Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition looks indestructible — and has night vision mode

Samsung Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition
(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung's Galaxy S20 is getting a Tactical Edition: a hardened version of the flagship phone designed for military usage.

The Galaxy S20 Tactical Edition was revealed in a Samsung press release (via TechRadar), and will be the successor to the Galaxy S9 Tactical Edition. It's been given various new features to make sure it can survive in the field and work well with other military equipment. It's only available to selected IT partners, so you won't be able to pick one up at your local carrier store.

(Image credit: Samsung)

As an example of these new abilities, Samsung boasts that the S20 TE will work with "tactical radios, drone feeds, laser range finders, external GPS and more." Plus, it's 5G and WiFi 6 compatible, just like the normal S20.

Samsung is also pushing the benefits of its DeX desktop mode for planning and training purposes. Meanwhile its Bixby virtual assistant button has been remapped to launch and hide mission-critical apps instead.

Of course, it's important that the S20 TE can survive whatever, which is why it's locked up inside a chunky sand-colored case. The case covers all of the back and sides of the phone, which is likely why the S20 TE looks to be using virtual buttons for navigation instead of gestures. The touchscreen can also adjust for use with gloves, which sounds like a handy feature for civilians to have too.

(Image credit: Samsung)

There's also Night Vision mode so you can still read the phone while wearing infrared goggles, and a Stealth mode to turn off all connections to the phone. The release also mentions how secure the phone is thanks to Samsung's own Knox security system and DualDAR.

Unfortunately there's no official specs given for the S20 TE, so we don't know exactly what cameras or internal components it uses. The only sensor mentioned by Samsung is a 64MP camera, which sounds like the telephoto sensor found on the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus. Based on the single image of the phone's rear, it looks more like the triple camera array of the S20, rather than the quad-cameras on the S20 Plus.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.