Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 Active smartphone, ready to take on the Sony Xperia Z and Xperia ZR. The phone has been rumored for a while and previously expected to be unveiled at the company’s June 20 show in London, leaving us wondering what the company has left for the event.
Aimed at people who, “focus on living life to the fullest,” according to Samsung, the S4 Active is probably more likely to be purchased by those who focus on being a bit clumsy, as the case has been stamped with an IP67 rating, making it waterproof to a depth of one meter for 30 minutes, and resistant to harmful dust particles. The S4 Active has a slightly chunkier body than the regular Galaxy S4, measuring 9.1mm at its thickest point compared to the S4’s 7.9mm. It’s also heavier, as it weighs 151 grams, which is 20 grams more than the standard S4.
But the question on many people’s lips will be has Samsung altered the internal specs of the S4 Active, or has it truly made a competitor to the Sony Xperia Z? The answer is, almost. The S4 Active retains the 1.9GHz quad-core processor seen in most Galaxy S4 smartphones, and the screen still measures 5-inches and has a 1080p resolution. It’s not a Super AMOLED panel though, and Samsung’s press releases calls it simply a TFT LCD. The camera has been downgraded to 8-megapixels, but it does come with an Aqua Mode for improved underwater shots, similar to Sony’s Xperia ZR.
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean is the operating system, and whole host of Samsung features are included in the TouchWiz user interface, including Air View, Air Gesture, Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, S Health and S Translator. The screen can also be used with gloved hands, which could be handy if the S4 Active is used as Samsung intends.
There’s only one version of the S4 Active listed, and it comes with 16GB of internal memory (of which Samsung says 11GB is available for use), plus it has 4G LTE connectivity, a 2-megapixel video call camera, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, and the same 2600mAh battery cell found in the Galaxy S4. What’s not clear is if it’s removable, something which may be unlikely due to the S4 Active’s waterproof nature.
The Galaxy S4 has proven insanely popular already, and while the Xperia Z has also been doing very well, anyone wanting a high-end waterproof phone now has a second choice. We’d imagine Sony will be a little concerned about the S4 Active, despite the Xperia Z beating it on paper in several ways, particularly as it has been struggling to find carrier support in the U.S. for the device.
Samsung will be putting the S4 Active on sale this summer, and initially it’ll be coming to the U.S. and Sweden, with other countries to follow. You’ll be able to buy the phone in three colors, grey, blue or orange, but the price hasn’t been stated.