Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Prices & Plans

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Features

  • 5 inch display
  • Android
  • 8MP camera
  • 15.63GB int. memory
  • 71.3mm wide
  • 139.7mm high
  • 9.1mm thick
  • 2GB RAM
  • View full specs

Average Score

82/100

You get the same great smartphone experience plus the piece of mind that the life-proof chassis offers. It costs about t...

WhistleOut
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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Specs

Display

Type TFT LCD
Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
Screen Size 5 inch (12.7 cm)
Touch Screen Yes

Camera

Resolution 8 megapixels
Front Facing -
3D Resolution -
Flash Type LED
Video Camera 1080p 30fps video

Music and Video

Music Player Yes
Video Player Yes
Video Calls Yes
FM Radio Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, RA
Video Formats MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, RV, DivX, Xvid, VD-1

Physical

Form Factor Slate
Width 71.3 mm
Height 139.7 mm
Thickness 9.1 mm
Weight 153 grams
Accelerometer Yes
Gyro Yes

General

GPS No
Battery (2G Talk) Not available
Battery (Standby) Not available
App Store Google Play
Processor Type Quad-core 1.4GHz
Operating System Android 4.2.2
Release Date July 2013

Connectivity

Main Connectivity 4G LTE
Maximum Data Speed 100Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac Dual-band
USB 2.0, MHL video mirroring
Bluetooth Yes
NextG Capable Yes
Telstra Blue Tick No
Networks GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900
Data Networks LTE FDD 800, 1800 and 2600Mhz / 100Mbps, HSDPA 850, 900, 1900, 2100

Memory

RAM 2GB
Internal 15.63GB
Expandable Up to 31.25GB

Messaging

Push Email Yes
Text Messages (SMS) Yes
Picture Messages (MMS) Yes

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Reviews

V.Positive

WhistleOut Review

"You get the same great smartphone experience plus the piece of mind that the life-proof chassis offers. It costs about the same too, so the only trade off is in the extra width and weight."

Joseph Hanlon (WhistleOut)
Read full review

90/100

"Scratch-resistant glass is also included, but upgraded from the S4, now with the Gorilla Glass 3 which boasts even more resistance to scratches. That type of protection is also visible from the dust and water protection, which has been rated for up to one metre of water for a maximum of 30 minutes."

Gadgetguy.com.au
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90/100

"With almost no sacrifices and no price increase, you’re getting a Galaxy S4 that is water and dust resistant. These are two features that don’t sound like a big deal, until you have them. It’s reassuring to know that a few rain droplets can’t ruin your phone. "

Digitaltrends.com
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80/100

"Active, of course, isn’t just about whether this phone can take a few knocks. Samsung has loaded the S Health software onto the device to add authority to that claim. S Health is a way of monitoring both your exercise and your diet on a daily basis. There’s an in-built pedometer and a food tracker a..."

MSN Tech (tech.uk.msn.com)
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80/100

"One area where there is a severe drop in quality from the Samsung Galaxy S4 to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is in the cameras. While the former packs a 13-megapixel sensor, the Active only has an 8-megapixel snapper, which results in slightly less detailed images. Still, if the only time your phone ..."

80/100

"If you need a phone that can survive the great outdoors, then the Active should be your first choice. If you value your photos and don’t really spend much time being active, then the regular Galaxy S4 will suit you just fine."

Techhive.com
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80/100

"We didn't experience any leaks when we took our Galaxy S4 Active for a splash in the bath and shower, and it managed to stay water tight when we were caught in heavy downpours too. The Galaxy S4 Active does live up to its rugged nature as we did drop it several times - thanks to a recently broken fi..."

Techradar.com
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80/100

"Surprisingly, considering its underwater credentials, it has a removable back, very similar to Samsung's standard ultra-thin plastic designs, though it has some extra clips to hold it firmly in place. It's designed to be completely waterproof to a depth of one metre for up to 30 minutes -- certainly..."

Wired.co.uk
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80/100

"The Active features a similarly specced 5in display to the original S4, with full HD 1920x1080 resolution and 441ppi. However, the Active uses TFT technology, rather than Super AMOLED, and the glass coating the screen is slightly thicker on the Active. We did notice a slight disparity in quality bet..."

v3.co.uk
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80/100

"Perhaps the most significant hardware departure for the Galaxy S4 Active is that it uses raised, clicky soft keys rather than touch-sensitive ones. There’s an obvious reason why – this is a water-resistant phone and the capacitive sensors of touchscreen buttons go haywire underwater. "

Trustedreviews.com
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80/100

"If you’re a fan of Samsung’s Android devices and are desperate for a rugged device that can stand up to some abuse, then the S4 Active is a good choice. But the original S4 is simply the better all around device as a daily driver - we have to recommend it above the Active on that basis."

recombu.com
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80/100

"Call quality was clear, with little fuzz or pop even in strong winds. The speakerphone was surprisingly clear as well, with good voice pick-up for both sides of the call."

CNET (m.cnet.com.au)
Read full review

Average Score

(12 Reviews)

82/100
 

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Review

Samsung knows all too well, that when you're on a good thing you stick to it. The S4 Active is proof of this; a Galaxy S4 in a wrapper designed to protect it from punishing conditions.

Design

Given that Samsung has kept a number of the central components in the Active the same as the original S4, it is not surprising that both phones look so similar. Not identical, but enough to easily confuse one for the other.

The major difference from the front is that Samsung lay a strip of physical buttons across the Active, mechanical Menu, Home and Back buttons that sit raised off the front chassis below the display. For outdoors types, this is a great feature to include, especially for snow bunnies with gloved hands.

The Active is a touch bulkier than the standard S4. It's 1.2mm thicker with a few more bumps and dips across the battery cover, which is still removable. It's also 20-grams heavier, and while these might sound like minuscule differences, you can feel them when holding both phones.

This extra bulk goes towards making the S4 Active water resistant and dust proof. Unlike other waterproof phones that use large screws or seal the phone shut to keep water out, Samsung has a rubber strip inside the battery cover that works to keep moisture out.

Curiously, while the screen on the Active looks the same as the screen on the S4, it is actually quite different. Samsung uses a standard TFT LCD panel in the Active, rather than a Super AMOLED screen, and Gorilla Glass 2 rather than Gorilla Glass 3. Both are cost-saving measures, and while this should be a bad thing, it is very difficult to say it is.

For starters, the screen in the Active looks brighter, due to the difference in the way LCD and AMOLED screens display whites. AMOLED tends to look a little blue, and side-by-side the colours just look better on the Active.

User Experience

Once the power is on, the differences between the original S4 and the newer Active disappear. The user experience is a carbon copy of the latest Samsung TouchWiz UI, so there is no difference to speak of.

The Active features all of the curious eye-following, finger-hovering 'enhancements' that the previous did, some of which make the phone easier to use with gloved hands -- something we had the opportunity to test out. You certainly don't use the phone as easily with gloves, but it is possible, you just need to move slowly and be a little more patient than usual.

Perhaps more interesting than what is included is what's not included. The Active moniker suggests a phone for people with sporty hobbies, and yet there is no additional software on the phone to support this. There is the same S-Health app we found in the S4, but no run trackers, cycling assistants or work-out trainers.

Camera

There is a killer camera, though -- something the outdoors set will make great use of we think. It seems to be the same 8-megapixel image sensor found in the original S4, and the picture quality in natural light is outstanding. Great detail, great colours and temperature.

Photos aren't so good after the sun goes down, but then the same could be said for the sat majority of smartphone cameras.

Performance

In the past, weather-proof phones have tended to be on the crappier end of the power spectrum. It was a trade-off: power for protection. Happily, this isn't the case with the S4 Active. You can have you phone wrapped in a protective shell and rely on it to be as powerful and responsive as a normal top-end smartphone.

In terms of synthetic performance benchmarks, the S4 Active sits alongside the original S4, with very little variance in the results between the two phones. This should be the result given that the Active uses the same 1.9Ghz quad-core processor, the same graphics processor and 2GB RAM.

This puts the S4 Active towards the top of the list when comparing it next to the other smartphones of the year. The HTC One is also very close, if you're looking for a powerhouse handset.

Despite what we have been told about the positive effect on battery life you get from AMOLED screens, our tests show that the S4 Active is a little better at holding its charge than the S4 we have in the office. Anecdotally, the Active lasts for about a half day longer between charges, which is handy for when you can't get back to a charger at the end of each day.

Overall

If you are in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S4, there is no reason to look past the S4 Active, especially if you have destroyed a phone in the past with water damage. You get the same great smartphone experience plus the piece of mind that the life-proof chassis offers. It costs about the same too, so the only trade off is in the extra width and weight.

That Samsung doesn't include specialty software for its sports-minded fans is a bit of an oversight, but it's nothing you can't overcome with a quick trip to the Google Play app store.

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