Smartphone accidents are not a new thing. People often drop their phones on floors, tables or even on the road – something that usually means the phone ends up with a cracked or worse, broken screen, among other things. It is also easy to find your phone in a glass of water, especially when kids are around it.
Well, Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is meant to withstand such accidents. The series has been here since 2013, but one major limitation it comes with is that it is an AT&T exclusive phone. Ideally, the phone takes everything the flagship Galaxy S7 comes with under the hood and packs it in a rugged, water-resistant casing. It gets even better as unlike previous Galaxy S Active models, the latest version gets a shatter-resistant display screen, an enhanced metallic frame, rubberized back and an even larger battery unit as compared to any of the two Samsung Galaxy S7 variants. The performance, camera and software specs remain the same as what you get on the standard version.
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are all about beautiful looks, something that gets even better when it comes to the Galaxy S7 Edge. However, the Galaxy S7 Active dumps all these in favor of a rugged body that features reinforced edges that make it a good fit for any outfield worker and outdoor lovers. The rugged version went for physical buttons on the front, including the navigation keys, but the standard version comes with capacitive navigation buttons and a physical Home button. The Home button of both handsets doubles as a fingerprint scanner.
Another major addition the Galaxy S7 Active gets is the Active button. It rests above the volume rocker and its default action is to launch the Activity Zone, however, it is customizable. When you double press the button, it will open up an Emergency Zone where you can quickly call 911 or send a message to a preset contact when in any kind of trouble.
Even though AT&T is marketing the Galaxy S7 Active as a rugged, water-resistant variant of the standard S7, the three have the same IP68 certification. This means that you can have them immersed in water of up to 5 feet for a period of up to 30 minutes and still have the phones in great shape. This has recently been disproved by Consumer Reports, claiming that the Galaxy S7 Active is vulnerable to water. Still, this could mean the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are in the same danger, but the shatter-proof and rubberized body of the S7 Active places it in a better position when it comes to surviving drops and falls. You also get a monstrous 4000mAh battery, more than the 3000mAh and 3600mAh used on the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, respectively.
There is a great advantage the camera of the S7 Active has over the others. It has an Aqua mode that allows capturing of photos when in water, but this will only work in depths of up to 5 feet.
Besides the fact that Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is locked to AT&T, it also comes with heavy bloatware from both the carrier and Samsung. This means lots of customizations that cannot be uninstalled, instead, deactivating them is the only solution. In terms of price, you will have to shell out a massive $800, twice the price of a Kyocera DuraForce or Cat S40, but none of these two has the performance specs you get on the S7 Active. There is also room to pick from Moto Droid Turbo 2 or even the LG V10, however, these two are somehow lacking when it comes to toughness.