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Galaxy S8 Active rumor review: differences vs Galaxy S8, specs and release date

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active

For about 4 years now, Samsung has followed up its “regular” Galaxy S flagships with a special rugged edition of the phone under the Galaxy S Active moniker. The trend started with the Galaxy S4 Active and rumors, leaks, and reports show that there will be a Galaxy S8 Active to carry the tradition. But what’s it going to be like?

Contents:

Availability

Where would I buy one anyway?

First and foremost, it is established for the Active series to be exclusive to AT&T for whatever reason. Current reports indicate that the same will be true for the Galaxy S8 Active — its model number is consistently reported as being G892A, with the letter A at the end depicting the carrier it is meant for.

Looking at the past years, the Actives were usually announced within the first half of June. However, since the Galaxy S8 was delayed by almost a month this year around, it makes some sense that the S8 Active would come out in July as well. In other words, while no specific date has been officially stated, we do expect the rugged flagship to land any day now.


Design and display

So, what’s going to be different?

Galaxy S5 Active
Galaxy S6 Active
Galaxy S7 Active

Galaxy S5 Active

Galaxy S6 Active

Galaxy S7 Active


Obviously, if it is to keep the family tradition, the Galaxy S8 Active would be a highly durable device that looks like it has been built straight into a rugged case. Rubberized frame and back with reinforced corners are a must, and we do expect a more pronounced ring around the camera to protect it from nasty accidents.

The S8's pretty curves won't fare well if they tumble down a hiker's trail
But what about that curved display? Leaks state that the S8 Active will not have the arched Infinity Display, opting for a flat screen instead. Funnily enough, that makes it the only S8 flagship to not have an Edge display. It is also expected that the panel on the front would not be made out of glass, but durable plastic. While the latter is much more prone to scratching, compared to Gorilla Glass 5, it is much less probable to shatter when the phone tries to embrace the pavement for a romantic scene.

Still, leaks say it will be a phablet-class 5.8-inch screen and it will still have the elongated 18:9 ratio and rather small bezels. The leaked picture we have of the handset’s face makes it out to look a bit like the LG G6 up front.

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The Galaxy S8 Active's front, as shown in WPC documentation
The Galaxy S8 Active's back, as shown in FCC documentation

The Galaxy S8 Active's front, as shown in WPC documentation

The Galaxy S8 Active's back, as shown in FCC documentation



Is the hardware the same?

Is a Galaxy S8 still a Galaxy S8?

For most of the phone’s insides, we expect the same deal as with the Galaxy S8 — a Snapdragon 835 SoC, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of expandable storage, and the same outstanding camera. However, whispers have hinted — and it would make sense — that the battery would be bigger than the cell in the Galaxy S8 or even the S8+.

For the past couple of years, it has been established that the Actives would have a bigger battery to complement their “outdoorsy niche” appeal — an extra 1000 mAh on top to guarantee longer trips away from outlets. Samsung did have a battery scare with the Note 7 and decided not to deck out the cells in its latest flagships, but we do expect that the S8 Active would come with something to the tune of 4,000 mAh.

Phone modelGalaxy S6S6 ActiveGalaxy S7S7 ActiveGalaxy S8S8 Active
Battery capacity2,550 mAh3,500 mAh3,000 mAh4,000 mAh3,000 mAh4,000 mAh?

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Active


TL;DR and expectations


So, basically, what little information we have on the Galaxy S8 Active can be summed up with this — no surprises. The handset is expected to rock the same internals as its currently-existing siblings, a bigger battery, and a rugged body to wrap everything in a nice, durable bow. It seems it’s going to be an AT&T exclusive yet again, so that's going to make some people unhappy. But hey, what can you do?

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