Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active
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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.
- Attractive, comfortable design
- Effective water-resistant features
- Fluid everyday performance
- Disappointing battery life
- Lower-quality display than GS4
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Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active
- Critic Reviews (15)
- User Reviews (5)
- 81AVERAGE CRITIC SCORE15 ReviewsArs Technica80Review: Galaxy S 4 Active is a Samsung phone for fAll 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.CNET80Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review: Sporty, splashy fChoose 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.PC Mag80Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active (AT&T)The Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active remixes the successful S 4 with a waterproof coating for the accident-prone, but the camera suffers.Engadget80Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review: a top-tier phoneBut 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.PC MagNot RatedHands On: Samsung Galaxy S4 ActiveThe 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.EngadgetNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S4 Active hands-on (video)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.EngadgetNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S4 Active from AT&T hands-on (videoHow 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!TechHive80Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review: Rugged and readySamsung’s Galaxy S4 Active is the perfect phone for outdoorsy types who demand excellent performance out of their smartphones.Pocket-Lint90Samsung Galaxy S4 Active reviewOverall, a great fun smartphone that gives you a flagship experience, but loves a little water sports too.SlashGear80Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active ReviewThere’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.MashableNot RatedHands On With Samsung's Waterproof Galaxy S4 ActivThe 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.Pocket-LintNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S4 Active pictures and hands-onRunning 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.PC World AustraliaNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S4 Active Android phone (preview)The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a rugged version of the Galaxy S4 that's water and dust-resistant.T380Samsung Galaxy S4 Active reviewIf 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.Phone Scoop80Review: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active for AT&TAltogether, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is an excellent device, even if it stinks at making phone calls.TechRadarNot RatedHands on: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active reviewSo 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.V380Samsung Galaxy S4 Active reviewThe 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.TrustedReviews80Samsung Galaxy S4 Active reviewThe 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.Digital Trends90SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 ACTIVE REVIEWThe 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.Android Community80AT&T Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active ReviewBottom 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.TrustedReviewsNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S4 ActiveWe could happily give up our S4 for the Active right now and can’t wait for the full review sample to arrive.The Next WebNot RatedSamsung Galaxy S4 Active hands-on: A no compromiseThe 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.PocketNow80Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active Quick ReviewTaken 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.USA Today70Samsung Galaxy S4 Active can take a splash, or twoThe 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.
- 88AVERAGE USER SCORE5 ReviewsEngadget Reader90March 2, 2014Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!The phone is a downgrande of S4 in terms of camera....Engadget Reader100August 8, 2013Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!Phone is great . volume buttons r my only concern.its easy to turn volume up or down accidently and miss callsEngadget Reader80July 23, 2013Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!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 it was to one click louder or softer. Bummer. If it were not for the case I chose (a hard-shell on purpose) that buries the buttons just a bit, I would have to return this as being unusable for my lifestyle. What is wrong with the Product Manager for these products? Just how limp-wristed must they be?Next is the very poor integration of Visual Voicemail. First - it's an app. What's that all about? Isn't this a phone first, and then a cutesy OS second? Verizon and AT&T's visual voicemail apps are different. I assume T-Mobile and Sprint's are too. That says to me Samsung (and Google) built a car without a radio and tell you to go buy an aftermarket audio system and install it yourself. What??? How come the app can't change the icon on the screen the way the messaging icon does when a voicemail is received? I can't see that tiny icon on the top status line. When you miss a call on the iPhone, you are directed to the voicemail. On this phone, visual voicemail was clearly an after thought and nobody's got it right yet.In some ways I really got spoiled with my iPhones.Next, the screen is both too sensitive and stubborn at the same time. It doesn't detect and adjust itself for users like me with fat fingers (sorry but I was born this way). It often activates something when I'm just passing my finger over the screen, yet at other times it ignores a button press even when I hit it three or more times in a row. Look guys, this is a computer, right? So then, why can't they detect my large finger or thumb and integrate the proximity and touch signal well enough to understand what I'm doing? Worst of all, why isn't there some sensitivity adjustment for fat fingers? Really.Voice recognition is fantastic. Unless it isn't, in which case you can't possibly use it. I h avrr bin mis cwotd uh rot. Surely, in context I would never say such a thing. And trust me when I tell you, I speak up, clearly and plainly, with articulation and without accent. (I had very strict English and drama teachers.)So what's going on inside this thing? Apparently, not all that much.Engadget Reader70July 2, 2013Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!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 "niche" phone just like the Dell Venue that's "waterproof" to a certain depth but the warranty doesn't cover water damage!Engadget Reader100June 28, 2013Feedback submitted!Unable to submit feedback!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 without the need for a protective case, but unfortunately the Active still seems fragile enough to want to get a case for it... I'm willing to bet it wouldn't survive many drops on a hard surface before the screen shattered, but I'm not going to test that out! The camera shoots beautiful pictures and video and the shooting modes are quite cool and actually useful rather than gimmicks. Being able to snap shots at (or in) the pool and other places one wouldn't typically be comfortable carrying their phones, is very cool. Over the recent years I've owned a range of iPhone's, Nexus, and Galaxy models, and the S4 Active is my favorite by far. If I'd change anything it would be to make it even more rugged, mostly protecting impact of a drop on a hard surface.
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