Samsung Galaxy S4 Active preview: First look
Add together the brawn of the Xcover and the brains of a Galaxy S4 and you get the S4 Active. The actual flagship can handle any digital task you throw at it, but the Active version can cope with the grittier side of life. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is IP67-certified for water and dust protection.
Up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes - that's the same level of water resistance as the Sony Xperia Z, a phone that often got mentioned for being in the unique position of combining premium features and rugged design. Now it has to share the limelight though.
Before we dive into the specs, we should mention that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has almost the exact same specs as the regular model, unlike the various Galaxy S minis and such that share in the flagship name to only offer midrange specs.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active at a glance:
- General: Quad-band 2G/quad-band 3G/LTE connectivity
- Form factor: Water resistant touchscreen bar phone, I657 certification
- Dimensions: 139.7 x 71.3 x 9.1 mm, 151 g
- Display: 5" 16M-color TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (441ppi); Glove touch
- Chipset: Snapdragon 600
- CPU: 1.9GHz Krait 300
- GPU: Adreno 320
- RAM: 2GB
- OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Memory: 16GB storage, microSD card slot
- Still camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera, face detection, touch focus and image stabilization, Cinema Photo; 2MP front facing camera, video-calls
- Video camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port with MHL features (TV Out, USB host), GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Infrared port
- Battery: Removable 2600mAh
- Misc: TouchWiz UI, Impressively rich video/audio codec support, built-in accelerometer, Smart stay and Smart rotation eye-tracking, Smart pause, Smart scroll, S Health, Air Gestures
The two downgrades here are the screen (LCD instead of Super AMOLED) and the main camera (down to 8MP from 13MP). The rest is in place though - the blazing fast chipset, the removable battery and expandable storage (two things often sacrificed in the name of water tightness), even things like Air Gestures and the IR remote control functionality are intact.
So, how is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active better than a regular S4 in a rugged case? It's not that different, though the phone is more compact than a third-party add-on can ever be and we actually quite like the different styling (Samsung's lineup is getting a little stale design-wise).
You're welcome to put on your hiking boots, and hop on for a quick walkthrough of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active hardware.
Reviews > Samsung Galaxy S4 Active preview: First look