Samsung Galaxy S8 Active Review
Calls on the S8 Active are unremarkable. No glaring complaints came about from our callers, nor was it hard for us to hear them on the other end. The earpiece is a little quieter than we’d like, but the speakerphone is plenty loud.
With 1000 milliamps more battery capacity than the regular S8 and the same capacity as the S7 Active, the S8 Active’s 4000-mAh battery is rated at 32 hours of talk time, as oppose to the original S8’s 30. This translates well in day-to-day use; moderate usage should see you through about a day and a half of battery life – even with the Always-On Display enabled. Samsung rates the S8’s standby time as 3.4 days with AOD enabled, while the S8 Active is rated at about 5. This seems to hold true in real life, as well, lasting almost 11 hours in our custom test – about 2.5 hours longer than the original S8, and almost exactly the same time as the S7 Active. Recharge times for this “fast-charger” were two hours, on the dot.
Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 Active 10h 57 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S8 8h 22 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active 11h 2 min (Excellent)
LG G6 6h 9 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S8 Active 120
Samsung Galaxy S8 100
Samsung Galaxy S7 Active 113
LG G6 97
The Galaxy S8 Active endeavors to do something really no smartphone does today. Taking top-of-the-line technology and melding it with externals that come as close to indestructible as any pocket-device feasibly can is no small feat, but it’s easy to see how this can be taken for granted. The S8 Active doesn’t appear to have a very hard job. Thicken the metal, add some rubber corners, and a shatter-resistant shield and voilà, right? Well, although Samsung certainly won’t see it like that, it kind of does appear that way. The Galaxy S8 was already IP68 dust and waterproof, so now let’s make it withstand drops and extreme temperatures then call it a day. Sure. But smartphone construction can be a delicate balance, figuratively and literally. Just take for instance the critical mistakes made in trying to pack too much into the ill-fated Note7.
Smartphones need to be light, and pocketable – not too substantial, or carrying and using them becomes a burden. While the S8 Active doesn’t exactly improve its footprint over its predecessor, it still has a palatable size and weight. For all that it adds in the inherent upgrades from the S7 to S8 (and the ruggedized construction) we doubt anyone will be longing for a sleeker device. Users know it will be a heavier phone than the S8, and with an additional 1000 milliamps more power on board, Samsung achieves this variant with little compromise, ultimately creating the phone of many people’s dreams. As notoriously fragile “bezel-less” designs continue to overtake the industry, it’s good to know that (as far as we can tell) Samsung will always take the time to make their best phone better – relatively speaking, that is.
- Military standards in durability and resilience
- Same excellent camera as the S8, excels in low-light and quick focus
- Squeezes a little more battery life than the original S8
- Bixby much improved
- Like it or not, it’s a heavier device than normal S8
- Camera has a tendency to add a yellowish tint in certain scenes
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- Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
- Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
- Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
- Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
- Battery 4000 mAh(32h talk time)