- Jessica Dolcourt , Cnet
The Galaxy S5 Active's physical buttons and high-end features keep it in Samsung's hit parade, but those seeking a truly rugged phone should keep looking.
- Additional plastic reinforcement for shock protection
- Fast performance
- Great screen with crisp and bright colors
- Slippery and difficult to grasp
- Bulkier than standard smartphones
In order to appeal to the more outdoorsy crowd, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5 Active. Although not certified to be a truly rugged phone, the S5 Active is water and dust resistant. For better protection, Samsung added reinforced plastic corners, which provides extra scuff-proofing. Critics note that the reinforcements are necessary as the phone case itself is very slippery and difficult to grasp, leading to several accidental drops. Replacing the capacitive buttons are physical home, recent apps and back buttons which, according to Android Central, have "a nice click and texture to them." An addition to the device is the Active key, which pulls up various meters like atmospheric pressure, elevation and even a compass.
Due to the additional protection, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is larger than the S5 at 5.72 x 2.89 x 0.35 inches and weighs more at 170.1 grams (6 oz). Besides these changes, the S5 Active is practically identical to the S5. It comes with a 5.1" 1080p AMOLED display that reviewers describe as crisp and colorful. Running the phone is a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Diagnostic and real-world testing prove that it is more than capable of handling almost every task without lag. CNET calls the phone a "speed demon" though also mentions that it is not as fast as it could be due to Samsung's built-in throttling that lowers the clock speed when the CPU or GPU get too hot.
Overall, reviewers recommend the device for people looking for a little added protection and new features for their smartphone. The Verge says, "If you're looking for a smartphone to take on a construction site or up a mountain, this may be your best bet."
Reviews (8.7/10 Avg. rating)
Combines flagship power with military-grade durability
While the S5 Active is larger and heavier than the original Galaxy S5, what it lacks in lightness it more than makes up for with military-spec durability. The only Android phone tougher than the S5 Active is the 4.5-inch Kyocera Brigadier and its Sapphire Shield screen. But fitted with last-gen components, the Brigadier's Snapdragon 400 is lapped by the S5 Active's Snapdragon 801 chip. With the S5 Active's speedy processor, enduring battery and even louder speakers, you get the equivalent of Mustang performance in a Humvee body. Now all you have to do is prepare for life without the limits... Full review
A high-end phone for the accident prone
A true flagship in a ruggedized body
Best equipped rugged smartphone out there
The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is everything we expected it to be and more. In terms of functionality and feature set, the handset is almost every bit as capable as the SM-G900 with the added benefit of higher durability and improved grip. The aforementioned two could very well make the model the pick in the Galaxy S5 range.
The traditional strengths of the Samsung Galaxy S family are all here. The handset totes beefy hardware, a gorgeous Super AMOLED display, the TouchWiz UI with all its goodies, and one of the best cameras available on a mobile device. The option of designating a... Full review
Sturdy, but not “everything-proof”
Whatever the paint job, whether a Galaxy S5 Active belongs in your pocket depends on how much meat you really need on your smartphone’s bones. Remember, the stock S5 is already immersion-resistant, and while a MIL-STD-810G rating should mean the Active is much more durable, in our experience that doesn’t seem to be the case (at least in terms of everyday drops and fumbles). When you consider that this is Samsung’s second outdoorsy phone in as many years to struggle with the “Active” part of its job description, it’s tough to recommend it for those who tru... Full review
A no-compromise, ruggedized Android smartphone
The Galaxy S5 Active makes no real compromises to earn its more adventurous designation. I don't care for fingerprint scanners, and I think the Active key will be genuinely more useful for the majority of people. Otherwise, it offers the exact same experience as the standard GS5. I personally prefer the S5 Active's design, and the added weight makes it feel like a more premium device in my hands. Either would make a fine choice, but if you're a klutz or adrenaline junkie, the Active should jump to the top of your list. It shares our Editors' Choice award with its otherwise identical, non-Ac... Full review
Carries over most of the GS5's attractive features, but wraps them in a stronger body
As far as I am concerned, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is better than the standard model. It's a bit thicker and heavier, but the added protection from drops and more-appealing design are worth that small sacrifice. The only major feature missing is the GS5's fingerprint reader, which I found to be inconsistent and ultimately useless anyway.
The Active is tough, water resistant, and good looking. The screen is fantastic, phone calls sound great, mobile data is speedy, and it takes great pictures. Few other phones offer the same mix of features and performance. The phone may be o... Full review
Tailor-made for klutzes and outdoorsy types
Similar overall performance to the Galaxy S5
One has to give Samsung credit with the Galaxy S5 Active, seeing as though it looks like they’ve been able to learn from last years’ model. However, some folks might still be scratching their heads wondering why come out with this phone knowing that the Galaxy S5 is already water-resistant. Well people, this phone adheres most to individuals with a more active lifestyle, but best of all, it doesn’t make a whole lot of compromises with its hardware, specs, features, and price.
By itself, the Galaxy S5 Active is a top-notch smartphone that has nearly all of the be... Full review
Built like a tank
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