Samsung Galaxy S4 Active: What to expect from this S4 spin-off

What happens when you mix the Galaxy S4 with the Xcover brand? You get The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. Photo: Samsung

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2013 — Even though it’s one of the freshest devices on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S4 shapes up to be the manufacturer’s best selling handset yet. After all, the S4 has reached 10 million pre-orders (from retailers) just two weeks after its official announcement and sold 10 million units in just 27 days (again, to retailers).

With the handset enjoying mostly stellar reviews and outrageous sales figures, it was only logical for Samsung to try and capitalize on the success of the Galaxy S4 brand. Therefore, the company came up with a handful of so called Samsung Galaxy S4 spin-offs: the officially announced Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and S4 Active, and the rumored Galaxy S4 Zoom. What we have here is the classic brand within a brand situation: the well established and well known Samsung Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets, and the Galaxy S4 line-up.

One of the Samsung Galaxy S4 models that has been extensively rumored during the past couple of weeks is the dust and waterproofed Galaxy S4 Active. After a few leaked images depicting the device made their way to the World Wide Web, Samsung has probably decided to officially announce the smartphone before its “Galaxy & ATIV” London based event, scheduled for June 20th. So how does the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active shape up? Let’s have a look at its specs and features.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active can be best described as a mash-up between the company’s flagship smartphone (the S4) and its Xcover series of ruggedized devices. Borrowing most of its internals from the LTE version of the S4, the Active will blaze through everything you’ll throw at it in terms of processing power, while being able to take the proverbial beating in the meantime.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has been granted an IP67 certification for being dust and waterproof. Samsung announced that its smarpthone will handle being submerged in up to a meter of water, for up to 30 minutes.

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Like we’ve mentioned, as far as hardware specs go, the Active is almost identical to the original Galaxy S4. There are however a few differences:

  • The Active comes with a 5 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen (1080 x 1920 resolution, ~441 ppi), while its predecessor features a Super AMOLED panel with the same specs; Active’s screen has also been enhanced with the “Glove Touch” technology (pretty self explanatory);
  • The main camera has been downgraded from 13MP (Galaxy S4) to 8MP (Galaxy S4 Active);
  • The Active comes with a special “Aqua Mode” setting for the camera, meant to improve its behavior under water;
  • The handset is bigger and heavier that the original S4 (although not by much); Active: 139.7 x 71.3 x 9.1 mm (5.5 x 2.81 x 0.36 in), 151 g (5.33 oz); “original” Galaxy S4: 36.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm (5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 in), 130 g (4.59 oz);

The Galaxy S4 Active is powered by a quad-core 1.9GHz processor (of unspecified make, most probably the same SnapDragon 600 SoC), will provide LTE connectivity, and will launch running on Android 4.2.2.

As far as availability goes, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active will be released in US and Europe sometime this summer and will come in three flavors: Orange Flare, Urban Gray and Dive Blue.

What do you think? Are you tempted to wait for the Active’s launch? Are any of the minor hardware downgrades a deal breaker? Let us know in the comments section.

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Vlad Andrici

Vlad writes about the mobile industry after cutting his teeth on gaming. A technology fan, a telecom and IP engineer in the real world, Vlad made his online debut writing about games as founder and editor of from which he has transitioned towards the mobile industry (smartphones and tablets). 

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