Samsung Galaxy S7 active Review
Perhaps as much a test of AT&T's network as the Galaxy S7 active's hardware itself, phone call quality was quite acceptable, maintaining strong voice fidelity right up until that point when a one-bar call became a no-bar call. Even when losing connectivity briefly, things sounded good right up until the end, and audio quality didn't betray the weak signal. That's especially nice to see for a phone whose use cases suggest it will often be taken out on the fringes of coverage as its owners engage in all their “Active” pursuits.
Big potential meets big appetites
The “Galaxy S Active” name isn't just synonymous with rugged, water-resistant construction – it also spells bigger batteries. And while that was true for last year's Galaxy S6 Active with its 3,500 mAh battery, this year Samsung's outdoing itself with a hefty 4,000 mAh component.
wireless charging support, making picking up some extra power as easy as setting the GS7 active down on your desk.
The only problem is just how thirsty the smartphone is for that juice, and even without the phone being pushed particularly hard we noticed battery life slipping away faster than we'd expect. You should still manage to get through a solid day of operation without breaking too much of a sweat, but it's a little disappointing that a battery this size isn't a guarantee of multi-day power.
Samsung delivers in a big way, but will we be buying?
Samsung's Galaxy S Active phones have long held their own against the mainstream Galaxy S handsets, and that's more true this year than ever before. With performance that's right on par with the Galaxy S7, the same killer features like that incredible camera, and not having to sacrifice things like its fingerprint scanner, the Galaxy S7 active delivers without giving too much away in the process.
Is that $100 worth a bigger battery and a shatter-resistant display? That's going to depend on several factors, from how much you love the handset's style and color options, to just how favorably you view AT&T (and its network). Considering the stock GS7 is water-resistant this year, there are bound to be users who would rather slap an impact-absorbing case on a regular Galaxy S7.
But those who do chose to take the GS7 active route aren't likely to feel let down by their decision. Maybe the phone's chief failure is that it could do even more to distinguish itself from the GS7, but with a bigger battery, more robust hardware, and little in the way of compromises, this is one upgrade that's seriously worth your consideration.