Samsung unveils all-purpose retail device with walkie-talkie and POS features at NRF 2020

Microsoft will be one of the first to leverage the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro's push-to-talk feature with its retail customers.

Samsung debuted its latest innovative offering for retailers, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, at the National Retail Federation's Big Show 2020 in New York. 

The Galaxy XCover Pro is a first-of-its kind smartphone made to streamline all of the tools retailers need to run their business.

SEE: NRF's Big Show highlights: Cutting-edge tech, robots, and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The device comes with push-to-talk features as well as a mobile-based point of sale solution that allows customers to make payments in seconds by simply tapping their contactless card, phone or watch to the Galaxy XCover Pro.   

"The Galaxy XCover Pro is a reflection of Samsung's increased investment and commitment to B2B market," said DJ Koh, president and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.

"We believe the business mobility market is ripe for transformation in 2020 and we intend to be the leader in pioneering an open and collaborative mobile platform for the next generation of digitally-enabled workforce," Koh added.

The device builds on the long history of the Galaxy line of smartphones and is made with a long-lasting battery and Samsung's Knox security platform. 

At NRF, Samsung announced that Microsoft will be the first partner to leverage XCover Pro's push-to-talk feature by integrating the new Microsoft Teams' walkie-talkie capability. Visa's new Tap to Phone pilot program has approved the mobile-based point of sale solution as well.

"Microsoft and Samsung have a deep history of bringing together the best hardware and software to help solve our customers' challenges," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. 

"The powerful combination of Microsoft Teams and the new Galaxy XCover Pro builds on this partnership and will provide first-line workers everywhere with the technology they need to be more collaborative, productive and secure."

SEE: Samsung Galaxy S10: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The device is built for the kind of wear and tear retailers put their tools through on a daily basis, with water and dust resistance as well as the ability to survive drops of five feet. 

During a tour at NRF, Samsung's general manager and head of the mobile B2B business, Taher Behbehani, explained that the Galaxy XCover Pro has two built in, programmable buttons on the top and side that allow retailers to open the device's scanner, turn on the flashlight or launch a CRM app all without swiping through apps, scrolling through menus or looking at the screen. 

What makes it different than most is that it can operate like a regular smartphone while also serving as a 3-in-1 retail tool that teams can leverage to improve the speed and security of retail services. 

Behbehani reiterated that it was designed specifically for the retail environment. In addition to Microsoft, Samsung also worked with Verizon on the device, which will have it for sale some time this year.

The buttons can also be programmed to enable the push-to-talk system, which Microsoft Teams said it would put into use. Microsoft is tightly integrated with the product, Behbehani added, mentioning that the life cycle for it was three to five years.  

In a blog post, Emma Williams, Microsoft's corporate vice president of modern workplace verticals, wrote: "This new push-to-talk experience enables clear, instant, and secure voice communication over the cloud, turning employee- or company-owned smartphones and tablets into a walkie-talkie. The functionality, built natively into Teams, reduces the number of devices employees must carry, and lowers costs for IT."

"Unlike analog devices with unsecure networks, customers no longer have to worry about crosstalk or eavesdropping from outsiders," Williams wrote. "And since Walkie-Talkie works over Wi-Fi or cellular data, it can be used across geographic locations.

"The capability will be available in the Teams mobile app and integrate with the newly unveiled Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro, a device built for workers on the front lines of any industry. Walkie-Talkie will be available in private preview in Teams in the first half of this year."

Also see

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Samsung's XCover Pro

Image: Samsung