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Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: AT&T
Manufacturer: Samsung

What's Hot: Same strong specs as standard Galaxy S5, not overly bulky.

What's Not: Moderately rugged but not invincible (don't drop from a height into water).


Reviewed July 16, 2014 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

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.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

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.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

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.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active


Deals and Shopping:


Samsung Galaxy S5 Active Video Review


Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active, Galaxy S5 Sport and standard Samsung Galaxy S5.


  Quadrant 3DMark Ice Storm AnTuTu Sunspider JavaScript Test (lower is better)
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active 24,385 18,708 36,525 425
Samsung Galaxy S5 23,643 18,329 35,357 398
HTC One M8 24,527 20,896 (unlimited) 36,087 776
Sony Xperia Z1S 21589 16,135 (unlimited) 35,008 837
Nexus 5 8808 17,828 (unlimited) 27,017 718
Moto G 8485 2778 (extreme) 17,396 1311
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 22,006 15,092 (unlimited) 35,823 587
LG G2 19,762 9803 (extreme) 32,990 823
Samsung Galaxy S4 12,276 11,601 (unlimited) 24,776 826
HTC One M7 12,252 11,324 (extreme) 24,589 1155
Sony Xperia Z 7916 6353  (extreme) 20,403 1306
Moto X 8357 6800 (extreme) 21,377 1097
LG Optimus G Pro 11,994 N/A 18,561 867
Samsung Galaxy Note II 6001 N/A 14,056 1052
Samsung Galaxy S III 5102 N/A 7011 1825

Geekbench 3: 1004 single core, 2639 multi-core



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.


Price: $199 with 2 year contract, $659 full retail


Samsung Galaxy S6 Active Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport Review

Sony Xperia Z1s Review

HTC One M8 Review

iPhone 5s Review



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Display: 5.1" Super AMOLED HD display with Gorilla Glass 3. Resolution: 1920 x 1080. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.

Battery: 2800 mAh Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. Supports latest version of Qualcomm quick charging.

Performance: 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU. 2 gigs DDR3 RAM. 16 gigs internal storage with ~11 gigs available.

Size: 5.72" x 2.89" x 0.40" inches. Weight: 6 ounces.

Phone: GSM quad band world phone with EDGE 2G, 3G and 4G LTE for AT&T.

Camera: 2MP front camera and 16MP rear camera with LED flash, BSI, HDR mode, 4K video recording. Supports simultaneous use of front and back camera.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking and GPS: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and NFC.

Software: Android OS 4.4 KitKat with Samsung TouchWiz UI and software.

Expansion: 1 SDXC microSD card slot under back cover.


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