Last year's Galaxy S4 Active added protection and durability to the flagship Galaxy S4, but with some cut corners that detracted from the overall Galaxy experience. This time around, Samsung didn't make the same mistake, keeping most of the features of the S5 around to make the S5 Active a powerful phone for people who need a little extra protection.
The S5's high resolution display and excellent 13MP camera have made their way to the Active, guaranteeing the same level of detail and performance. But Samsung's also added a rugged exterior that leaves critics divided, with Laptop Magazine saying it feels like a "Panasonic Toughbook laptop--in a good way," while Business Insider just finds it "tacky and ugly." But anyone considering this phone is probably not looking for runway looks, just adequate protection and the S5 Active provides that in spades, with PocketNow finding it a impact- and water-resistant handset, "but not necessarily both at the same time." Android Central did say "it's also going to fare better if left in the bright sun, or going in and out of extreme temperature conditions."
The S5 Active isn't interested in being a sleek and sculpted work of art, just in about giving you the most protection without skimping on features. And it does just that, by bringing the best of the S5 in a durable package that should make any rough traveler happy. The design and feel won't be for everyone, but you'll probably be okay with them if it means your phone survives a three foot fall onto a rock before tumbling into the stream you're trying to cross.