Samsung Galaxy S4 Active video review

Andrew Williams



Read the full Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a waterproof, drop proof and dust proof spinoff to the S4. A revised design gives this 5-inch phone IP67 certification. The S4 Active’s design is slimmer than we had expected. Measuring in at 9.1mm thick it is 1.2mm chunkier than its more high-profile sibling yet feels just as streamlined and svelte. On top of this, the added bulk and protection make it feel considerably more sturdy. It features trio of physical Android controls as opposed to the usual touch based options found on the original S4. This allows it to be used in more challenging conditions such as when caked in mud or underwater. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active’s screen is a slight deviation from that on the S4 but equally impressive. An LCD option instead of Super AMOLED panel, it is still of the 5-inch variety and impresses from the off thanks to a 1080p Full HD resolution and stunningly sharp 441 pixels-per-inch image density. It is a bright, pleasing offering with sharp colours and extremely detailed text and image production. On first impressions, the performance of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active felt on par with the S4. Featuring the same 1.9GHz quad-core processor as its big brother, it is also bestowed with 2GB of RAM and Google’s Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS skinned with the TouchWiz UI. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is possibly our favourite of the S4 spinoffs. It poses the question what could have the S4 been like with a slightly studier frame and, we expect, gives a nod to next-year’s flagship model.

More Mobile Phone Videos


June 21, 2013, 4:02 pm

Interesting how most sites I've seen have said "this is the best S4 variant" or, in the case of the Verge, "this is what the S4 should have been"


June 24, 2013, 4:24 am

Does it have a removable battery?


June 24, 2013, 11:56 am

yes, you can see that in some other reviews. removable battery, identical to the S4s. Makes a lot more sense than the sony xperia z which doesn't give that option, people wanting a rugged phone are probably ones that often find themselves away from a power source for some time


June 24, 2013, 11:57 am

I agree with that opinion! and I pre-ordered one :-)


July 21, 2013, 9:50 am

After 4 days the screen cracked in my pocket as i knelt down !!!!

ali manzoor

July 30, 2013, 1:06 pm

which oF s3 in best (MARBLE WHITE) oR ( PURPLE BLUE)......?.?.?


August 2, 2013, 11:22 pm

Pebble Blue is great! I own one and the lights at the bottom looks very good compared to the White one. :)


August 8, 2013, 6:14 pm

No pic no prove !


August 22, 2013, 1:28 am

This phone is great WHEN it works. I have already had 3 replacements due to black screen flashing headphone icons powering on and off .....and at this point i wouldn't recommend this phone to anyone!

Ravin Soerdjbalie

August 22, 2013, 7:48 pm

I am deaply disappointed that S3 and S4 display is worthless, already have been two such as a schreen pressed wil display a screen is brokem and the display is not yet availabe|


August 24, 2013, 6:26 pm

Wow... This really makes me reconsider my choice. What's the point of an "active" phone that you can't be active with? Thanks for the comment!


August 28, 2013, 7:17 pm

"Make no mistake – the S4 Active won’t appreciate being dropped onto a hard surface, and while its top and bottom edges are rubberised, they are not actual rubber that would soak up an impact".

Rarely have I heard truer words. The quality is very disappointing. See attached photos of the damage to the phone after beeing dropped from the enormous height of 50 cm.

If you want a solid phone, I recommend buying a different brand.


September 6, 2013, 12:53 pm

I just bought s4 on Sunday so 5 days ago and literally has been in the otterbox sense that day and some how has a crack right down the middle haven't stopped it or anything I've been babying it. My old iPhone 4 that is over 3 years ago is still in meant condition it's fine to Afghan with me oh and the otterbox on it was broken and ive dropped that phone so many times from pretty high areas


September 6, 2013, 6:45 pm

I have taken mine to the beach, kids played in the sand with it and it still works great. It's not a ruggedized phone, but is fairly tough. Mine has been dropped off the counter onto tile floor with no signs of wear/damage, been left in my pocket while swimming in the ocean and played with in the sand. Blow out the headphone jack and you're good to go. Not quite as impressed with the USB port. It's annoying to have to keep it our of the way while trying to plug in charger. Would have expected a nicer door to handle this duty.


September 8, 2013, 6:33 am

just can't figure out how to put image in my contacts..anybody knows?


September 10, 2013, 4:47 pm

I'm an iphone user and I recently switched to the s4 active and can honestly say that I could not be happier. A lot of people are saying that it cracks and is not as capable of withstanding impact; false. I've put this phone under water, in sand, dropped it and it still works like the first day I got it. Overall great quality and I would recommend it to any body. Like any phone out there, don't expect it to be indestructible

Johnny Hwang

September 13, 2013, 4:47 pm

I'm not sure how long is the average standby time and talk time but my S4 active only managed around 7-8 hours including a small amount of usage time. Can anybody share tgeir experience?

Paul L

September 22, 2013, 8:51 pm

Absolutely any phone will crack in these circumstances. It is a great force, like to put a phone on the edge of the table in such a way that one half is sticking out. Then push down on that have a cracked screen (same principle but even greater force when the phone in your pocket).

Carmen Leung

September 27, 2013, 3:01 am

i think i'm better off with an s4 active due to all the abuse my s3 goes though


October 15, 2013, 4:39 pm

you can only add pictures to your contacts when you save them on your phone or your gmail account, you probably have your contacts on your sim and that's why you can only add a name.


October 22, 2013, 1:22 am

piece of trash

kyle s

November 16, 2013, 4:59 am

S4 active i bought with otter box. Only thing i dont like is typing.. always hittinv keys twice. Used to have a blackberry for email so now its hard. Maybe gotta change a setting or something. Still love the phone though!

not waterproof

November 16, 2013, 3:31 pm

I switched from and iphone 4s to this phone and it was a huge improvement. unluckily though, I actually assumed that a waterproof phone would be waterproof. It was fine in the shower and even under a running sink. But just a week after buying it I assumed I could take it into a pool and take some pictures. Oh was I wrong. I didnt even leave the steps and it took not even ten miniutes for my phone to break. I made sure multipule times that I closed the usb port and tgat thr back was properly closed and still water got inside every part of it. it kept going into safemode afterwards and the screen and front camera both have pretty severe water damage and the charger would not work. but after putting it in rice overnight I had been able to get it to charge and can still use everything as before. I still recomend this phone because I honestly do like it, but do not use it in water. it is not waterproof.

Kelli Cusick

November 18, 2013, 10:44 pm

just go to the contacts and click on update then click on where the picture would go and it will let you upload pics.


November 21, 2013, 8:56 am

30% of them have faulty battery packs in them. Samsung is replacing the batteries free of charge. the phone should last a day at least with 3 hours intermittent use during the day. out the box!!

comments powered by Disqus