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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Best water-resistant and waterproof Android smartphones money can buy

For the first time in many years, mobile consumers seem to overwhelmingly approve of a next-gen Samsung flagship. The Galaxy S6 and particularly the S6 Edge are (almost) all they could have been, with metal frames (finally!), robust Gorilla Glass back covers, uber-crisp displays, powerful yet frugal processors, highly competent OIS cameras and smoother than ever software.

Android water

Still, haters gonna hate. Fueling the muffled criticism, Sammy removed external storage support, shrunk down battery capacity and, above all, “forgot” water protection. There’s no word on an “Active” variant on the horizon either, at least not yet, so if toilet bowl slips are your worst fear, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Luckily, respectable, “mainstream” liquid-proof Androids can be easily found on Amazon these days. Thanks chiefly to Sony, but also Samsung, they’re not as restrictive, rare and, well, crappy as a few years back.

water splash with bubbles isolated on white

In fact, believe it or not, we had trouble narrowing down our selections for today’s list. And because the final drafts are too different, we’ll give them to you in no particular order. Here are the best water-resistant Android smartphones money can buy in March 2015:

Sony Xperia Z3 – $534 unlocked international; $70 and up on Verizon

If your gadgets keep collapsing after accidental dives into pools and, ahem, restroom commodities, who you gonna call? The veteran water-busters from Sony, clearly. The Japanese have been dishing out semi-rugged mobile products in their homeland for many years, only recently getting the idea to transport some of the magic across the borders. And it worked.

Sony Xperia Z3

Now, a slew of Western Xperias offer various degrees of shelter, and cover different price ranges and performance classes. Probably the most advanced, in every aspect, is this 5.2-inch bad boy, what with its Full HD screen resolution, quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip, 3 GB RAM, 20.7 MP rear camera and IP68 certification.

IP68, for those of you not fluent in Ingress Protection code, essentially means the Xperia Z3 is “dust tight” (6), and all guarded against “continuous immersion” in water beyond 1 meter and 30 minutes (8).

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – starting at $420 unlocked

As the name suggests, the only difference between this and the “full-sized” Z3 is the footprint. Well, that, and display clarity, RAM count, and battery capacity. But what you should take into account first and foremost is the 4.6-inch 720p Z3 Compact also carries an IP68 stamp of approval. Meaning it too can theoretically lie in a body of water for hours and hours without cracking.

Xperia Z3 Compact

Sony Xperia Z2 – $403 free of contractual obligations

Another Sony Xperia? What can we tell you, they’re the best of the best at this. And incredibly enough, the one year-old Z2 doesn’t show signs of aging. The familiar-looking 5.2 incher (the Z3 is a near-identical copy on the outside) is IP58 licensed.

Xperia Z2

That may sound vastly inferior to the IP68 credentials, but it’s actually the same thing as far as liquid contact is concerned. Remember, the 8 designates resistance under 1 m and above 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the 5 refers to dust “collision”, and entails partial protection. In other words, you’ll want to keep the Z2 out of harm’s way when traveling the Sahara Desert by foot.

The good news is, with the Z4 close by, you can probably expect massive Z2 discounts. And at, say, $300, the 1,080p panel, quad-core S801 CPU, 3 GB RAM and 20.7 MP camera will get really hard to turn down.

Samsung Galaxy S5, S5 Active and Sport

Samsung-Galaxy-S5

How could Samsung abandon rugged and semi-rugged functions after so much effort put in the GS5 family? It boggles the mind, but maybe it’s not over yet. For the time being, your choice of a waterproof top-tier Galaxy is between the conventionally designed S5, the slightly quirkier Sport and uber-muscular Active.

One very interesting tidbit is all three are IP67 authorized to deal with dirt no matter what and H2O in small doses. Specifically, up to 1 meter and half an hour. In addition to that however, the Sport rocks “Side Grip enhancements” for a better, stronger hold, and the Active survives transport and thermal shock, as well as solar radiation and vibration with ease.

galaxy-s5-active

Hardware-wise, they’re practically identical, featuring S801 chips, 2 GB RAM, 2,800 mAh batteries and 5.1-inch Full HD screens.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active – $420 factory unlocked

Let’s be sincere, the only reason this aging fellow may tickle your fancy over the S5 or S5 Active is the lower price. The thing is, it’s not low enough. IP67 certified and nothing else, the 5 incher carries a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor under the hood, alongside 2 gigs of RAM and a 2,600 mAh juicer. Yawn!

galaxy-s-4-active

Kyocera Brigadier – $100 with two-year Verizon contracts; $450 outright

A living legend and instant classic, the Brigadier shined in our best rugged handheld roundup back October, holding its own now despite the advanced age. With an almost extraterrestrial design language, both IP68 and MIL-STD-810G creds and respectable mid-end specs, this is so much more than a stellar waterproof smartphone.

Kyocera-Brigadier

It’s a powerhouse, it’s a fashion statement, and it’s a trend defier, looking like nothing else you’ve ever seen. In numbers, it’s 13 mm thick, tips the scales at a whopping 187 grams, measures 4.5 inches in diagonal, and features a 1,280 x 720 display pixel count, quad-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 400 SoC, 2 GB RAM and 8 MP camera.

Kyocera Hydro Life – $99 for T-Mobile with no contract

Unusually cheap and more “classically” handsome than the Brigadier, the Hydro Life is drop-proof, shock-proof and waterproof up to 3 feet, courtesy of IP57 and MIL-STD-810G authorizations. Obviously, it’s no Galaxy S6 “killer”, but at $100 it delivers impressive value for money.

kyocera-hydro-life

The 4.5-inch IPS LCD screen is tolerable, at 960 x 540 pixels, the pre-loaded 4.3 Jelly Bean software… not that old, and the 1.5 GB RAM ideal for smooth multitasking.

HTC Desire Eye – $419 factory unlocked

Hold on, since when does HTC produce water-resistant gear? Since a few months ago, apparently, though you should probably not expect the world from the Desire Eye. The rookie stab here tends to miss the mark more often than not, and we’d call this 5.2 incher anything but robust-looking.

HTC Desire Eye

At the end of the day, it vows to withstand short immersions up to 1 meter deep, and it’s also KitKat-powered, Snapdragon 801-packing and 1,080p LCD-sporting. Not the worst deal you can make at 420 bucks.

AT&T resumes Android 4.4.2 KitKat rollout for Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

AT&T resumes Android 4.4.2 KitKat rollout for Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

More than a month after halting the rollout of the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Active, AT&T has once again started pushing the update to the rugged device. AT&T has announced that the update is currently rolling out over the air – the new update carries a different build number, suggesting things have changed since the last update, though the carrier isn’t saying what got fixed in the days the update was off the air.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy S5 family previewed: everything we know about the S5 Zoom, Mini, Active and Neo

Whether you’re delighted about Samsung’s Galaxy S5, deem it too fugly to be worth a shot, or reckon it’s a solid albeit not spectacular slab of silicon, you probably know full well what’s coming. A towering marketing campaign set to squash every rival in sight as far as advertising buzz is concerned, followed by the already customary brand milking, or dilution.

samsung-galaxy-s5-colors

Look, it’s basic math. No matter how successful would a Galaxy S5 become on its own, the launch of multiple variants increases the line’s potential and appeal. Sure, the standard model loses a few customers, however the Zoom, Active, Mini and Neo undoubtedly win them back, and then some.

Wait, do we actually expect four additional S5 versions to break cover in the foreseeable future? Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, and maybe more. Remember, an ultra-high-end Galaxy S5 Prime, aka Galaxy F, is still a possibility, though it’s becoming somewhat of a long shot with no palpable evidence it exists revealed after the original S5’s intro.

Samsung-Galaxy-S5

And who knows what quirky, eccentric ideas Sammy may come up with prior to next year’s S6 unveil? An S5 Round, maybe, with a curved display. Or an S5 Pro with S Pen support, although the lines between it and Galaxy Notes would then be dangerously blurred. Ooh, I know, a QWERTY-toting Galaxy S5Q. Dream on, right?

Oh, well, the S5 Zoom, Active, Mini and Neo are likely very much real, so for the time being, let’s focus on them:

Galaxy S5 Zoom – rumor roundup

Be honest, did you give last year’s S4 Zoom a second thought once you saw its appalling design? Actually, I don’t think appalling does it justice. It was ghastly, daunting, horrific. No, I give up, there are no words to describe it.

Galaxy S4 Zoom

Long story short, if Samsung wants their upcoming camera phone stab to be taken seriously, they need to get back to square one, and rethink aesthetics. Which rumors out of Poland say they’ve done. Too bad there are no pictures to prove the S5 Zoom is indeed slimmer, thinner and capable of better hiding its gigantic lens.

Meanwhile, credible benchmark data confirms a number of hardware upgrades, including a display size and resolution bump (to 4.8 inches and 720p), and a RAM increase, to 2 full gigs. The reports on S5 Zoom’s processor are conflicting, probably suggesting two slightly different versions are in store. One with a hexa-core Exynos 5 chip under the hood, and the other powered by a mysterious quad-core CPU.

S5-Zoom-specs

Of course, the key feature remains the rear-facing camera, expected to pack a 20 MP CMOS sensor, Xenon flash, 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilization. Enough to give Nokia’s PureView Lumia 1020 a run for its money? We’ll see in May. June, at the latest.

Galaxy S5 Active preview

Since the Galaxy S5 is already IP67 certified for dust and water resistance, there’s no point in Samsung also releasing an S5 Active, right? Well, wrong, as @evleaks, who’s almost never wrong, claims the SM-G870 we thought was the S5 Mini is in fact the S5 Active.

Galaxy_S5_water

I’m confused, and likely, so are you. But as I recently explained, there are different degrees of ruggedness. So maybe this SM-G870 headed to AT&T and Sprint “among other carriers” is set to be the first top-shelf truly rugged handheld.

With better water protection, plus, say, military approvals for things like thermal shock, solar radiation, vibration, salt and humidity resistance. It’s a stretch, as it would entail a major design overhaul and abandonment of cuteness and thinness, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.

samsung-galaxy-s5-features

That, or simply equipping the S5 Active with a stronger water shield while giving up a few camera megapixels, as well as the display’s Super AMOLED technology.

Everything we know about the Galaxy S5 Mini

This section is going to be awfully short, as in all honesty we know nothing for sure vis-à-vis the S5 Mini. Except it’s coming next month or the month after. There are two cryptic Samsung smartphones no doubt tied to the standard S5 we haven’t yet managed to crack, namely the SM-G750 and SM-G800.

Odds are one’s the S5 Mini and the other the S5 Neo, but how to tell which one’s which? The sure-fire way is simply wait for their stories to unravel, however patience is so 20th century. Instead, I’ll go with my gut and assume the SM-G750 is the S5 Neo, and the SM-G800 the S5 Mini.

Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Mini-and-S4

Too bad the SM-G800 model number is joined by an extremely short list of features at the moment. Again trusting my instinct, I say the S5 Mini will measure around 4.5 inches (maybe 4.7), sport a 720p display, quad-core Snapdragon 600 chip, 2 GB RAM and 13 MP camera.

Galaxy S5 Neo – rumor roundup

The idea of offering slightly toned-down versions of your flagships for more competitive prices is not bad per se, yet so far the execution has been Samsung’s biggest problem. Take the Note 3 Neo. The big guy is rather handsome and decently punchy, but it’s so damn expensive.

Galaxy-Note-3-Neo

So yeah, we’re excited about a Galaxy S5 Neo with possibly a quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC, HD screen and 13 MP main snapper, but not if it costs $600.

Who’s with me? And who thinks Samsung should altogether stop with this aggressive brand dilution? Does the world need a standard S5, Prime, Zoom, Active, Mini, Neo, Value Edition, Black, etc., etc.? Let your opinions be heard below.

AT&T Galaxy S4 Active now getting the Android 4.3 update

Galaxy S4 Active

Galaxy S4 ActiveMost manufacturers have finished rolling out the Android 4.3 update to their flagship devices a few months ago. However, carrier variants of smartphones take longer than usual to rollout an update. Proving that is the AT&T branded Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, which is now getting the Android 4.3 update. This water proof droid from Samsung was launched in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T, which meant that the carrier could take its sweet time to rollout the update even though Samsung has finished seeding the update to carriers quite a few months ago. Speaking more about the update, well it is only slightly different from Android 4.2 and will most notably include performance related upgrades and bug fixes. You will not notice any massive visual differences, but the much awaited support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is bundled with the update. Here’s the complete changelog:

  • Samsung Galaxy Gear compatibility
  • Drag and drop to uninstall or disable applications
  • AT&T Signature Experience preloads such as Kindle, Lookout, City ID, Password Keeper, Games and AT&T Mobile Protection.

If you’re a owner of the Galaxy S4 Active on AT&T, make sure you check for an update by navigating to the Settings. Or you can simply wait for an update notification to pop up on its own.

Source: AT&T

Via: Cult of Android

Galaxy S4 Active LTE-A with Snapdragon 800 CPU and 13MP camera launched in South Korea

s4-active-lte-a-sk

We’ve heard about an upgraded Galaxy S4 Active quite a few times over the past couple of months, and now Samsung has made the revamped S4 Active official in its home country. The Galaxy S4 Active LTE-A is now available in South Korea, with support with SK Telecom’s LTE-Advanced data speeds of up to 150 mbps and a Snapdragon 800 processor under the hood.

Unlike the Galaxy S4 LTE-A, the Galaxy S4 Active LTE-A sports more than just a faster processor and network speeds – Samsung has upgraded the camera on the device as well, and it now sports a 13-megapixel camera as the Galaxy Note 3 and S4, though it remains to be seen if it’s exactly the same in image quality as well. Other specs remain the same as the standard S4 Active – the device is still IP67-certified for dust- and water-resistance, has a 5-inch 1080p LCD display, 32GB of storage and a microSD slot, hardened home, back, and menu keys, and a 2,600 mAh battery.

The Galaxy S4 Active LTE-A will be a South Korean exclusive for now and is priced at 900,000 won (around $855). An international launch could happen somewhere down the line as it did for the Galaxy S4 LTE-A, but it would be best not to be too hopeful about that.

Source: Samsung (Korean)

Samsung launches Snapdragon 800 variant of the Galaxy S4 Active

Galaxy S4 Active Snapdragon 800

Galaxy S4 Active Snapdragon 800Samsung has just launched the updated version of the Galaxy S4 Active in South Korea. This new version of the water-resistant handset now features a 2.3 GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 SoC and an upgraded 13MP camera sensor. The smartphone also comes with support for local LTE-A networks in the region. Apart from these two changes, the rest of the hardware remains unchanged and it still packs the same 5 inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and a 2,600 mAh battery. The new Galaxy S4 Active is 4 grams lighter than the standard Galaxy S4 Active, which is a noteworthy change. The smartphone is launching through SK Telecom in South Korea.

The Galaxy S4 Active has had a very limited release as it was only available in a handful of locations outside the U.S., so we’re not too optimistic about a global release of this new variant. The AT&T Galaxy S4 Active in the U.S. went under some criticism after complaints of water damage started to rise. However, those reports were put to rest after the carrier promised to replace damaged units.

Source: HiTechMail – Translated

Via: GSM Arena

Samsung Galaxy Family Tree Explained: Something for Everyone (Part 1, Smartphones)

Some say it’s marketing. Others innovation. There are also those that feel like they were simply in the right place at the right time and don’t deserve all the praise. As for me, I really have no doubt. Samsung’s success story in the mobile arena has everything to do with choice, diversity and freedom.

Galaxy_S_Phones

But why Samsung?

Okay, maybe not everything, as it sure helps to see LeBron James and Lionel Messi endorsing them. As it does to see their phones on more billboards than LG, HTC and Sony products combined. But you know what they say, you have to spend money to make money and that’s where Samsung has always shined.

But let’s back up a little and explore the diversity point further. After all, it’s not like LG or Sony don’t have equally as rich product portfolios, is it? True, only they realized they had to offer users choice a little too late.

Galaxy S evolution

There was also Nokia, which basically “invented” the strategy of putting hundreds of eggs in dozens of baskets, but the Finns dropped the ball on other aspects of the game and now they’re barely struggling to survive.

Meanwhile, with the risk of confusing customers, blurring the lines between high-end and mid-range technology or even rolling out about half a dozen duds every year, Samsung is pumping up handheld after handheld after handheld in a relentless effort to cover every possible niche, meet every need and satisfy each and every tech-savvy boy or gal.

Samsung money

Without further adieu, I thus invite you to go a little deeper in Samsung’s smartphone family tree and round up most of their mobile devices in one of three branches: high-end, mid-range and low-end.

Samsung family tree, branch #1: the high-enders

First of all, let me just say it’s darn complicated to contain Samsung’s complex and slightly hectic product portfolio in three straightforward lines. Also, it’s going to be hard to mention them all, so I’ll try to focus mostly on the freshest of devices.

That said, there are only two full-fledged Samsung spearheads out and about these days, the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 and 5-inch Galaxy S4. Three, if we add the 5.7-inch Galaxy Round in the equation, the world’s first curved display handheld that’s sadly headed just for Korea.

Galaxy S4 collection

But since the S4 is getting old, it’s started producing offsprings. Like the GS4 Active, S4 zoom, S4 LTE-Advanced (or S4 LTE+) and S4 Active with Snapdragon 800, the last of which is not yet official. Plus, rumor has it a Note 3 Active is looming on the horizon too. Is your head hurting already? Prepare for it all to get worse before it gets better.

Branch #2: the mid-rangers

Believe it or not, Samsung would be nothing without its mid and low-end devices. They’d still make money, no doubt about it, but they definitely wouldn’t have it so easy to dominate the market. And that’s primarily because there are so many options here.

Starting with the Galaxy S4 mini, which you could say is the mid-range pack leader. Then there’s the Galaxy S3 and Note 2. Both are for all intents and purposes far more technically impressive than the S4 mini, bigger, badder and stronger, yet they’re not as hot.

Samsung-Galaxy-S4-Girls

Why? Because they’re part of older sub-branches of the big Galaxy family, unlike the newest Mini. And the 4.3-incher has a stellar ace up its sleeve: the S4 design language. Plus, affordability.

And while we’re on the subject of affordability, let’s quickly mention, oh, half a dozen of other Samsung mid-end names: Galaxy Express 2, Ace 3, Core, Mega 5.8 and 6.3 (albeit some may argue the two are closer to the high-end niche). What do these have in common? The S4 design language once again.

samsung-galaxy-s3-vs-note-2

Which brings me to another sub-branch of the mid-range line, Galaxy S3’s “cousins”. You know, its watered down lookalikes. And there you have the Galaxy Win, the Trend 2, Express, Grand, Premier, Pop and S3 mini. All with excellent bang for buck factors and each and every one of them targeted at the specific needs of a certain part of the market. Not to mention the first-gen Note and S2 are fantastic OG sons of guns too. And then there’s the S2 Plus. How could you not feel special with so many choices?

Branch#3: the low-enders

Before you even start, I know, I’ve neglected so many mid-range names and no, I don’t intend to abusively peg them as entry-level devices. It’s just they’re far too many, so instead of boring you to death, I’ve aimed my attention merely at the members of the Galaxy family that are the newest and worth your money the most.

samsung-galaxy-young-fame

So if your budgets are very limited, here are your best entry-level choices. First off, there’s the Galaxy Young/Fame duo. True, they’re direct descendants of the GS3 rather than the S4, but they’re clearly better than, say, the Galaxy Y Plus or Galaxy Star.

Then, you have the Galaxy Star Pro and Prevail. These two are technically low to mid-enders and they’re not so dirt-cheap, but all things considered they’re not so expensive or great to be deserving of higher places on the totem pole. Other than these fellas, the only other entry-level options are over a year old and so doomed to not get any software updates beyond what they already run. So not worth any kind of mention here.

Samsung-Family

Right, so that’s about it for today and, in hope you’ve found this post the least bit informative and not overly expeditious, meet us again soon for a short recap and breakdown of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet family tree. 

Low-Cost Galaxy S4 Active (GT-I8580) Surfaces Online, Likely Launching Soon with Android 4.2

You know there’s a rumor going around that Samsung is working on an improved Galaxy S4 Active with Snapdragon 800 power? Well, as it turns out, the S4 Active has become quite the (sleeper) hit, since Sammy is apparently ironing out the kinks of yet another variation of the device as we speak.

Galaxy S4 Active mini

Only this one, model numbered GT-I8580, will essentially be for the original S4 Active what the S4 mini is for the Galaxy S4. Namely, a watered down version, with inferior hardware, a smaller screen, but the same exact design language.

Yet it’s going to be real hard to call the I8580 the GS4 Active mini, what with it sporting a 4.65-inch display that was not long ago considered gargantuan. Meanwhile, as far as the “inferior hardware” part goes, this fellow is as diminutive as it gets, packing an unnamed dual-core 1.2 GHz SoC (with Adreno 305 GPU, so maybe a low-clocked Snapdragon 400) and 1 gig of RAM.

And don’t even get me started on the panel, which will be quite cringe worthy, at an 800 x 480 pixels resolution and 200 ppi pixel density. The cameras are the icing on the cake (or, you know, the complete opposite), featuring 5 and 0.3 MP sensors, whereas the software department is one of very few strong suits here, as Android 4.2 Jelly Bean runs the show.

Given Tenaa, China’s FCC equivalent, reveals the GT-I8580 will share the physical key arrangement and layout of the S4 Active, chances are the upcoming mid-ranger will have a couple of ruggedized features, specifically (mild) protection to water and dust.

GT-I8580

It should also be fairly elegant and skinny, measuring 9 mm in thickness and tipping the scales at 135 grams. Plus, even if we haven’t seen it get FCC’s stamp of approval, an international launch, especially a European one, is definitely in the cards.

When might that happen? We can’t know for sure, albeit with Tenaa and Bluetooth SIG giving the green light and GFX Bench taking it for a short benchmarking spin already, it can’t be long.

The two remaining questions are how the phone will be named (GS4 Active mini sounds like a joke given the dimensions here), and whether or not people will be interested. Will you? And how much should Samsung charge to help seal the deal? $300? $250? Hit us back with a comment.

Via [Tenaa], [Bluetooth SIG], [GFX Bench]

Best Buy leak reveals Android 4.3 rollout schedule for Galaxy devices in the U.S.

samsung-galaxy-gear

A host of Galaxy devices are scheduled to get the Android 4.3 update in the following weeks. Samsung began rolling out Android 4.3 to international versions of Galaxy devices, and it looks like devices stateside should be getting the update soon. The handsets scheduled for the Android 4.3 update include Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S III, the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 Active across all carriers. Most Galaxy devices should get onto Android 4.3 by end of November, with T-Mobile Galaxy Note II users waiting until December 2nd to get the update and Galaxy S4 Active users on AT&T waiting till December 24th.

leak

The leaked document does mention that the dates are subject to change, so a few users might get the update a few days later. Android 4.3 on these device would enable compatibility with Galaxy Gear, Samsung’s smartwatch that was released alongside the Note III.

The Best Buy document also had an interesting note about the Galaxy Gear: “The Galaxy Gear attachment rate within Best Buy is the highest among all channels; however the overall return rate is trending above 30%.” It looks like almost a third of the customers buying the Galaxy Gear are returning the device. That is the clearest indication yet that Samsung has a lot of issues to tackle before it launches the next version of the smartwatch sometime later next year.

Via: AndroidPolice

Amazon selling AT&T Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Active for $108

AT&T Galaxy S4

AT&T Galaxy S4

Deals are pretty common on third party retailer sites, but this one is just too hard to miss. Amazon is now selling the AT&T Galaxy S4 and the water resistant Galaxy S4 Active for a cool $108 (on contract) if you’re a new customer or $118 for upgrades. This deal is easily the best we’ve come across so far, so make sure you give this a look if you’ve been longing to get either smartphones on the country’s fastest 4G LTE network.

The Galaxy S4 Active is being sold in Grey and Teal while the Galaxy S4 is available in White, Black and the carrier exclusive Red variant. Amazon is also offering free two day shipping for the two smartphones.

A price reduction was much expected with the anticipated arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in early October. The Galaxy S4 Active however has had its own issues in the past with water damage, so buyers need to be wary of that. But for $108, the two smartphones are basically a steal, considering the hardware.

Source: Amazon (1), (2)

Via: Sam Mobile

[easyazon-block align=”center” asin=”B00CDZU40Q” locale=”us”]

Galaxy S4 Active with Snapdragon 800 launching soon

Galaxy S4 Active

Galaxy S4 Active

Korean sources have claimed that Samsung is gearing up to launch a new Snapdragon 800 variant of the semi-successful Galaxy S4 Active smartphone. This variant will apparently break cover in Korea as early as next month, when the Galaxy Note 3 will be well settled in the market. We won’t be surprised if the smartphone remains an exclusive to South Korea, as Samsung wouldn’t want to confuse global markets with two different variants of the same smartphone.

This particular variant of the smartphone has also made numerous appearances on benchmarking apps like GFX Bench, so we know for sure it’s heading somewhere. We expect this variant to have no other visible changes to its hardware apart from the upgraded chipset. The current iteration of the Galaxy S4 Active has the Snapdragon 600 chipset inside, which is used widely in most 2013 flagships. This water resistant smartphone from Samsung also features a 5 inch 1080p LCD panel, an 8MP camera on the back, a 2MP front camera, 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD), 2GB of RAM, Android 4.2.2 and a 2,600 mAh battery.

Source: Naver News (Translated)

Via: GSM Arena

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active to get wireless charging accessory

galaxy s4 active wireless charging

galaxy s4 active wireless charging

A new IndieGoGo campaign has been set off to get the Qi standard wireless charging onto the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active smartphone. This fund raising project will act as a pre-order listing for the accessory rather than an actual Kickstarter fundraiser, so regardless of the goals, the product will be manufactured. Known as the WiQiQi Active, the accessory is a simple solution for users tired of trying to pry open the micro USB port every time.

Users basically have to place this directly over the battery and close the battery door which will make sure it stays in place. The video demo below will give you a brief idea of its functioning. Users can pre order the WiQiQi Active for $22 within the U.S. or $26 if you live outside the U.S. They are also selling the WiQiQi Active with a Versa Qi charging pad for $62 within the U.S. and $72 elsewhere. The WiQiQi Active will begin shipping from September. This accessory comes from Monster Watts which has made similar wireless charging accessories for the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S III.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since recently. Some AT&T users complained of having their smartphones water damaged after some mishaps. With the battery door being awfully hard to pry open, this will be a great solution for users of the Galaxy S4 Active.

Source: IndieGoGo

Via: Android Police

AT&T: We Will Replace Water Damaged Galaxy S4 Active Only Once

The only reason anyone would choose to buy Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, a water and dust resistant variant of Samsung’s flagship smartphone the Galaxy S4, would be to have a device that can stand water, dust and other elements damages. But what happens when you go camping one time and it falls into a pond, getting damaged or your little one picks the phone and dumps it into the pool and it gets damaged? Despite it being a water and dust resistant phone, we know that everything machine made has faults and your phone could be one of the thousands that will get damaged when it comes in contact with water, moisture or dust. If you are an AT&T customer and got the phone from the carrier, the company says that it can only replace your Galaxy S4 Active once.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Samsung made the Galaxy S4 Active an IP67 certified device, meaning that it is supposed to resist water damage when in water up to 1 meter deep or up to 30 minutes underwater. I know what you think, that if AT&T replaces the phone once, what happens if the second one suffers the same or almost similar fate? The bad news is that Samsung has refused to honor warranties of devices that show water damage signs – even the so-called water resistant Galaxy S4 Active. This is not fair.
Since the phone was made available about 2 months ago, I haven’t come across any reports of the phone being damaged by water yet, which could mean that the device is built and tested to conform to the standards properly before it hits the shelves. You should however note that the phone is not waterproof; as a matter of fact, it is advertised as ‘water resistant’, meaning that water could get into the phone under certain circumstances, e.g. when it is left in water for too long or when it is too deep in water. I believe Samsung chose not to honor warranties for water damaged Galaxy S4 Active devices because frankly, the phone is not permanently sealed, and if a user removes the cover and fails to replace it correctly, it would be their fault if water damages the internal parts.
AT&T is being extra generous and taking a huge risk offering to replace water damaged Galaxy S4 Active devices once. Given that they don’t really have to, this friendly customer approach should be welcome and if you are planning to get the Galaxy S4 Active, then AT&T may be your carrier choice. Keep your phone safe, it is designed to stand accidental exposure to water and dust, if you abuse and damage it, you may be on your own.
Source: Pocket Now