The S8 Active's shatter-resistant screen scratches easily, just like Moto's ShatterShield displays

One quick look at the user reviews of the Galaxy S8 Active over at Samsung's online store is enough to notice a repeat complaint - that the rugged flagship's "shatter-resistant" display scuffs and scratches easily. Among the glowing praises of its battery life, durability and camera prowess, customers are saying things like "screen is super soft and scratches really easy," "I already have scratches from normal use after less then a month," or "the scratches that are on it came from the inside of my pocket where I have carried all my other phones with no issues." There were some reports about smudged screen covers on the S7 Active, too, but not to that extent, and not right out of the bat.

The thing is, to achieve the "screen is shatter-resistant up to five feet on a flat surface" promise for the S8 Active, Samsung might be using a lamination technology similar to Motorola's famed ShatterShield displays, like the five-layer ones on the Moto Z2 Force, or the Droid Turbo 2. It absorbs the impact, and indeed prevents the actual screens from getting even a crack when dropped from mind-blowing heights, compared to regular phones, but they also scratch really easily, as the cover glass is not glass, but a softer material. 

Motorola actually calls these top layers "lenses," and has a program in place that simply replaces them for thirty bucks. "Fixing a scratched or dented screen is as simple as replacing its outer lens with a smooth new replacement lens," says Moto, and offers to either send you the top layer to swap yourself when you finally get annoyed by the scratches on it, or it can do that for you. 

This goes to show how prone to scuffs and scratches those top layers of "shatter-resistant" display packages are, and something similar might be going on with the Galaxy S8 Active, with the caveat that this is a rugged waterproof phone, and, unless Samsung intros a program for swapping the top cover layer, you might have to live with a few more screen scratches than you are accustomed to from phones with harder cover glass. Have you experienced something similar on your own Galaxy S8 Active?

source: Samsung, Motorola

Related phones

Galaxy S8 Active
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(32h talk time)



1. Cat97

Posts: 2022; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

"thirty bucks" is nothing ? It's 30$, and it's 3-4 times more than a glass screen protector. Why don't manufacturers do flat screen phones and let people use cheap glass screen protectors that go from edge to edge ? Why that 2.5D craze that ruins any chance of a truly edge-to-edge screen protector and forces people to use all kinds of sub-par alternatives ? LG G6 is the only flagship with a perfectly flat screen and looks great design-wise, so it can be done, both looks and functionality. But now LG ruined the feature with the V30 and I'm afraid the G7 will follow the same stupid 2.5D path. Back to square one.

9. skrug

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 05, 2015

The Xperia XZ1 / XZ1 compact has flat display

10. Nabil111

Posts: 105; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

Yes, very annoying on my GS7 with its pseudo-curved display, only the cheap plastic screen protectors fit edge to edge, the rest just look bad. One innovative feature I recall on my old Motorola Electrify (Atrix) was that since Moto was too cheap to actually spring for Gorilla Glass, they were using the cheaper Corning Glass, and to compensate, they made the screen slightly concave so the edges of bezels actually kept the screen from ever touching anything when it was laid face-down. I'd rather see stuff like that than this obsession with "lets make really hard-to-hold stuff".

2. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1485; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Sony once used their own shatterproof screens and they were much better than either of these.

3. p1ngv1n

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 19, 2017

It should be totally unnecessary on such a phone, but can't you just use your own screen protector (glass or whatever) which you just swap with a new one when it gets worn? Edit: And for how long are Sammy going to keep us Europeans from being able to buy this phone? I'm getting more and more desperate, and at this rate I'm probably going to end up buying something else completely...

4. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

"Welcome. Welcome back. This way to debriefing."

5. DechyX

Posts: 156; Member since: May 16, 2011

I have the S8 Active and I just threw a screen protector on it... and it's display is flat like the G6's. I love this phone

6. madara82

Posts: 36; Member since: Jul 01, 2017

They should recon the rest of the phone. It will make bad market to them....

7. Sealblaighter

Posts: 434; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

It is shatter resistant?? GSMArena said it is NOT shatter resistant. Now what is the truth??

8. Sealblaighter

Posts: 434; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

It is shatter resistant?? GSMArena said it is NOT shatter resistant. Now what is the truth??

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