The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is Samsung's rival to the Sony Xperia Z - a ruggedised high-end Android phone designed to be immune to effects of water and dust. Here's our Galaxy S4 Active video review.
Galaxy S4 Active build, design
A lightweight plastic slab, the overall impression is of ultimate portability. The S4 Active is a robust handset with a nice if plasticky finish.
The front is dominated by the 5 inch display. The sharp resolution means image edges and text are crisp, making the Active comfortable for reading long pages of texts.
The thin bezel is shiny grey plastic surounded by a thin metallic strip that wraps around the edges. At the top is speaker, camera apertures and a large silver Samsung logo. At the bottom are three hardware buttons - the traditional Android Settings, Home and Back buttons. They are plastic and don't have a huge amount of travel, but are easy to find in the dark.
Around the edges of the Galaxy S4 Active on the lefthand side is the volume rocker, and on the right the power button. At the bottom is a covered slot for the mini-USB port, also used for the power cable.
The back of the Galaxy S4 Active is topped and tailed with two rubbery plastic bands, each held in place by a pair of large screws. Inbetween these is a detachable, grey plastic cover. This is easy to flick off with a finger nail, revealing the detachable battery, memory card and SIM slots. We had some minor problems putting the cover back on. This was easy enough to resolve, but you need to make sure it is on properly before you get your Galaxy S4 Active wet!
We ran the phone under water to test the waterproofing with no obvious problems.
The Galaxy S4 Active is packed with a quad-core processor paired with 2GB of fast RAM, so we expected good performance. And, well, we got it. This is a fast and responsive phone with performance roughly equivalent to the full-blown Galaxy S4. With moderate to heavy use you can get a full day out of the battery, too.
Galaxy S4 Active: cameras
instead of the Galaxy S4's camera in the S4 Active you get 'only' an 8Mp camera. As you might expect this makes a difference only at the point in which you need a lot of detail at a large size. For Twitter and Facebook the Galaxy S4 Active is a good smartphone camera, capable of capturing decent images with good if not great levels of detail and decent warm colours.
Galaxy S4 Active: verdict
We really like the Galaxy S4 Active. If you want durability, this is the Galaxy S4 for you but it's worth checking out the Xperia Z as an alternative. We award four stars.
See also Samsung Galaxy S4 Active release date, specs and price in the UK. We tested a Galaxy S4 Active from Phones4U.