After countless rumors and hints, Samsung has now confirmed that the Galaxy S4 is getting a rougher, tougher brother, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active.
So what’s so special about the Galaxy S4 Active? The biggest call-to-fame for the Galaxy S4 Active is its IP67 certification, which gives it the power to resist dust and makes it waterproof in up to 1m of water for about 30 minutes.
In other words, this is a durable beast compared to the Galaxy S4. The big question though is whether or not the phone is really worthy of the “Galaxy S4″ branding or, if like the Galaxy S4 Mini, it is actually a low-to-mid-range handset hoping to milk off the popularity of its relative. The good news is that the Galaxy S4 Active is actually quite similar to the original S4, outside of its major body redesign.
The Galaxy S4 Active features a 5-inch HD TFT LCD display, as opposed to the typical Sammy AMOLED display. It also has a weaker 8MP rear cam with LED flash, instead of the 13MP found in the original S4. It does however have a beefy 1.9GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM, many of the same sensors found in the S4, and approximately 11.25GB of user-available memory (16GB model). There is also Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box.
You’ll still find many of the same Samsung software tricks and features, including S Health, S Translator, S Travel, Smart Pause, Air Gesture and Airview. Unlike the Galaxy S4, it will also have “Aqua Mode”, which will increase visual quality and clarity for underwater video and images.
Should you pick the S4 Active over the original Galaxy S4?
So summing it up: the big difference between the models is that the Galaxy S4 Active is a bit larger than its older brother, measuring at 9.1mm thick to the S4 original’s 7.9mm, and coming in at 21g heavier than the original S4. It also has three physical front-buttons, a slightly different display, is missing a few of the S4’s special tricks and has a weaker camera.
Is it worth getting the Galaxy S4 Active over the original? If you like the idea of a rugged handset that you can take just about anywhere without worry, than hell yes. For those that tend to play nicely with their handsets and keep them bump-and-bruise free most of the time, then maybe not.
Samsung will be bringing the Galaxy S4 Active first to the United States and Sweden, starting this summer. There will also be three color options in these markets: Dive Blue, Orange Flare and Urban Gray. Hopefully the phone will expand into other regions shortly after that.
Personally, what I find most exciting for the Galaxy S4 Active is that it is looks quite durable, and yet it doesn’t sacrifice on the hardware, like many other handsets designed for “rough use”. Then again, the same can be said for Sony’s excellent Xperia Z.
What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, interested in this one, or not? How does it compare to other higher-end ruggedized handsets on the market?
SEOUL, Korea 17:00 KST – June 5, 2013 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in mobile technology and digital solutions, today announced the GALAXY S4 Active, designed to enhance life experiences of the active user who wants to stay connected while exploring environments from the most rugged mountain trails to the roughest rivers.
“The GALAXY S4 Active is the newest addition to the GALAXY series and is purposefully designed for active users who love the outdoors,” said JK Shin, CEO and President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung has taken the innovative features of the GALAXY S4 and added breakthrough protective design elements to create a device that thrives in an active environment and is built for a lifestyle of travel and exploration.”
Recognizing the demands of a dynamic lifestyle, the GALAXY S4 Active was engineered to keep active users connected as they explore and experience the world around them.
The GALAXY S4 Active has qualified protection from dust and water (IP67＊), so you never have to leave the device at home during a long day at the beach or dusty hike. The fully sealed design keeps dust particles out and protects against water damage for up to 30 minutes of submergence at a depth of one meter. Equipped with a water-resistant earphone jack, the GALAXY S4 Active frees you to use earphones in more adventurous conditions, in the same way you’ve used them in normal ones. Whether capturing every moment of a wild rafting trip or taking a great underwater photo in the pool, the device’s unique construction lets users capture amazing moments previously impossible using a normal smartphone.
(＊ IP stands for International Protection against ingress of solid foreign objects and harmful ingress of water. The highest level is IP68,)
Explore Longer with Powerful Performance
An active lifestyle requires plenty of energy, and the GALAXY S4 Active offers a long-lasting and powerful user experience.
Featuring a 1.9 GHZ Quad-Core processor and 2,600mAh battery, the GALAXY S4 Active can handle the most intensive tasks with ease and precision. Striking color and stunning resolution on the device’s beautiful 5.0’’ Full HD TFT LCD screen (443 PPI) makes playing the newest games or watching hours of video easy on the eyes. And with ‘Glove Touch’, cold weather is no longer a problem since the touchscreen can be fully operated while wearing gloves.
With an 8-megapixel rear camera, users can easily share their vivid experiences while on the go. Unique to the GALAXY S4 Active camera, ‘Aqua Mode’ can be used to increase visual quality and clarity for enhanced underwater images and video. The volume key located on the side of the device can be used as a camera key, allowing users to easily and quickly open the camera application to capture photo and video the moment it happens. Additionally, the camera transforms into a powerful LED flash light to assist in low-light and nighttime activities with a simple long press of the volume key.
Richer & Fuller Life Experience
The GALAXY S4 Active is designed with a seamless interface that incorporates popular features of the GALAXY S4.
‘S Travel (Trip Advisor)’ offers travel assistance, local information, and recommendations to provide a more seamless experience in an unfamiliar environment. ‘S Translator’ makes international travel easy by providing instant text or voice translation for emails and text messages.
The camera interface is designed to make capturing and sharing meaningful moments intuitive and more engaging with multiple shooting modes including ‘Drama Shot’, which allows users to see all the action in one continuous time-lapse, and ‘Sound & Shot’, which uniquely stores sound and voice together with the image to capture the moment in an immersive visual/audio format. With ‘Story Album’, photos taken with the GALAXY S4 Active are collected and sorted according to a user’s timeline, geo-tagging information or a specific event to instantly create an organized photo album. To help facilitate sharing, users can also use the ‘Group Play’ function to enjoy music, photos, documents and games together and across various devices including GALAXY S4, GALAXY S4 mini, GALAXY Mega 6.3 and GALAXY Mega 5.8.
‘Samsung Smart Pause’ enables users to control of the screen using optical cues. While watching a video, the video pauses when you look away and starts right up again when returning to view, saving vital battery life and time spent rewinding. ‘Air View’ lets you preview the content of an email by simply hovering your fingers over the screen, which saves time and data. With ‘Air Gesture’, you can change the music track, scroll up and down on a web page, or accept a call with a simple wave of the hand. Additionally, ‘S Health’ helps you keep track of your personal health statistics. When paired with the S Health Accessory, you can monitor your heart rate, weight, sleep pattern and other personal measurements to assist in a healthy lifestyle.
Enhanced Content and Services
The GALAXY S4 Active also offers competitive content and services to provide a seamless mobile experience anytime and anywhere.
Using the ‘Samsung Hub’, users can access music, videos, books, games and engaging educational content. With a beautiful magazine-style interface, users can browse a variety of content across services, as well as purchase and manage their content easily with a single Samsung Account. Users can also control their TV through Samsung WatchON’s IR remote, which transforms the GALAXY S4 Active into a remote control for TVs, set-top boxes, and DVD players. Through ‘Samsung WatchON’, the GALAXY S4 Active also offers a broad selection of entertainment content including live TV, cable TV and video on demand, facilitated by the rich digital context provided by Samsung’s EPG (Electronic Program Guide) system. ‘ChatON’, another unique feature, connects and facilitates group chats, media sharing and interacting in creative new ways using pictures, hand drawings or figures across mobile devices. Further enhancing the device’s sharing capabilities, users can use ‘Samsung Link’ to share and sync content across multiple Samsung digital devices.
The GALAXY S4 Active will be available for purchase beginning this summer, with initial retail in the U.S. and Sweden. It will be offered in three different color options: Urban Grey, Dive Blue and Orange Flare. Specific availability will vary depending on the market.
Media requests and invited partners will be offered hands-on demonstrations with the GALAXY S4 Active at the Samsung Premiere 2013 GALAXY & ATIV in London on Thursday, June 20th.
＊ All functionality features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation
＊ Android, Google, Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Play, Google Plus, YouTube, Google Places, and Google Navigation are all trademarks of Google Inc.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 236,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales of US$187.8 billion. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.