuracy improved if I put the Samsung phone in an outside mesh pocket high up on my rucksack and is very accurate if held in the hand pointing at the sky.

The surprising thing is the Motorola phone often only used 6 satellites but got a much better signal to noise ratio. The Samsung can easily pick up 15 - 18 satellites but with a poorer average signal.

As the Samsung is just a back up emergency phone for me this is not an issue. But I'd be disappointed if I had to use it instead of my Motorola Razr Maxx as my normal phone.
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on 3 February 2014
Really unhappy with this phone simply because you can upload stuff up to 1 gb even though i had bought an external card 14 gb i cant transfer the files to the external card so result i m stuck, i cant see any previous photos neither download apps,I sent it to the technical samsung team in teddington for repairing but they could nt fix it.i m willing to buy the experia z1 compact and send this back what a NIGHTMARE.
By the way i thought i was the unlucky one but unfortunately i m not as discovered afterwards i ve purchased it
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on 20 June 2014
Very sturdy, almost rugged and water resistant. Most affordable. Shame about the memory but I do not use many apps. Only downloaded whatssup and a torch. So works well for me.
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on 17 February 2014
Excellent unit mine has been in rivers and all sorts and still works. the only downside is the memory only being 800mb. a memory card can be bought but apps can not be transferred onto it so its only good for music.
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on 4 January 2014
My first smartphone so I may be a bit biased. Easy to use, set up and personalise and does everything i want. People seem to rave about iphones, but as yet I haven't found anyone who can show or tell me exactly what an iphone can do that this can't at around a third of the price. Definitely feels tougher than a normal smartphone and the waterproof and dustproof covers over all the ports are good, fit well and feel well made. I haven't tested them though!! Battery life seems good; it will do two days on one charge although I keep options like gps, wifi etc turned off unless i'm using them because they consume a lot more power. Picture quality from the camera seems excellent although nowhere near as good as you would get from a proper camera like an SLR. But then it's a phone and the camera is purely about convenience; It's more than good enough in that respect.
One of the other big benefits is that you can change the battery when it's finally had enough which of course it will. You can't do that on an iPhone.
I would highly recommend it and would definitely buy another one if I had to. There's nothing I need that it doesn't do, although in all honesty I'm probably not the heaviest user of smartphone type apps etc.
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on 7 January 2016
Good and rugged phone. I found it to be very waterproof and lived up to the tough decription (I am not easy on things) and was very useful for my purposes (calling, texting, some browsing, alarms and GPS mapping. However, I was disappointed at the lack of Android updates for it which prevented me from pairing it with bluetooth heart rate monitors. On top of that, the phone I purchased was refurbished and appeared to have some sort of glitch in the processor which meant the startup sequence was jerky and the phone could be slightly slow sometimes, which is a shame. On top of this, it comes from the era when Samsung would not allow app storage on memory cards and so the available storage was relatively low. Good if you want basic functions and a tough smartphone though.
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on 20 January 2015
I have been using this phone for about one Month. It is my first smartphone.
What features was I looking for?
* Robust Construction
* Reasonable battery life
* FM radio
* Torch
What do I need the phone for?
* Outdoor lifestyle
* Light use for calls, SMS, & internet browsing.
*Phone was easy to set up and use (I do have 12 months experience of using a Samsung Android Tablet)
*Screen seems nice and large, making typing fairly straightforward
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on 21 April 2014
Good brand and survives water :-D
Excellent price and quick delivery - cameras good and screen is very good in size and quality
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