Of the 8 billion Galaxy branded devices that Samsung brought forth into being for IFA 2011, it was refreshing to get our hands on the XCover because it actually looked and felt different to the rest.

It's a tough phone, which is one of the things that accounts for the fact, but it's by no means an overly chunky, all-rubber, dulled out screen affair. In fact, if we hadn't have seen the name plate next to it on the show floor, we might never have guessed.

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The Samsung Galaxy XCover is the first of the company's tough phones to receive the Galaxy name and, complete with the Android 2.3 OS on board, it's set to go head to head with Motorola's Defy+. It might not have quite as beefy a spec sheet as the Motorola - an 800MHz processor, a 3.65-inch LCD - but it does have that all important IP67 rating which means that you can throw it from things, drop it in things and cover it with things and it will still work.

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More to the point, it's a tough phone and it doesn't look horrid. There's a slight tank-like look to its casing, thanks to the military striping on the sides where the outer is reinforced, and all the ports are flapped to stop water and dust doing their worst.

At the same time, the interface is good, the touchscreen responsive and there's even a rather nice utility chic appearance to the front face with the Android buttons embossed like gun metal. The XCover might not be as powerful as others in its class but, camouflaged as a civilian device, it looks as if it's a worthy SOB.

ee.co.uk - PAY MONTHLY PHONES The Samsung Galaxy S10+ is now available on EE who have been awarded the UK’s best network for the fifth year running. RootMetrics tested the four UK networks and EE was faster and more reliable than all of them, with better data performance. Their network has come a long way since they launched in 2012. Back then they had 11 UK cities covered by 4G. Today they cover most of the UK’s land mass, thanks to 19,000 state-of-the-art 4G sites. They’ve got faster, too – from 50Mbps to a maximum speed of 400Mbps. And they’re soon to experience even greater possibilities with the launch of 5G.