The latest craze in mobile devices is waterproof/rugged devices, a trend that was arguably kicked off by Sony with the launch of the Sony Xperia Z earlier this year. As we’ve seen over the last few years, Samsung believe there is a Galaxy smartphone for each scenario (or is that to compete with each rival device?) and the Galaxy S4 Active fits this bill.
Designed to be an alternative to the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 Active offers a slightly thicker build but the same flagship specs which include a 5 inch Full HD 1080p screen, 1.9GHz Quad-core CPU (in the UK), Android 4.2.2 and TouchWiz UI. One of the biggest changes is the front keys as Samsung have replaced the single home button and two capacitive keys of the Galaxy S4 with three keys that are slightly hard to depress but provide haptic feedback.
Above the screen is the same 2.1MP front-facing camera that can record Full HD video. The Galaxy S4 Active also comes with Samsung’s software features such as Air View, Air Gesture and Smart Stay. These features use the sensors located at the top of the device above the screen.
On the back is another of the big changes – instead of the 13 megapixel camera found on the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 Active comes with a smaller 8MP snapper along with a host of features including Simultaneous HD video and image recording, Image Stabilisation and HDR. The Galaxy S4 Active also comes with Aqua mode allowing you to take photos whilst underwater.
Interestingly, the Galaxy S4 Active is the first waterproof and rugged device to feature a removable battery and battery cover. We initially had a lot of reservations with the design of this – the back isn’t secured in any special manor and seems to allow water to seep through into the back compartment.
The Galaxy S4 Active is IP67 certified, offering dust resistance and water resistant for up to 1 metre underwater and for up to 30 minutes submersion time. However, the battery cover is a real concern and as we’ll show you later on our YouTube channel, the Galaxy S4 Active has to be the first waterproof device to well, not be waterproof!
Here’s our Galaxy S4 Active Hands On video from the Galaxy S4 World Tour earlier this year:
Here’s our full Galaxy S4 Active Unboxing + Hands On gallery: