Call Quality


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.

Battery Life


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

Conclusion


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.



Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Like it or not, it’s a heavier device than normal S8
  • Camera has a tendency to add a yellowish tint in certain scenes

PhoneArena Rating:

9.0

User Rating:

10.0
1 Reviews

FEATURED VIDEO

62 Comments

3. black.inco unregistered

It's a heavier phone than the normal S8? I mean......

13. Carlitos

Posts: 668; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Lmaoo right, is it not its purpose? It's suppose to be rugged so being heavier that the regular s8 is a given. What kind of petty con is that?

21. black.inco unregistered

That's my thought exactly. That gave me a little laugh because I feel like the reviewer is a little sissy.

34. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

PA's Review system is flaw I am glad I was not they only one to see that. "its a heavier phone.." Duh!!11 as you stated it's a rugged version it has to have heft. So now being heavy is a con for a rugged model? I cant comprehend PA's reviews at all. There is no objectivity they need to establish a grading system that treats and grades all features and non features the same then they could be honest fair reviews. I mean you cant call one thing a "con" for one vendor but a "pro" for another vendor and vise versa.

60. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Good point. The next review will say "This phone is heavier than it's predecessor giving it that solid and premium feel". LOL. I personally prefer phones lighter the better. But, it's hilarious to me how reviewers come up with these arbitrary "quality" factors. Especially "premium" materials like aluminum and glass. Crap, has anyone every thought about how ancient both of those materials are for use on modern technology? Jewelry, well that's different.

26. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

Lg v30 has waterproofing and military grade certification without being active. I wonder if people are still purchasing active series.

33. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1060; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Yes because Samsung > LG.

61. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Gosh, I couldn't bear to have to carry around all that "active" if I didn't have to? LOL! Are you saying that offering LESS choices for customers is a better thing?

4. haruken

Posts: 306; Member since: Nov 06, 2013

'and viola' It's voilà. Might want to stick to english next time.

5. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

I got to play with the S8 Active at a Sprint store (walking distance #notmycarrier), boy is it light but oh so satisfying. This is how a premium smartphone should feel.

10. Landon

Posts: 1245; Member since: May 07, 2015

This is music to my ears. Hopefully it will be coming to Verizon.

6. sissy246

Posts: 7111; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

My son just got the new active, can't wait for his thoughts on it. He has had every active.

7. dnomadic

Posts: 415; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I think you all should come with a standard scoring system... Have your customers, we that view your site daily to comment on the standard then finalize it. Standards that aren't skewed towards a Manufacturer and apply across the board... Rate each section then average the scores... The scores are applied with no methodology other than what I feel. I know it doesn't matter, but it concerns me....

11. ahmadkun

Posts: 586; Member since: May 02, 2016

IPHONE 8 GOT 9.2 LOL .. THIS IS REALLY FUNNY JOKE

19. dmomintz

Posts: 68; Member since: Jan 21, 2016

A little disappointing to see the battery life go down since my Active S6, but that screen and camera are unmatched, not to mention I can't not take my phone in the shower now lol (spoiled), so I would never get anything less than IP68. The very fact that iphones still run basically the same iOS from 2008 with a focus on emoticons (seriously apple smh) means they should never get rated better than an 8 out of 10 in my opinion, regardless of the design or build quality. There is just zero innovation and they are overpriced children's toys compared to this beauty. The Active is a real man's product with top notch quality, and hopefully the AT&T exclusivity ends soon so more people can see for themselves.

20. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 372; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

Shocked a non samsung flagship received such a high score

40. g2a5b0e unregistered

I don't see how you can say it's not a flagship. That's literally exactly what it is. Don't let the "active" moniker confuse you.

24. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Wish my Note 8 came ruggedized like this. Great phone.

50. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Simply grab this Beyond Cell trishield case and you're set: https://sck.pm/rN

62. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Dayadgum, that's a beast.

28. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 372; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

design wise it looks really good. Ideal for those that want a flat screen S8 with big battery life.

31. gamehead unregistered

If it gets android oreo and a price reduction like the regular s8 count me interested

36. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Over 100, no?

42. killer7D

Posts: 551; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

The backdated S8 active is better than the Note 8 ????????

54. kakudiego

Posts: 123; Member since: May 21, 2014

If the S8 has a 9, S8 Active deserve a 9.5

56. Modest_Moze

Posts: 184; Member since: Mar 23, 2015

IT IS HEAVIER THAN THE S8, HEAVIER THAN S8, HEAVIER THAN S8... Come on... LIKE IT OR NOT this is not a very good CON and LIKE IT OR NOT it is heavier, because it is RUGGED, RUGGED!!!!!!! RUGGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

63. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Heavier is baaad. Heavier on an iPhone is premium! :-D

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(32h talk time)

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