Samsung Galaxy S4 Active in the flesh, first impressions
The Galaxy S4 Active is Samsung first attempt at water-proofing their flagship smartphone. With an IP67 rating, the S4 Active is dust-resistant and can tolerate being submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
It has a slightly thicker body and more rugged look. We also noticed it was only available in black.
In order for Samsung to implement the IP67 rating, they had to change the fundamental design of the Galaxy S4. On second thought, the Galaxy S4 Active is nowhere near the deisgn of the original Galaxy S4, except perhaps in the hardware specifications (minus the S AMOLED that has been replaced with a regular LCD).
The Galaxy S4 Active looks really rugged, none of that fluid and smooth finish of its S4 sibling. The back side has to be re-designed and added some texture in order to have enough grip when held underwater or even when wet.
The ports are all covered and they had to added physical buttons instead of the soft buttons. The 3.5mm audio port is exposed but they managed to make it water resistance as well (only up to 30 minutes underwater though).
Despite using a regular TFT LCD, we didn’t really notice that big of a difference between the Super AMOLED of the S4. Perhaps, in some conditions, the differences will be more apparent.
While testing the handset under water, we noticed that the touchscreen is disabled when submerged. And, even when you take it out of the water, the responsiveness is still missing until you wipe off the water droplets from the screen.
You can also wear a thick glove and still be able to navigate the touchscreen.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active specs:
5.0-inch TFT LCD @ 1920x1080p, 443ppi
1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU
16GB internal memory
MicroSD up to 64GB
HSPA+, 4G LTE
GPS w/ aGPS support
8MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash
2MP front-facing camera
139.7 x 71.3 x 9.1 mm (dimensions)
151 g (weight)
Android 4.2.2 Jellybean
We overheard that the Galaxy S4 Active will be launched in the Philippines much earlier than the S4 Mini. It might arrive in the country as early as first week of July with an expected retail price similar to the S4 (could be as early as June 28 or 29).