Samsung Galaxy S8 Active: Everything you need to know

T-Mobile to sell the super-durable Samsung Galaxy S8 Active starting November 17

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active review
Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Active, a rough-and-tumble version of the considerably more delicate Galaxy S8 smartphone, was initially available on AT&T only. Now the company is finally bringing it to other carriers — Sprint and T-Mobile. The Galaxy S8 Active is made especially for the butter-fingered, extreme-lifestyle-loving smartphone fan. Externally it’s a very different beast to the Galaxy S8, but inside it shares plenty of the same great technology.

Below is all the essential information you need to buy one, and you can find out what we think of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active in our review.

Price and availability

The phone is available in meteor grey from AT&T and T-Mobile, or titanium gold from AT&T. On AT&T Next, it costs $28.34 per month for 30 months. AT&T also has a few tempting deals to go with the S8 Active, including trade-ins up to $200 off, and a Gear S3 smartwatch for $50 when you sign up for a two-year agreement.

At T-Mobile the phone will cost $30 each month over two years with $100 up front, on the Equipment Installment Plan, or $29 per month with $100 down on the Jump on Demand lease over 18 months. Online sales begin on November 17 and in stores on November 22. It’s compatible with T-Mobile’s 600MHz network for super high-speed LTE data connections, where available.

We don’t have a specific date or pricing for Sprint, though Samsung says that information will be coming in November.

All about the Galaxy S8 Active

There are two striking visual differences between the Galaxy S8 Active and the Galaxy S8. The first is the screen. The Galaxy S8 Active doesn’t have the Galaxy S8’s Infinity curved screen, making do with a considerably more traditional flat Super AMOLED panel. It does retain the same 18.5.9 aspect ratio and 2,960 x 1,440 pixel resolution. It measures a massive 5.8-inches, yet the body is surprisingly compact. It’s the first Active phone to not have physical buttons under the screen, which may be a cause for concern for those who wear thick gloves.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active review

The second difference is the Galaxy S8 Active’s MIL-STD-810G rated, military-standard suit of armor. The tough exterior gives the S8 Active shock, shatter, water, and dust resistance. Samsung promises the phone can’t be twisted into submission, won’t succumb to scratches, and is less likely to slip through your fingers due to its textured body. The frame is made from metal, and a special bumper design keeps the screen safe from cracks. Treat the S8 Active badly, and it probably won’t mind.

Another difference exists between the Galaxy S8 Active and the Galaxy S8, but it’s not something you can see. The battery’s capacity has been increased to 4,000mAh for the S8 Active, up from the 3,000mAh cell inside the normal version. Samsung isn’t quoting any figures to show how much longer the phone will last, but expect it to beat the full day of regular use you get from the Galaxy S8 Plus.Galaxy S8 Active

Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant, is onboard and controls the Activity Zone, which displays information useful to the outdoorsy type, including a stopwatch, barometer, compass, and quick access to the flashlight app. The Galaxy S8 Active’s cameras are the same as the Galaxy S8, with a 12-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front camera. A Snapdragon 835 processor powers the phone, and Android 7.0 Nougat is installed.

The rugged phone replaces the Galaxy S7 Active from 2016.

Update: T-Mobile prices added.