- IP68 rating for water and dust-proofing
- Can withstand extreme temperatures, pressure, dust, shock and vibration
- Very fast performance
- Excellent battery life
- Camera provides amazing image quality in almost every lighting situation
- Gorilla Glass 5 prone to scratches
- Utilitarian design
- Noisy dark/night-time images
- Mediocre sunlight legibility
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is one of the most powerful smartphones available in 2017. It’s also one of the most expensive. The S8 Active is essentially a very rugged version of the standard S8, but costs yet more money.
Is it worth the high cost? Reviewers have tested this new release and are weighing in. Let’s see what they have to say…
While critics don’t give it any points for beauty, they appreciate its sturdy design. It touts an IP68 rating against dust and water. This means you can submerge it in 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
It also comes with Gorilla Glass 5 over the screen to prevent shattering—even when dropped from 5 feet. While useful, experts noticed this treatment made the screen prone to scratches and scuffs.
Samsung didn’t stop there though. The S8 Active also passed the MIL-STD-810G testing. Certification means it can also withstand intense temperature, dust, shock, vibration, pressure and high altitudes.
Sure... most people likely won’t need these features. But they are there for those who do.
Unfortunately, this added protection means an increase in weight and size. The phone weighs 208 grams with a thickness of just under 0.4 inches. Despite the increased size, experts didn’t find it unwieldy.
Rugged phones once meant settling for lower screen resolutions. That’s not the case with the S8 Active. It comes with a huge 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display running at 2,560 by 1,440 pixels. Critics loved the high contrast ratio and vibrant yet accurate colors.
However, they were disappointed with the overall brightness. Some reviewers had issues viewing the screen in bright sunlight.
Inside, the S8 Active is practically identical to the S8.
It comes with the same Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. As expected, reviewers found performance incredibly fast whether they were juggling multiple apps or browser tabs. They experienced zero lag, hiccups or unexpected crashes.
The biggest improvement comes in the form of a larger 4,000mAh battery. Unsurprisingly, it provided experts with great battery life.
Most saw two days of moderate usage and a full day of heavy usage. Charging was also a breeze as it has wireless and quick-charging capabilities.
If you’re looking for a better camera, the S8 Active might disappoint. It has the same 12MP rear lens as the S8. With that said, reviewers still point out it’s an incredible shooter. They captured detailed, color accurate images in both bright and low light situations.
With that said, they noticed it struggled in dark or night-time scenes.
Reviewers have a tough time recommending the S8 Active for the average consumer—especially since it’s nearly identical to the S8. However, they can suggest it for those who need the extra battery life and toughness.
Android Central states, “No, I wouldn’t recommend someone who wants a Galaxy S8 consider a Galaxy S8 Active just for the battery... But I would absolutely recommend this phone to someone who must have a ‘rugged’ phone…” BGR adds, “... I’d recommend the S8 Active in a heartbeat to any of my friends looking for an Android phone to last them a while. If you’re the kind of person who likes buying the newest... device every year, I’d look elsewhere.”
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Ryan Whitwam, The Wirecutter
If you regularly break phones by dropping them, consider the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active, the tough-as-nails version of the Galaxy S8. The S8 Active has the same great features as the S8, like the amazing 12MP camera and crisp OLED screen, but with an impact-resistant body and display that can handle t...
These days, smartphone are so beautiful and fragile - one comes at the expense of the other. The Galaxy S8 Active gets you Samsung's best offerings and adds durability and battery life - so you can have your cake and eat it too.
- Jessica Dolcourt, Cnet
The Galaxy S8 Active is a great phone, but if battery life isn’t your top concern, you’ll save money buying a regular Galaxy S8 and a case.
- AndroidGuys team, Android Guys
It's everything you want in a flagship phone, but without the sexiness. Trade off sleek lines and curves for extended battery and peace of mind. It's pricey and exclusive to AT&T (for now), and has a a boring look but it's an excellent option for those who need a rugged, waterproof, smartphone.
- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is a solid piece of hardware that would be impressive if the S8 hadn't preceded it. The S8 is more attractive in every way, and feels better in the hand thanks to its slim profile and comfortable weight. The Active makes up for the size increase with its rugged exterior,...
Prices (Where to Buy)
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active user manual here.
Samsung backs up the Galaxy S8 Active with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your Galaxy S8 Active has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Samsung support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Samsung's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.
Manuals / User Guides
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