Samsung continues to expand its Galaxy range of Android smartphones and tablets with the Galaxy S4 Active, a new high-end handset that’s aimed at people who love to explore the great outdoors.
Straight out of the blocks is a simply gorgeous display. Samsung’s slapped a 5-inch, 1080p screen on the Galaxy S4 Active that comes in at a whopping 443 pixels per inch (ppi). That’s above the 336 ppi found on the iPhone 5 and just a fraction below the 468 ppi offered by the equally beautiful HTC One. Video games, stills, movies, it doesn’t matter what you throw at it, this display will show content at its very best.
Powering the device is a 1.9 GHz quad-core processor, along with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. Only 11.25GB of that is usable, however, so Samsung has been wise to include a micro SD slot for up to 64GB of additional storage.
It’s powered by a 2,600 mAh battery, which is sensible given the size of the display and juice that will inevitably be drawn from the quad-core processor. There’s also an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, the same as the original Galaxy S4, in conjunction with a fairly impressive 2-megapixel snapper on the front. Samsung has also revamped its camera app with a new ‘Aqua Mode’ this time around, which will increase the detail and clarity for video and photographs shot underwater.
The device runs the very latest version of Android – 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), with Samsung’s TouchWiz skin and bundle of exclusive apps piled on top. That means S Translator, Air Gesture, S Health and all the other new features introduced with the original Galaxy S4.
The unique selling point of Samsung’s new hardware, however, is its ability to protect itself against dust and water. The Galaxy S4 Active offers a fully sealed design, graded at International Protection IP67 – the highest being IP68 – to protect the internals against water damage for up to 30 minutes, at a depth of one meter.
It also has a water-resistant earphone jack, so if you find yourself out in the rain or working near the sea, you don’t have to worry about damaging the handset as you listen to some tunes.
Samsung is aiming the Galaxy S4 Active at tradesmen and various professionals who work outdoors on a regular basis. A high-end smartphone is all well and good, but if it can’t handle the odd knock or splash of water, it’s next to useless for anyone who still wants to make calls or check emails while out on the road.
The device should also appeal, however, to the younger crowd who regularly attend music festivals or enjoy outdoor and adventurous sports, such as mountain biking, sailing, or rock climbing. The ability to shoot underwater is a pretty novel feature, and combined with the Galaxy S4 Active’s already impressive 8-megapixel camera, it’s a good choice for amateur film makers.
The device will launch initially in the US and Sweden at the “beginning” of this summer. It will be available in three color variants: Urban Grey, Dive Blue and Orange Flare.
The introduction of the Galaxy S4 Active follows the original Galaxy S4 – which sold over 10 million units in its first month – as well as the new Galaxy S4 Mini, a mid-range handset with a smaller 4.3-inch display.