If you love the Samsung Galaxy S5 but want something more rugged, Samsung has you (and a phone) covered with a sturdy outer casing in the guise of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. In a pleasant change, the GS 5 Active is every bit the GS 5 rather than a down-spec version like the Galaxy S4 Active. You get the same quad core Snapdragon 801 CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, the lovely full HD Super AMOLED display, front 2MP camera and rear 16MP camera with flash and heart rate monitor. The only thing missing is the fingerprint scanner, and I suspect most of you won't miss it.
The standard issue Samsung Galaxy S5 is already water resistant to 1 meter immersion for 30 minutes and it's dust resistant. The Galaxy S5 Active adds MIL Spec 810G ruggedness, and that means it can withstand drops onto a fairly hard surface for distances up to 4 feet. However, we don't suggest you drop it into a puddle of water, because the removable back cover may pop off when you drop it. Despite its rugged look, the Galaxy S5 Active isn't much bigger than the Galaxy S5 and it weighs just an ounce more. That makes it more compact than a GS5 clad in a rugged Otterbox case.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is exclusive to AT&T in the US, where it sells for $199 on contract, which is the same price as the Galaxy S5. Off contract at full retail it will set you back $30 more.
The good news is that the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active isn't a compromised version of the Galaxy S5 as was the GS4 Active compared to the GS4. The just OK news is that though the phone meets some MIL-spec 810G tests (4 foot drop onto flat surface, water resistance, shock resistance and dust resistance), it's a hardy phone rather than an extremely rugged phone. It's certainly a safer bet than the standard Galaxy S5 if you hike, kayak, work construction or are simply a klutz in terms of ruggedness but the standard GS5 offers the same level of water and dust resistance.