Inside we're looking at the same class-leading 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad core CPU with Adreno 320 graphics, 2 gigs of RAM and 16 gigs of internal storage. As you'd thus expect, the Galaxy S4 Active benchmarks the same as the regular Galaxy S4. Samsung managed to make the phone water and dust resistant while keeping the removable back cover. Remove the back and you'll find the same 2600 mAh removable battery, micro SIM card slot and micro SDXC card slot. The door has a rubber seal, and you should make sure you've got it completely snapped in place before taking it and your rubber ducky into the bath. Note: it takes a bit more work to get the back snapped on compared to the Galaxy S4 because that rubber seal is tight. Likewise, the micro USB port on the bottom has a rubber cover that must be closed before you play in water. The headphone jack is open as are the mic holes, so Samsung has done some interior sealing for those. Call quality doesn't suffer due to waterproof membranes, and the Active sounds just as superb as the standard Galaxy S4. The phone has the same IR AV remote control for your home theatre gear as the standard GS4.
The OS and TouchWiz software with myriad Samsung apps and tweaks are exactly the same as the Galaxy S4, so we won't rehash those in detail (please read our Samsung Galaxy S4 review if you're unfamiliar with the GS4). The phone has split window multitasking, the floating video player, Smart Stay, Samsung's sharing features that play nicely with other recent Galaxy products and their usual highly customized UI. Android 4.2.2 is under the hood, and that's the most recent version of Android as of this writing, so you're getting a very current smartphone.
||GLBenchmark 2.7, 2.5 Egypt Offscreen
|Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
|Samsung Galaxy S4
|Sony Xperia Z
|LG Optimus G Pro
|Samsung Galaxy Note II
||66 pfs (v.2.5 used)
|LG Optimus G
||59 pfs (v.2.5 used)
|Samsung Galaxy S III
||51 fps (v.2.5 used)
If you love the Samsung Galaxy S4, but work or play in harsh environments where the phone comes into contact with water and dust, then the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is for you. In order to keep the price the same as the regular GS4, Samsung dropped the camera quality down a notch, but you're still getting a very good shooter than can even photograph fishies underwater. Just keep in mind that this isn't a rugged phone and if bumps and drops are a part of your phone's daily life, you'll still need a rugged case.
Price: $199 with 2 year contract, $599 without contract
Websites: www.samsung.com, wireless.att.com
The Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.