84

A top-tier phone in a water-resistant package

84

With a water-resistant casing and a comfortable, attractive design, Samsung's Galaxy S4 Active is a strong option for outdoorsy -- and clumsy -- types. Just don't expect all the bells and whistles of the original Galaxy S 4.

Buy It:

$589.96

90-Day Price History

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high
$589
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$199

Critic reviews

8.1
15 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    7.8
  • Display
    8.3
  • Battery life
    7.3
  • Camera
    7.6
  • Ease of use
    8.0
  • Design and form factor
    8.2
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.3
  • Media support
    8.9
  • Durability
    8.5
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    7.5

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User reviews

8.8
5 reviews
8.0
Engadget Jun 28, 2013

But water resistance aside, this handset still has quite a few things going for it. We actually prefer this design, and it runs well as a daily driver. And even though the camera has fewer megapixels than the GS 4's, it delivers clear, detailed shots and 1080p video.

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8.0
PC Mag Jul 1, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active remixes the successful S 4 with a waterproof coating for the accident-prone, but the camera suffers.

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8.0
CNET Jul 16, 2013

Choose the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active for its sporty style, fast internals, and underwater camera fun, but pass if you're an image snob or seek a truly rugged phone.

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8.0
Ars Technica Jul 21, 2013

All this means it's not the perfect alternative to the vanilla S 4, but AT&T customers looking to upgrade should at least give this one a look before going with the standard version.

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8.0
SlashGear Jun 28, 2013

There’s an old saying that the best camera is the one you have with you; to that we’d add that the best camera is also the one which can withstand your lifestyle and shooting environment. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active ticks those boxes, and that’s why it’s our pick of the Galaxy range.

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8.0
TechHive Aug 30, 2013

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Active is the perfect phone for outdoorsy types who demand excellent performance out of their smartphones.

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8.0
TrustedReviews Aug 9, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a powerful, feature-heavy Android phone, and one that has most of the benefits of a Galaxy S4 with added waterproofing. However, calling it a true rugged phone is pushing it, and the camera isn’t a match for the S4’s.

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8.0
T3 Aug 23, 2013

If you’re looking for a Galaxy device with less reliance on plastic, yet that still has a bit of oomph in terms of power, this is a great pick.

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9.0
Digital Trends Jul 17, 2013

The Galaxy S4 Active is the best phone on AT&T. It has everything the S4 has, with added water and dust resistance. Like the S4, battery life isn’t amazing, but the Active requires no compromises.

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8.0
Android Community Jun 28, 2013

Bottom line here, as someone who spends more than a fair amount of time outside, on foot or bike and often miles from home — the Active is the Galaxy S4 model that I would choose if I were to be making a purchase.

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8.0
V3 Aug 15, 2013

The Active is one of the best smartphones made by Samsung in recent years, offering users all the key strengths of the Galaxy S4, but coming with a beefed-up, more robust design.

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8.0
PocketNow Jun 27, 2013

Taken together, all these attributes make this phone a very compelling offering indeed. If you’re looking for a top-shelf smartphone that can keep up with a more get-up-and-go lifestyle, the Galaxy S 4 Active should be at or near the top of your list.

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7.0
USA Today Jun 25, 2013

The appeal of the Active is to have a stylish, capable and popular phone that pushes the limits on how and where you might use the device. Alas, when it came to meeting those limits, Samsung's phone didn't quite go deep enough.

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First Looks

product preview
Engadget Jun 20, 2013

How does it fare? Well, identically to the model we checked out earlier today. But hey, have a look at the model you'll actually get in your hands stateside come tomorrow!

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product preview
Engadget Jun 20, 2013

Despite being water- and dust-proof, the GS4 Active doesn't feel notably chunkier, or more cumbersome than the original Galaxy S4. Add this together, and you might argue that you've got the higher build quality that many have been asking for all along.

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product preview
PC Mag Jun 21, 2013

The Active is IP67 certified, which means it's dustproof and waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Samsung's booth had a fishbowl on hand to demonstrate, and I can confirm that the Active sat comfortably in the aquarium gravel with aplomb.

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product preview
Pocket-Lint Jun 20, 2013

Running Android 4.2.2, it comes with the normal Samsung TouchWiz customisation that you'd expect and feels slick and fast... It feels solid in the hand too, with the exposed bolts on the back adding to the tough looks, but this is still a tough phone in a skinny package.

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product preview
Mashable Jun 21, 2013

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.

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product preview
TechRadar Jun 21, 2013

So what do we make of the Samsung Galaxy Active? We have to say we're fully impressed by the phone that takes the best of the S4 and makes it something that's more life-proof in a variety of ways.

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product preview
The Next Web Jun 20, 2013

The device, unveiled earlier this month, is made for people who live or work in the great outdoors and are prone to using their smartphone in less than ideal weather conditions.

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10
kduffy kduffy

The Galaxy S4 Active accomplished what it sought out to do, to be a rugged version of the S4. I love mountain biking and work outdoors in extreme dust and suffer a few months a year of monsoons in the southwest, so the S4 Active was an obvious choice for me. I would love a high-end smartphone...

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7.0
fr8broker fr8broker

I returned it within 2 days. The software was "buggy". The cover over the power slot is poorly designed and destined to break off. The power button sticks out further than a regular S4, but there are no cases or bumpers currently available to minimize that. Ultimately it's a neat little...

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8.0
daved1948 daved1948

I love my Galaxy - BUT... Like all Samsung products the side buttons are WAY TOO EASY to press. And this is very, very annoying. By simply holding the phone I hit the volume up or down, or unblank the screen if locked. Plus, when you press the volume to check where it is...it changes from where...

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