Samsung C3350 Xcover 2 phone – initial review

As per my post yesterday, I have plumped for the Samsung C3350 Xcover 2 phone in the vain hope of halting my one man mission to destroy all phones on the face of the planet. I kid you not…

Ok, so here is a an “initial thoughts” review of the phone including a days use and playing with it.

What comes with it….

  • the phone 🙂
  • a very brief instruction booklet
  • a “handsfree kit” (earphones plus mic button)
  • a charger

Ok, so there is no PC USB cable (there wasnt on the last Samsung candy bar phone I had), no lanyard, no cover, no freebies. WYSIWYG

Initial handling

Upon handling the phone, it does strike you immediately that it is a tad chunky (if you are used to smartphones then it will be positively Johnny Vegas to you) although not unpleasing to the eye. It is grey and black so no garish colours but not exactly going to set the world alight with its looks. The phone feels solid and well built but given its slightly chunky nature, surprisingly light. There is a fairly big speaker area on the reverse of the phone which I tested out with a range of music and found to be actually very good indeed. The phone has a small ridge “handle” on the top which i presume is for attaching a lanyard if you want to. It also serves to raise the phone slightly so that the camera lens does not touch the surface the phone is laid upon.

Other things to note are that the screen is not huge but for a candybar type respectable at 2.2 inches. The buttons are rubberised for prevention of water ingress and it will be interesting to see how long the decals last on them before starting to scratch/rub off. The “cursor” or “mouse” button is in fact a central button with a surrounding square that allows for directional use (again presumably in aid of water proofing). The back panel housing the battery is accessed via a large “coin” screw and has obvious water seals. The back panel does need to be fully engaged and pushed into place before closing the screw again so that water proofing is maintained. Lastly there is a small button near the top that activates the phones dedicated LED torch (points forward).

Specifications

For those that need to know here is a summary of the specs:

  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 2MP camera
  • USB 2.0
  • Internal micro SD card port (up to 16GB)
  • Standard internal memory 38MB
  • MP3 player
  • Radio
  • EDGE and GPRS data
  • Torch
  • Stand-by time of 1000hours (claimed maximum)
  • Talk-time of 19hours (claimed maximum)
  • IP67 rating (waterproof, dustproof)
  • Shockproof
  • 240 x 320 pixels screen resolution
  • claimed weight 110g (inc battery)
  • Internet accessible

Actual first usage

Well, this is fairly academic as it is not a complicated phone so it pretty much does what it says on the tin. There are a few things to note.

As mentioned earlier the external speakers on the phone are actually very good and certainly the largest I have seen on a phone. Also the torch is quite reasonable. In a completely dark room, it will light the way up to about 1ofeet so can be used for opening car doors in the dark. The other thing for me is that it is actually well suited for use in a tent, not as a substitute for a headtorch but as a “middle of the night” torch for finding things and as a back up. The claimed weight of 110g is a bit “light” as my scales recorded 122g but lets not quibble, its fairly light given its chunky construction.

I havent tested the receiver in the wild yet but the internet connection is reasonably quick with a good signal. The camera is easy to use and the results in outdoor daylight surprisingly good. The menus are intuitive and easy to master. The predictive text on the SMS function is good although as with these things sometimes hilarious (I reckon they have programmed a few things out of the urban dictionary into it!). Of course the main thing that I want to test but dont and wont until the situation arises is its waterproofness. I will just have to take it on trust and I am not about to chuck my new phone in the bath just to test it out!

So what do I think? Intially I am not exactly overwhelmed by the appearance and size of the phone. It is a tad clunky and a tad “retro”. However, it is reasonably well specced (for me); has a decent music player and speakers, a surprisingly passable camera, internet connectivity, a torch and an as-yet-to-be-tested waterproofness rating of IP67. It cost me £70 which is neither cheap nor expensive. I wouldnt want to pay much more than that for it but think that if it lasts it will be very good value indeed. After all I am a serial phone killer. If I had to give it a rating based purely on a function/form/spec viewpoint it would be 6/10. However, a rating based on whether it can be used well in an outdoor environment by a user who is prone to accidents I would give it an 8/10

I’ll do another review in a few months time to give an update on its use and performance over the longer term.

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About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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50 Responses to Samsung C3350 Xcover 2 phone – initial review

  1. Ben says:

    Having read your previous post i am not sure if you are the perfect person to do a long term phone test or the worst 🙂

  2. backpackbrewer says:

    thanks Ben! erm….I think! 😀

    I reckon I am the perfect person to test this “little” fella out

  3. Ulysses says:

    There are plenty of videos on Youtube of this phone being placed in tanks of water so I think it’s pretty safe to try.

  4. jeff says:

    can you change the font size while reading or writing text message?

  5. jason says:

    Any updates on the C3350 ? I am looking for a phone that is up to the rigours of site ( I am an electrician). I keep destroying phones or drowning them. For what its worth I have already ordered it but would still be interested to hear how it is holding up a couple of months later.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Hi Jason,

      The phone is holding up well. I have dropped it in the bath twice now and no issues. Its been rained on and I have dropped it once. The camera is ok and I have used it alot, along with the light on the top of the phone. The only thing I have noticed is that the big screw on the back panel of the phone for the battery compartment sometimes works its way loose. Having said that you dont actually need the screw as the back panel is a tight fit and doesnt budge. I might put a drop of silicone on the screw thread to stop it unwinding

      Other than that it still works, still looks ok and I havent killed it yet 🙂

  6. Bertil Fox says:

    Call quality via earpiece is OK?Sound volume,clear voice, etc.(compared to other phones).Thanks!

    • backpackbrewer says:

      call sound and quality is ok. I dont personally use the earpiece suplied as it hurts my ears (but then all hard plastic insert types do)

  7. Bob says:

    I recently got the Samsung Solid Extreme which i beleive is the model down to this, I got it off ebay so it was second hand and i have put it through absolute hell and it has survived so with the X-cover being rated at IP67 (the one i have is IP57) im sure it could take anything. The phone has had a guy stand on it on one foot and it did not break and i have thrown it up in the air as high as i could and watched it simply bounce off the floor and be fine, it is very entertaining when droped into a drink just to show people that it can handle it. I think Unless you are activley trying to destroy it then it would not break it would be quite a challenge even with a hammer or something to get it to smash.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      agreed Bob,

      I have seen that model phone at my place of work for all the team leaders and seems very robust. In fact I remember once that a certain team leader came in to a really bad hand over and was so pissed off that he threw said phone as hard as he could against the wall. It did break into a couple of pieces but when it was put back together and strapped up with tape it worked perfectly!

      I wont tempt fate with mine but so far its been a good phone

  8. Karl. says:

    Hello can you tell me what the ring tones are like and if they are bad are you able to play music from the memory card as ring tones,also when using reminders do you get an alarm on the date of the event or do you have to remember to look them up as with some Samsung phones,also what is the battery life like how long did you use the phone for before it went flat?

    Many thanks.

    Karl.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      The ring tones are pretty standard but I’ve not attempted to change them for music ones from a memory card (I will have a play with the phone and let you know soon about that one). If you put an event/appointment/anniversay in the phone you can set an alarm for it at the same time. With regards to the battery life, I havent run it completely flat but I have gone a week without having to recharge the phone

      • Karl says:

        Thank you I look forward to you finding these things out,also is the operating software of the phone quick to respond,is it confusing to use can you compare it to similar phones like the Samsung B2710 or Nokia 3720?

        • backpackbrewer says:

          Its not the quickest but its ok. Its a bit subjective as I am normally a simple (non iphone) kind of fella.

  9. Karl says:

    Hello again,I was wondering if you have reviewed similar phones like other samsung models and perhaps the Nokia 3720 classic?

    Many thanks.

    Karl.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Sorry Karl, I havent really reviewed other phones fully but I have had a few in my time! I have recently got a Nokia N97 which to my mind isnt a patch on the N95 (another phone I killed 😦 )

  10. Karl says:

    Hello again,regarding this phone,do you know if you get an alarm when using reminders and do you get the usual samsung problem of a message saying DNS unavailable OK and when you press the button all your texts and missed calls come through?

    Many thanks.

    Karl.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Hi Karl,

      no I dont get the DNS issue you refer to on this phone. I can set an alarm for appointments and the like, if thats what you mean?

      cheers, Dave

  11. Karl says:

    Thank you,since my last comment I had the chance to have a go at this phone in a shop and found it very difficult to use and although I found the reminders feature through the calendar it wouldn’t sound an alarm at all,I tried typing something in then setting a time for a few minutes and the reminder appeared,but no alarm at all.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      had a play with this and you set an appointment in the calendar section and the alarm goes off. you can add a bit of detail and tell the phone how often to give you this reminder and when to turn the alarm off.

  12. Karl says:

    Hello again,one last thing I would like to know,can you change the font size for text messaging and phone numbers?

    Thanks again.

    Karl.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      post review edit…… it has been brought to my attention that although you can change the font size in the menu to large, if you then go to write a text message it doesnt alter the size of the characters accordingly. Because I could change the font size in the menu I assumed (wrongly) that it would naturally change the text writing when out of the option menu. I should have checked it out further so apologies if this mistake caused confusion

      • Karl says:

        Thank you I think I will buy one now.

      • ron allan says:

        please tell how when writing messages, thanks, as vodafone are unable to.

        • backpackbrewer says:

          Hi Ron,

          the font size can be changed in the settings menu/display option then choose large medium or small. This allows menus to be viewed in different sizes. I assumed that this would change the text size when writing a text (I didnt check after changing the font size!) but it didnt so apologies if this caused confusion

          • ron allan says:

            so large text is not achievable in writing text. I hope Karls eyesight is better than mine as he bought the phone believing it was! regards, Ron.

          • backpackbrewer says:

            Hi Ron,

            at least he had chance to play with the phone in the shop but my bad I didnt check fully having assumed that changing the text size in the options would change the text writing size. That is a bit odd to say the least

  13. ron allan says:

    what seems odd to me is that you issue advice on assumptions and that you alter your blog retrospectively to suit, do let me know if you find the answer to the original question, thanks Ron

  14. Andy says:

    Hi………… Have you managed to disable the torch button when the phone is locked, or is this not possible. I keep taking it out of my pocket to find the torch beaming up at me. I’m sure this will use up loads of the battery life. The phone seems ok and simple other than that.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Hi Andy, do you mean when the screen is locked via the * button? The torch can be turned on and off even if the screen is locked on my phone

  15. Polo says:

    Hi, I find this phone very interesting. I just broke my E1130 and thought of buying this one to replace it.

    Two questions: is it possible to display SMS in some kind of “conversation mode”, by contact with sent and received messages mixed, like in smartphones, or is it necessarily by inbox and outbox? And is it possible to listen to the FM radio without the eadphones plugged in?

    Thanks for the review.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Hi Polo,

      sorry for late reply, missed this one.

      It is possible to display SMS in conversation mode yes but it isnt possible to have the radio on without headphones

      cheers, Dave

      • Polo says:

        A late thank you for a late answer 🙂

        Btw it *is* possible to listen to the FM radio without the headphones. I bought this phone (thanks to your review) a few weeks ago and I’m very pleased with it. With a screen protector, it’s a perfect phone!

        • backpackbrewer says:

          Good! I am glad Polo 🙂

          I have just given the phone to my daughter as she needs a rough and tumble phone. Its still working well btw 😀

  16. Veebee says:

    With my phone I got a 16gb sd card. I have looked everywhere on this phone, but can’t find how to insert it?

  17. Darryl says:

    Hi – any idea how good reception is in rural areas?

  18. billy says:

    Why Cant You Read Old Messages 1 At A Time,my Phone Skips Over messages Ie
    1st Message…Then 5th Message,Skipping 4 At A Time…please Help….

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Not sure I understand Billy. I scroll across messages one at a time using the right arrow/thumb pad

      • billy says:

        Hi,Thanks For that,iv got It Now,Just one More Thing,I notice When I Talk On the Phone The Quality of the Sound In the Ear Piece is very Poor,It Sounds As If It Has A Bass Setting Turned Up
        to Max.Any Ideas,By The Way Thanks For Your help..

  19. Diana says:

    are there no limited phone calls arhive?

  20. I bought the xcover2 on tmobile and its one of the best phones i have ever used in the outdoors (as im a scout leader), It functions perfectly and i have dropped it in rivers and it fell down a 30ft cliff and it still functions perfect, I have had the JCB one and it broke after 2 weeks, this phone is the best buy if you are a out doorsy type-extreme sports-waler-hiker, good battery life too, nice torch…
    They should make all phones like this!

    • backpackbrewer says:

      agreed.

      I have stopped using mine as it got pinched by my daughter! It still works which is testament to its toughness 🙂

  21. Raph says:

    Hi Backpacker, I wonder if you had any issues with upgrading the phone firmware ? From what I can tell, it is not possible to upgrade it using Kies (“Your device’s current firmware version is not supported to update firmware via Kies”). I have a lot of problems with this phone reportedly switching itself off and being unreliable hence my question to upgrade the firmware.

    • backpackbrewer says:

      Hi Raph,

      I’ll be honest and say I havent even tried to update my firmware on this phone…very lazy I know!

      I havent had any issues with the phone turning itself off though.

      Sorry for teh stupid question but have you tried Samsung support?

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