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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active preview: water and dust-resistant S4

At least £500

Manufacturer: Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a rugged version of the Galaxy S4 that's water and dust-resistant. Here's our Samsung Galaxy S4 Active preview.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

After weeks of rumours, leaked images and videos, Samsung has officially announced the world's worst kept secret: the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active (review) smartphone. It's a rugged version of the Galaxy S4 that's water and dust-resistant. Take a look at Samsung Galaxy S4 Active specs, features and images. See also: Galaxy S4 Zoom specs, UK price, release date. See also: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review.

The Galaxy S4 Active is basically a variant of the regular Galaxy S4, so not too much has changed. The key feature is obviously its water and dust resistance. It's rated to IP67 standards, so it will survive being submerged in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes. The phone also has a water-resistant earphone jack, so if you manage to find a pair of waterproof headphones you could effectively listen to music underwater. Take a look at What's the best phone you can buy in 2013?

The Galaxy S4's ruggedness makes it a slightly bigger phone than the original Galaxy S4. It's taller, slightly wider and just over 20g heavier, so be warned about these tradeoffs in size and weight if you are considering it. Given the water and dust resistance, we don't think it's too much of a sacrifice to make. See also Group test: what's the best Android phone?

There's a few other changes, too. The menu, home and back keys on the front are physical buttons rather than capacitive ones, the 5in screen uses a TFT panel rather than super AMOLED and the camera has been downgraded from 13-megapixels to 8-megapixels. See also: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S4 mini review.

The downgrade in megapixels is offset but Samsung's "Aqua Mode", which allows users to capture underwater photos and videos. The company says this mode will "increase visual quality and clarity for enhanced underwater images and video". In a nice touch, the volume key can be used as a camera shutter.

The Galaxy S4 Active is otherwise identical to the regular Galaxy S4. It runs the 4.2 "Jelly Bean" version of Android that's skinned with Samsung's TouchWIZ UI, so all the extra functions that Samsung provides are present including 'Smart Scroll', 'Smart Pause', 'Air Gesture' and 'Air View'. There's also an S Translator app, 'Group Play' and the 'S Health' app which aims to replace fitness tracking accessories like Fitbit.

There's no word yet on an Australian release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, but it will initially be available in the US and Europe in 'Urban Grey', 'Dive Blue' and 'Orange Flare' colour variants.

Galaxy S4 Active

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Expert Verdict »

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Scores 8.3 out of 10 based on 38 reviews
Display: 5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels (441ppi)
CPU: 1.9GHz Krait 300, Snapdragon 600 Chipset
GPU: Adreno 320
RAM: 2GB
OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Memory: 16GB storage, microSD card slot
Rear camera: 8 Mp
Front camera: 2MP
Video camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB port, (TV Out, USB host), GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Infrared port
Form factor: Water resistant - I657 certificate
Size: 139.7 x 71.3 x 9.1 mm
Weight 151 g

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a rugged version of the Galaxy S4 that's water and dust-resistant.


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