- Damien McFerran , Pocket Gamer
The Galaxy S4 Active combines the world-beating tech of the standard S4 with a water and dustproof case design, making it the must-have Android mobile of the moment.
- Chris Hall , Pocket-lint
Overall, a great fun smartphone that gives you a flagship experience, but loves a little water sports too.
- Water resistant up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
- Dust resistant
- Fast and smooth overall performance
- Underwater camera mode
- Excellent bright light legibility
- Slippery grip
- Not especially durable against drops
- LCD display suffers from washed out colors
Like the name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is designed with the active outdoor users in mind. As with the Sony Xperia Z, the S4 Active is IP67 certified, which means that it is water-resistant up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes and also dust resistant. Tech Hive tests back up the water-resistant claim, though they go on to mention that micro-USB flap port felt flimsy and "seems like it'd be way too easy to damage through regular use."
To complement the water-resistant feature, the S4 Active has made one notable design change. Instead of the standard navigation buttons on the touch screen, Samsung opted for physical buttons. Critics explain the design choice by noting that physical buttons work better than capacitive buttons when wet. In addition, most critics enjoyed the tactical feedback from pressing the buttons. Android Central states that they had "just enough click to them, as well as just the right amount of texture."
Besides the buttons, the S4 Active has also added a new Aqua camera mode. As the name suggests, Aqua mode is for underwater picture taking. When active, the shutter controls move to the volume rocker and users can choose whether they want to take pictures or videos. While most reviewers enjoyed the mode, they also noticed two main drawbacks: lack of auto focus and poor screen visibility underwater. CNET felt that these issues lead to quite a bit of guesswork and "hit or miss" image quality.
Specs-wise, the S4 Active packs many of the same features as the Samsung Galaxy S4. It comes with a 1.9GHz quad-core process, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. Its smooth performance scrolling between pages as well as playing graphically intensive games impressed reviewers. T3 calls the phone a power-house.
Unlike the Galaxy S4, the S4 Active sports a 5", 1080 LCD display. When reviewers directly compared the two phones, they noticed that colors on the S4 active were not nearly as vibrant and had a magenta cast on the panel. Still, Engadget states that the screen still offers excellent viewing angles, crisp text and good bright light legibility.
Despite the Active in its name most reviewers discovered that the phone itself isn't much more rugged than other top smartphones. The plastic finish made it difficult for many to get a good grip on the device, making drops more likely. Unfortunately, most realized its not made to withstand drops. While the top and bottom edges of the phone are rubberized, Trusted Review warns that it will not soak up an impact, though they go on to say that it will help avoid light scratches.
Regardless of its actual durability, consensus amoung critics is that the Samsung Galaxy Active 4 is a solid phone with an interesting design. Android Central concludes, "the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a fun, robust Android smartphone."
Reviews (8.4/10 Avg. rating)
Rugged and ready for adventure
Like the normal S4 - but much more satisfying
The Iron Man of Samsung smartphones
Meatier more solid than other Samsung flagship devices
The additional protection is a wonderful bonus to what is already a market-leading handset
Simply put, the Galaxy S4 Active is a Galaxy S4 which isn’t afraid of the elements. If you’ve eyed the Sony Xperia Z – which offers similar levels of resistance – but prefer Samsung’s phones, then your prayers have effectively been answered; the Active may have a less powerful camera and TFT display, but in all other respects its a match for its more famous relation. We even found ourselves preferring the Active’s design, as it moves away from the super-glossy (and somewhat cheap-looking) plastic of the original to a more rugged and interesting appearance... Full review
The Galaxy S4 gets the Schwarzenegger treatment
A great fun smartphone that gives you a flagship experience
Very powerful, water and dust resistant, appealing design
Although it has a weaker camera and lacks the striking Super AMOLED screen of the standard S4, the Galaxy S4 Active is actually the better phone of the two, purely because it offers the same degree of power but comes with water and dust resistance.
The increased resilience to the elements might seem like a gimmick, but not having to worry about getting your phone wet when you’re waiting for the bus on a raining evening is actually more of a blessing than you might think. It’s also hard not to prefer the rugged appearance of the S4 Active - the revised casing and physical... Full review
It keeps the high-end guts and sports heavy-duty plastic but ditches AMOLED
The S 4 Active is mostly additive. It's a little larger and heavier, but in exchange you get a phone that feels sturdier and a bit less plasticky in your hand. PenTile AMOLED detractors can get a high-end Samsung phone with an LCD display, and the dust-and-water-resistance is a nice extra feature. If you don't mind TouchWiz but dislike Samsung's hardware, this is probably the phone to get.
For the trade-off, you get a slightly worse camera, slightly worse battery life, and the inability to buy the phone from anyone who isn't AT&T. All this means it's not the perfect alternative... Full review
Waterproof Galaxy S4 offers excellent performance
Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.
Prices (Where to Buy)
Online Buying Options
Manuals / User Guides
Visit the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Q&A Forum to ask the community a question or help others.Share / Embed