back to article Capture the horrors of war in razor-sharp quality with this ruggedised Samsung phone – or just lob it at enemy forces

Samsung is aiming a new version of the Galaxy S20 flagship phone at military customers. Dubbed the "Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition", the chaebol describes its latest blower as "mission ready". And it certainly looks the part. The phone is wrapped in a rugged camouflage Juggernaut Case designed to withstand the technological …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's ugly

    Looks like a handheld gaming console from 15 years ago.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: It's ugly

      Ugly, meh..

      Is the OS vanilla or does it still have the sammy bloatware?

      1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        Re: It's ugly

        Of course it has <strikeTouchWiz</strike> OneUI - see the navigation bar.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: It's ugly

      I still WANT one! 'Coolness' factor.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    Does it phone home

    Can you imagine soldiers on spec ops using this and at the same time this thing is phoning home to Google, Samsung, Facebook et al with complete GPS coordinates and all conversation logs.

    A toast message popping up stating that in order to continue one's mission that the followin EULA must be accepted before pulling the trigger.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Does it phone home

      It's more for consumers who like rugged stuff. The military surely has something more, er, fitting?

      But then again, the UK army used WhatsApp for orders so ...

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Does it phone home

        The British army used WhatsApp to tell somebody potentially infected with a certain virus everybody is familiar with to stay put at home, and not to come in and spread it around a base.

        An advisory was then given to troops that if an officer directly gives you an order and does it via WhatsApp then it is still as binding as if he gives it to you directly in person.

        The British military has a long history of using anything that works to pass messages down to carrier pigeons to carry messages, and employing birds of prey to interfere with the opposition doing the same.

        The military will have equipment produced by BAE or similar, however the forces have their own names for such suppliers, such as "Billions Above Estimate". Buying a suitable hardened device off the shelf that does something that troops need is possibly a better option to field a device today than getting a defence company like BAE to develop a mobile phone which will arrive in ten years time with a hundredth of the functionality of an off the shelf device at twice the price and about five times the weight.

    2. Wade Burchette Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Does it phone home

      I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you.

    3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: Does it phone home

      Doubtful. Anyone on special ops would likely be carrying a rebadged version of the phone, with custom software that's very locked down. It's likely to have been done by one of our existing defence contractors (someone like Thales or BAE), and is likely to have cost the MOD several times what a consumer would pay for essentially the same device.

  3. Suricou Raven

    Samsung Galaxy?

    In a pinch, you can use it as a grenade too.

  4. Korev Silver badge
    Pint

    Vocab

    I have a new word, "chaebol".

    Ta -->

    1. MiguelC Silver badge
      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Vocab

        Not to mention that the word has been around for 40 years, as per wikipedia's article on the word:

        The word chaebol derived from the McCune–Reischauer romanization, chaebŏl, of the Korean word jaebeol (재벌, from jae "wealth or property" + beol "faction or clan" – also written with the same Chinese characters 財閥 as Zaibatsu in Japan).[2] The word entered English use in the 1980s.[1]

        1. eionmac

          Re: Vocab

          I used the word ChaeBol in the 1970s when in English language discussions in S. Korea.

          1. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: Vocab

            The wikipeidia article is weird, I think it's broken.

            In the 'introduction' of the article, it says 1972 is the first recorded usage of chaebol, but in the actual 'Entymology' section it says the 1980's.

            The 1972 date is referenced from merriam-webster dictionary reference [2]), whereas the entymology is from the Oxford dictionary (reference [1]) that doesn't include the date in its reference. So not sure where the author of the wikipedia article got 1980's from, as that date is in neither of the supplied dictionary references. but the 1972 one it.

  5. Korev Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Since then, the only explosive device it's produced has been the disastrous Galaxy Note S7.

    New keyboard please...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Since then, the only explosive device it's produced has been the disastrous Galaxy Note S7. And that wasn't even on purpose. ®"

    Somebody isn't keeping track of his Samsung models :-P

    Though really, they are indeed confusing.

  7. MiguelC Silver badge
    Trollface

    "military version"

    Will it prevent users from installing Strava, Polar and that beer-rating app then?

  8. Fading Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Battery life?

    Not going to be particularly useful during a covert op, if you are struggling to find somewhere to plug it in every day.

  9. juice Silver badge

    Ars took a look

    ... and came to the conclusion that it's a standard S20 with a different boot-screen image and a "military grade" case. Which naturally comes with a hefty markup, and lots of accessories which also carry an equally hefty markup.

    E.g. the case costs $290, and a "hardened" USB-C cable for it also costs $290.

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/05/the-galaxy-s20-tactical-edition-is-a-shock-and-awe-campaign-against-reality/

    To be fair, it does have that funky military design ethos to it; it strongly reminds me of the Fallout Pipboy.

    But TBH, I'd probably just pick up a CAT S60. Which may not be cutting edge technology, but they are ridiculously tough. And they have a FLIR camera built in, which means you can do Predator-Vision (tm). Even if the latter feature is probably why they're still relatively expensive, given that people are keen on having the ability to scan people who are running a high temperature atm...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ars took a look

      Oh, that Ars. Pity, I was looking forward to reading the ARRSE reviews.

  10. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    FAIL

    All ur base r here

    Samsung has so much shovelware, spyware, and spotty updates that this has to be a joke. I've disabled maybe a dozen apps (using a shady 3rd party tool) and the network transfer indicator still never turns off. I've had to swap the SIM card three times to trigger updates after they stopped for nearly a year. There's no unlocking the bootloader on the Snapdragons so you can't install a secure 3rd party OS.

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