The Galaxy smartphone line has gotten some crazy and weird iterations since the release of the Galaxy S4. With Mini’s and Zoom’s entering the mix, there was one that stood out before, the Active. The S4 Active was a fun hardware redesign of the device to hold a bit more everyday active use than the average person. Now with the S5 already in the hands of many consumers, Samsung releases the S5 Active. I know what you’re thinking, the S4 Active brought IP67 which wasn’t in the original, but the S5 comes with it stock, what makes the S5 Active different from its original; lets find out.
Disclaimer: This review of the S5 Active will only contain the differences from the original model. All software, camera and health features remain the same. If you wish to see my thoughts on that, head over to our Galaxy S5 Review.
IP67 & MIL-STD-810G Certified
So the Galaxy S5 already had IP67 certification which protected itself from dust and water up to a meter deep for 30 minutes. The Galaxy S5 Active keeps its IP67 rating but also adds MIL-STD-810G Certification which includes resistance to salt, dust, rain, humidity, vibration, solar radiation, transport and thermal shock. Now in a day to day use, it’s pretty hard to fully test our most of those unique climate affects, but we tried our best to recreate some of them.
We did take the Active to the beach and pool where it was in direct contact with sand and water, no major damage was done to the device, though we did have to dry our hands and the screen off if we wanted to use it. With the display or even your fingers wet, it’s pretty hard to navigate the phone for example while it was raining, the raindrops falling on the screen was actually pressing commands and opening apps without me touching it and it was non responsive to my touches. So in all reality, the S5 Active is meant to survive these climate experiences but not made to be used during them – and yes you can record video underwater.
The overall design of the S5 Active is actually quite nice. As mentioned in my review, I was a huge fan of the S4 Active and glad Samsung went that same design route with some extra added protection. Each corner of the device has a thick hard plastic layer meant to protect the phone from any falls it might take while in use. There was also a protecting cover over the MicroUSB 2.0 port and very well sealed back battery plate. Of course, when opening and closing the back plate, Samsung always reminds you to make sure it is securely locked by pressing down on each side and the middle to protect the inner wiring from water damage.
Internally, the Active is sporting a Quad-Core QUALCOMM Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 23 of RAM and a 2800 mAh removable battery to power the 5.1-inch 1080×1920 Super AMOLED display. You also get 16GB of internal storage with expansion to 128GB via microSD.
The software is about the same as the Galaxy S5, but the Active includes some outdoor needed apps via a quick launch button on the left of the device, which includes things like a flashlight and compass.
Overall, the Galaxy S5 Active is a great alternative choice to the original S5 for those AT&T customers looking to use their device a bit more outdoors than usual. With a great hardware design, being able to take advantage of the S5 underwater makes for awesome video and photo creation. So if you’re in the market for a rugged smartphone and are familiar with the Galaxy line from Samsung, I highly recommend giving the Active a shot. The Galaxy S5 Active is available now exclusively through AT&T, huge thanks to AT&T for allowing us to review this device.
- Well designed body
- Active lifestyle apps in one place
- Galaxy S5 software and camera
- No USB 3.0 charging