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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Review

0. phoneArena posted on 19 Jun 2013, 08:59

Being IP67 certified, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active doesn't mind getting a little wet every once in a while. In fact, it should be able to survive a dive into water down to a meter for up to 30 minutes. The handset is dust-tight as well. At the same time, it has the hardware specs needed to rank among today's best Android smartphones: 1080p screen, Snapdragon 600 silicon, 2GB of RAM, 2600mAh battery, with Android 4.2 running the parade...

This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here

posted on 23 Jun 2013, 09:24

44. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

Better looking is not true for everyone. I personally think that the active is too big and how compact and light the GS4 is, especially for a phone with a 5 inch 1080p screen, makes the GS4 desirable.

In fact, that is probably why Samsung is such a big success. They make sleek, thin, compact for their dimensions products and still manage to fit in huge batteries. Everybody sees this, it is just the Nokia, Apple, and HTC fans that can't see this.

The GS4 Active ignores those strengths and go after the light plastic haters, which are just jealous HTC and Nokia fans. I would rate the GS4 higher than this easily. I don't need water, dust proofing, and a heavier phone. Light and thin as long as it is durable and has a decent sized battery is the way to go.

posted on 19 Jun 2013, 12:22

15. viisign (Posts: 10; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)

I have the galaxy s3 and the galaxy rugby pro (waterproof cell).im really interested in this samsung galaxy s4 active. But I bet they will come out with a samsung galaxy s4 active pro...I would like to see some comparisons to see if I should upgrade either of my phone to this.be nice to see a red active.

posted on 19 Jun 2013, 18:32

21. lukasound (Posts: 152; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)

water resistance and being dust proof is so not important to me...

if you want underwater pictures you can get a cheap underwater bag or case on ebay.

what i expect from an "active" phone is to be shockproof! unbreakable screen is so simple to make but it's not profitable. plus rubber sides and this would be a perfect phone.

posted on 19 Jun 2013, 19:28

22. KINGJUAN27 (Posts: 210; Member since: 02 Jul 2012)

Nice back! Ugly front with all those retro physical buttons! Pfft.

posted on 20 Jun 2013, 02:06

26. alltopfive (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Jun 2013)

Interesting phone and launched at an interesting time when S4 was gaining ground. The physical buttons are tacky and the phone would have done with capacitive buttons. Design wise don't think it can get better than the glass wrap of Sony.

posted on 20 Jun 2013, 04:04 1

27. shotunz (Posts: 2; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)

why use a screen when its wet? clean the damn water off with your shirt!!!

posted on 22 Jun 2013, 15:32

39. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

because its waterproof phone

posted on 20 Jun 2013, 06:59 1

28. kabhijeet.16 (Posts: 813; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

BEST phone out there

posted on 20 Jun 2013, 16:39

29. trawiarz (Posts: 3; Member since: 25 Apr 2013)

HDR Video rec?

posted on 21 Jun 2013, 04:53

33. taikucing (unregistered)

this one is supposed to come out first, not the ugly looking cheap plastic version

posted on 21 Jun 2013, 12:50 1

34. glentomas123 (Posts: 70; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)

Good review. Two points:

- Would have purchased if camera was improved.
- Also, how does one use the features of the fancy underwater camera mode if the screen is non-responsive underwater?

Sticking with my S3 and still waiting for the Moto X before making my decision.

posted on 21 Jun 2013, 23:24

35. Saamic (Posts: 119; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)

If this phone had the same camera as the standard S4, I would have bought it.

posted on 22 Jun 2013, 04:45

36. Necromancer (Posts: 10; Member since: 27 Jan 2013)

Since there's no Exynos in this, it is also heat-proof and a little bug-resistant! :D

posted on 23 Jun 2013, 02:17

40. runbo (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)

it's true waterproof?

posted on 02 Jul 2013, 13:04

57. DrElena (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)

not all of them ;( the first phone we got leaked around the two bottom bolts. The replacement is doing better, but we are very hesitant to use it more than a few min (up to 3) at a time.

posted on 23 Jun 2013, 04:30

42. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

A waterproof phone without wet finger tracking technology like you gotta be kidding me.
better wait Xperia ZR or even Honami

posted on 23 Jun 2013, 08:34 1

43. SleepingOz (unregistered)

But it's definitely better than the XZ and XZL, which it's supposed to compete with. Better screen even if it's TFT, camera, CPU/GPU, battery etc..

posted on 23 Jun 2013, 12:35

46. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

better display and hardware yes, but im not agree with camera because Sony have fix the camera problem in the latest update.

for waterproof smartphone i think overall Xperia ZR is better option than S4 active. i just hope Xperia ZR use some high quality LCD like Xperia TX display

posted on 23 Jun 2013, 13:07

48. SleepingOz (unregistered)

I haven't seen the new samples yet, any link?
Most probably but only time will tell, we'll wait and see.

posted on 23 Jun 2013, 13:43

49. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

you can check here:

and this for the orginal samples
normal mode:
busrt mode:

in the past burst mode had better quality but with the update even normal mode look better than burst mode

the update also include system performance improvements as well as re-calibrated screen colors and white balance settings. There's also a new Mini Apps icon, new keyboard skin, new design for some widgets, notification light on/off toggle, the soft. Finally the navigation keys background color has been changed to black from grey.

posted on 24 Jun 2013, 14:35 2

51. DrElena (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)

and Samsung refuses to replace the leaking phone

Well, it could be a dream-come-true, as my husband was counting down days before the Galaxy S4 Active was released in stores. And it looked and felt just right and great, until we gave it a "dip test": in our community pool at depth ~10 inches we took two 1-min videos about 3 minutes apart.

The camera lenses got fogged, hardware buttons got disabled and the charger port stopped working. (yes, we did ensure the USB charger port was properly plugged at the time of submerging). The phone's camera was switched to "Aqua mode". Despite all the advised precautions, the phone had leaked water in.

The AT&T refused to exchange it claiming it was ***damaged by water*** (how unexpected for a phone advertised to take underwater pictures!!!).

Samsung customer and tech support first reaction was "WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU COULD PUT IT IN WATER?

The two reps we spoke to so far made it sound as it was our fault the phone got water.

After a number of times "checking with managers" they requested us to bring the damaged phone for evaluation to repair services (who were notified in the ticket that "we accidentally dropped it in water")

What is most striking is that Samsung is refusing to admit the phone had a factory-originated problem and their customer service is pushing us around, making us to accept the fact we have to stick with a $700 "waterproof" phone that leaked the day we bought it..

Is this supposed to be fare? what a dream was ruined...

posted on 08 Jul 2013, 21:40 1

61. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

That is an awful, crap-like story. If you do not mind, I would love for you to post here what resolution you got.

This phone is part of a dream for me as well. A top end, durable phone. Would depress me if this ends up a swing and a miss. Something like this would move over to Android from WP, bit only if they stand behind it.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 16:11

52. 2020tsantini (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Jun 2013)

galaxy s4 has a 13 mp camera i phone 5 only has 8 mp nuff said..... duhh.. no brainer...

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 23:33

53. true1984 (Posts: 830; Member since: 23 May 2012)

wait, if you cant touch the screen while it wet, then how the hell do you take pictures underwater?

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 13:47

54. DrElena (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)

Volume button ;)

posted on 01 Jul 2013, 17:18

55. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

but the screen still useless if you fingers wet

posted on 02 Jul 2013, 13:00

56. DrElena (Posts: 4; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)

in fact, no: the moment it comes to the surface, you can start using it with your wet fingers ;)

posted on 02 Jul 2013, 20:57

58. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

Oh yeah just show me the video if what you said is true,
because many reviewer has try it the screen is useless if wet

posted on 02 Jul 2013, 21:27

59. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

just watch S4 Active video review from pocketnow the video will show you that the screen is useless when wet and if you check Xperia V video review from androidauthority you will see even when the display and fingers wet the reviewer is able to play fruit ninja

posted on 08 Jul 2013, 19:09

60. Patrik69 (Posts: 4; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)

Why no underwater photo or video tests? It seems like that would be the most important part of a review. Instead you review it like every other cell phone. Just stupid. STUPID!!!!!

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