Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, Flagship Gone Rugged

In the long line of rumored things, today Samsung has finally revealed the Galaxy S4 Active in the midst where most of the attention is on Computex in Taipei. The Active has been rumored shortly after the S4 hit the market. Prior to this the device has also been spotted out in the wild and even with some short hands on video. For starters the Galaxy S4 Active (GT-I9295) has a 5" 1080P screen which translates into 443PPI, but here's the catch the screen is not an AMOLED one, its a IPS display TFT display which is ok given the high pixel density. The hardware inside this adventurous phone is similar to the GT-I9505 and yes the device supports LTE. The main attraction of the device however is its ruggedized body which is IP67 certified and is water (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes) and dust resistant. For additional specification of the device check out the chart below. Samsung's CEO J.K. Shin had this to say about the device:
"The Galaxy S4 Active is the newest addition to the GALAXY series and is purposefully designed for active users who love the outdoors. Samsung has taken the innovative features of the Galaxy S4 and added breakthrough protective design elements to create a device that thrives in an active environment and is built for a lifestyle of travel and exploration"
Moving on, i was reading through the press release and it seems that the Active is not only more rugged but it also has some added features. Samsung still retained most of the Galaxy S4 hardware and software features like airview, super sensitive screen, air gesture, group play, etc. What is missing is the support for the dual camera mode but the device is still capable of recording underwater. Given its ruggedness, Samsung has added a feature in the camera app called 'Aqua Mode' which will make pictures and videos more clearer. The overall footprint of the device has been increased (139.7mm X 71.3mm X 9.1mm VS 136.6mm X 69.8mm X 7.9mm), the device also weighs 21g heavier than the original S4. Well these dimensions can be justified with the waterproofability and overall ruggedness of the device. But one thing i am skeptical about is wheter the device can live up to its rugged name by fairing in a drop test, only time will answer that. Talking about rugged, i think this is the first time i've seen a rugged flagship phone because other than the Xperia Z no other flagship device have been IP certified. Personally i would choose the Active over the original S4 any day of the week because the Active has a better and more solid design plus its rugged. I can close my eyes with the 8MP camera and the thicker body. Oh yeah not forgetting the Active also comes in 3 magnificent colors which are Urban Grey, Dive Blue and Orange Flare. Availability of this device is still unknown but it'll make an appearance at Samsung's London event later this month. 
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