Three months ago I purchased the Samsung Galaxy Xcover S5690 tough phone. The phone was not that bad, with big screen, OK resolution, and rather well behaving Android.
Unfortunately, today (May 9, 2012) the screen broke, seemingly by itself – at least I did no do anything bad to neither the phone, nor to the bag the phone was in. The screen got a large diagonal crack from the middle of the left side to the middle button at the bottom.
Checked it on the Internet, and it seems to be quite usual problem with this phone – the screen is covered with very fragile plastic protector that breaks easily, and screen is following immediately. People say that the warranty is not covering this issue – Samsung replies in these cases that the phone was “physically abused”. Remember, this is supposedly a tough phone, and there are plenty of ads everywhere with cars driving over this phone!
[UPDATE 1] The phone was replaced by Samsung service – clearly it has something to do with Finnish laws about consumer protection or something. Interestingly, believe me or not, the screen broke again after just a week (it got a small punch-hole under the middle button), and WAS AGAIN REPLACED by Samsung service. In the mean-time I have got a leather flip-case for the phone, so now I have the screen protected, and, hopefully, it will not break that easily anymore.
[UPDATE 2] After I had time to play with the phone once it was out for constant servicing, I realized that it has really small internal storage, something like 160 MB. This is not enough for anything, and trust me, I am really selective about my apps. Moving apps to SD card is not helping much, as many applications want to stay on the phone, especially if the have widgets, or need to start with the phone. All in all, for this reason alone I cannot recommend this phone – there are much cheaper Android phones with better screens, and larger storage, that cost half the price of XCover.
Conclusion [EDITED] If you really need a reliably tough phone, then stay away from this piece of
crap mobile engineering. Originally I added, that “there are definitely much tougher models out there in the market“, but now, after looking into it, it is clear that all Android (and iOS, and Windows) tough phones are tough only in comparison with very not-tough Android phones. In fact, they might be tougher in terms of water and dust resistance. The screen is made out of normal glass, so it is breaking very easily. The only advantage might be that it was replaced twice by Samsung, but it is clearly country-dependent policy.
PS Before this phone I always had Nokia phones. My current Nokia E63 is about 3-4 years old, is not “tough”, and was dropped to concrete floor without any silicone case at least 10 times during these years – no problem whatsoever!