The phone is now available for $199 exclusively on AT&T and we had some time to spend with the unit, comparing it directly to the standard model Galaxy S4.
The biggest difference between the regular Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 Active is that the Active is water and dust resistant and can be submerged in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. You can even listen to music with it while swimming.
Similar Guts, Better Exterior
The spec differences between the Galaxy S4 Active and the standard Galaxy S4 (which I dubbed the best Android phone ever) are minute. Rather than the S4’s Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy S4 Active uses a regular LCD screen. The resolution is still the same at 1920 x 1080, however.
The other internal change is that the camera is 8-megapixel rather than 13. The 8-megapixel camera does have a special aqua mode, however, for underwater photography.
The battery, processor and RAM are all the same in the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 Active.
A bigger difference, however, is in the phone’s exterior. The Galaxy S4 Active is slightly thicker (it’s very hard to tell the difference) and as a result feels more substantial in the hand. The polycarbonate shell around the phone and its back also feels more substantial, eschewing the feather-light and plasticky feel of the S3 and S4.
Even better, the ports are covered on the Galaxy S4 Active, which is a nice touch and something we can see being useful for outdoor environments.
The two phones are so similar, its enough to make us wonder why Samsung didn’t just consider making at least some of these features standard on the regular Galaxy S4. Maybe it wouldn’t be necessary to make the phone submergible in a meter of water, but having it work in the rain would be great.
The Galaxy S4 Active is an AT&T exclusive in the United States and will be coming to other parts of the world later this summer.
Photos by Emil Lendof, Mashable