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Verizon becomes the first US carrier to pick up Samsung's latest rugged phone (with 5G)

While Apple is all of a sudden trying to make rugged smartwatches mainstream, joining the efforts led by the likes of Garmin for a number of years now, rugged smartphones are still a fairly rare sight at most major carriers and retailers around the world.

Of the few such outdoor and enterprise-friendly mobile devices that do occasionally make it to Verizon or AT&T in the US, for instance, the most appealing options almost always come from Samsung.

Case in point, the 5G-enabled Galaxy XCover 6 Pro, unveiled back in June with little to no availability information to its name and commercially released today for Verizon business customers at a list price of $599.99.

That doesn't exactly make this a dirt-cheap Android mid-ranger, but of course, it's not entirely fair to judge the incredibly robust 6.6-inch handset by "traditional" mid-range standards. While the XCover 6 Pro packs a decidedly non-flagship Snapdragon 778 processor, its resistance to not only water and dust but hard drops, "severe" weather, and many "other hazards" is clearly unrivaled by even the most sophisticated "mainstream" high-end phones out there.

Designed with "extreme" working conditions in mind above all else, this muscular bad boy doesn't come with the largest battery in the world, but said 4,050mAh cell is easily removable and replaceable to keep up with the hardest workers in the most challenging environments.

Meanwhile, the dual rear-facing camera system is... arguably not great by any modern standards (although it does include a respectable-sounding primary 50MP sensor), with the 6.6-inch display however looking almost too good to be true (on paper) for a rugged device, as it sports not just Full HD resolution but state-of-the-art 120Hz refresh rate technology as well.

All in all, this is probably the best rugged smartphone you can buy in the US right now, although you will need to do that exclusively by using Verizon's business channel, at least for the time being. On the bright side, if you are a business or "organization" representative, you're currently eligible for up to a $250 discount with a new line of service or an upgrade of an existing line, which certainly takes some of the sting out of that aforementioned $599.99 retail price.

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