Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review
|Review: July 2013|
In a nutshell: A rugged version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android superphone with a 5 inch 1080p display, quadcore processor and the ability to film underwater to a depth of 1 metre.
The Galaxy S4 Active is a version of the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S4 that has been designed specifically for outdoor use. It's dustproof and waterproof to IP67 standard (for up to 30 minutes at a depth of one metre or less) and you can even use the camera to take photos and videos underwater.
Apart from the waterproofing, the S4 Active is almost the same as the S4, so read our review of that for further details.
The S4 has a few differences though, and that means that it won't be the obvious choice for every user. It's a millimetre or two larger in every direction, including thickness, and it's noticeably heavier as well. In fact, it's quite a heavy phone. The extra size does make it easier to grip though - particularly when wet. The design is very close to the original, but it comes in a different choice of colours - Urban Grey, Orange Flare or Dive Blue. There are also three physical buttons for home, back and menu. The micro USB port is covered with a waterproof rubber flap.
The display is the same size as the S4 and has the same number of pixels, but it uses TFT technology instead of Super AMOLED. This makes the colours appear much more muted than on the brilliant Super AMOLED display of the original, but it's perhaps easier to read in bright sunlight.
Also, although the camera has the benefit of being able to film underwater (using a special Aqua mode), it's an 8 megapixel camera instead of 13 megapixels. The performance of the camera and the range of options is similar to the S4, although Dual Mode is missing. Generally speaking, the original S4 will produce better images, especially in low lighting (but not underwater!)
So the S4 Active is very similar to the original S4, but it has a few useful features, in particular the ability to use it in water. It costs the same, but is larger and heavier, with a lower quality screen and camera. Most users would be better off with the original Galaxy S4, but if the outdoor & underwater capability appeals, then the S4 Active is one of the most capable phones available. You should also consider the Xperia Z from Sony.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active features include:
- 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus, face detection, smile shot, digital zoom, full 1080p HD video recording
- 2 megapixel front camera with 1080p HD video recording
- Display: TFT, 16 million colours, 1920 x 1080 pixels Full HD (5 inches) capacitive touchscreen
- Music player
- Integrated handsfree speaker
- AGPS, GLONASS with Google Maps
- Messaging: SMS, MMS, instant messaging, email
- Sensors: Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Gyro, RGB light, Barometer, Proximity, Gesture, Temperature & Humidity
- Processor: 1.9GHz quadcore
- Memory: 16GB plus microSD memory card slot (up to 64GB), 2GB RAM
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, micro USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio jack, DLNA, MHL 2.0, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct
- LTE 4G, HSPA+ (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100MHz), EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz)
- Size: 140 x 71 x 9.1 mm
- Weight: 153g
- Battery: 2600mAh battery
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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active user reviews
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Average rating from 2 reviews:
Reviewed by Elizabeth
on 30th Apr 2014
It willnt let me text
Reviewed by Liz
on 3rd Nov 2013
if your over 60 and not a tecnofobe ? Forget it it is far to cleaver for a novic, husband bought one tried to work it all out for weeks needless to say it,s in a draw and he is back to pay and go and still paying £32 month . Great if your young but over 50 Think twice.