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Galaxy S4 Active hands-on: what the original should have been

Galaxy S4 Active hands-on: what the original should have been

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s4 active
s4 active

It's not technically premiering today, having already been announced earlier in the month, but Samsung's Galaxy S4 Active is very much present at the company's Premiere 2013 event in London. The new water- and dust-resistant variant of Samsung's multimillion-selling Android flagship immediately feels more robust in the hand. It's a bit thicker and a bit taller than the original S4, but those are small tradeoffs to make for its much-improved durability.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active hands-on pictures


In terms of internal specs, there's little to distinguish the S4 Active from the original Galaxy S4. Probably the biggest change is the move to an LCD panel in lieu of Samsung's beloved AMOLED technology, but — at least in my brief time with the new device — that hasn't resulted in a notable dropoff in quality. Resolution remains the same at 1920 x 1080. The 1.9GHz quad-core processor inside the Active has already been present in one configuration of the S4, and the battery is also unchanged at 2600mAh.

The real changes are external, with the S4 Active both looking and feeling significantly more rugged. It's still made out of polycarbonate, but the rougher texture on the back and squarer edges actually make it easier to grip and handle. The three Android buttons at the bottom of the handset are also physical, eschewing the capacitive side keys, and there's now a flap above the Micro USB port.

Beyond the black model on show today, there'll be white and orange versions, the latter of which will be launching in the UK on June 29th.

Galaxy S4 Active vs. Galaxy S4