8.1/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active currently has an Informr score of 8.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 11 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • IP68 certified water and dust proof
  • Certified military-grade durability for weather, pressure, shock and altitude resistance
  • Beautiful screen with bright colors and excellent viewing angles
  • Excellent battery life
  • Smooth performance
  • Excellent quality camera pictures

What's bad

  • Only 32GB of internal storage
  • No microSD slot
  • No fingerprint sensor on home button
  • No connection to Gear VR

When looking at Samsung's production history, it wasn't too much of a surprise that they would release an Active version of the Galaxy S6. Marketed more towards the outdoors crowd, the S6 Active offers a tougher build while keeping all of the same hardware specs of the S6. The ruggedness does come at a cost, most notably in the looks department. Rather than the sleek glass and metal build, the S6 Active is made of plastic and rubber. It is both heavier and thicker than its counterpart and instead of the sleek lines of the S6 reviewers found the overall design to emphasize the ruggedness of the phone all the way down to the camouflage print and faux-bolted lining. It isn't just for show though. The phone earned a military-grade durability certification meaning it is relatively impervious to extreme temperatures, shock, low pressure and high altitudes. As well it comes with an IP68 rating which makes it waterproof in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. Still, Android Authority warns, "…a drop on a jagged rock that hits the screen at just the right angle will make it crack…" Samsung didn't stop there, though. To help prevent accidental drops they added a finely textured back and rubberized grips around the edges. This combined with the additional thickness actually made it much easier for reviewers to grip preventing accidental drops.

Besides the design, Samsung had to make a few other concessions. There is no longer a fingerprint scanner or on-screen buttons. Instead, there are three textured, physical buttons below the screen. Experts describe the buttons as strong and "very clicky." The S6 Active also does not pair with the Gear VR – Samsung's Oculus-powered virtual reality headset. Perhaps the biggest drawback is that it only comes with only 32GB of storage with no microSD expansion slot.

Specs-wise there aren't too many differences from the S6. It still comes equipped with an octo-core processor (4 2.1GHz and 4 1.5GHz) and 3GB of RAM. As expected, experts had smooth performance even when multi-tasking or using processor heavy apps. The biggest change is in the battery life. The S6 Active comes with a non-removable 3500mAh battery compared to the 2550mAh of the S6. It lasted critics a full day even with moderately heavy usage with a little bit of juice left to spare. And thanks to the inclusion of fast charging technology, they were able to fill back up within 90 minutes. As an added bonus, it also includes Qi wireless charging.

In terms of the screen, the same 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with Quad HD (1440 x 2560 pixels) resolution adorns the front of the device. Android Central states, "There really isn't anything bad you can say about this display…" going on to add that the brightness in sunlight, contrast, colors and viewing angles were great. Other critics agree calling the colors "punchy" albeit a bit oversaturated. While waterproof, the screen still will not function well when submerged underwater. It also comes with a brand new Active button that brings up two applications you can choose. By default, it will launch the Activity Zone – a dashboard with widgets that launch into full apps like the weather, barometer, stop watch, S Health, compass and flashlight – and a fitness application.

The 16MP camera offers the same experience on the S6 Active as the standard S6. That means experts were able to get good photo quality even in lower light situations, excellent color reproduction and excellent details. There is a new mode called Aqua mode, which makes the screen inoperable for better underwater photography. While critics experienced some difficulty swiping between menus, they still were able to take very bright and highly detailed HD photos and video even while submerged.

While they had a couple issues with the S6 Active, overall reviewers generally recommend it for those looking for a durable device. CNET states, "The S6 Active isn't the most beautiful or premium phone on the market, but…If you want a flagship phone that you don't have to baby, you can't beat this one."


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
5.1"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


G Style Magazine

Once you get it in your hands its hard to not like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active. It has a nice sized battery, carries just about all the pluses of the flagship of the Samsung Galaxy S6 model with very minuses since as its build design and fingerprint scanner. Being water-resistant is always a good t...

- Jason Million, G Style Magazine
TechSpot

Depending on what you want from your smartphone, the Galaxy S6 Active is a fantastic choice, especially for those that love smartphone cases and want superb battery life. My personal preference is still the Galaxy S6 for its sleek design, but the Galaxy S6 Active is just as good of a choice, especia...

- Tim Schiesser , TechSpot
Android Authority

The Galaxy S6 Active might be setting the benchmark in what an active lifestyle phone should be, because the phrase “active lifestyle” can mean so many things to different people, and this phone manages to satisfy all of those demographics. An outdoorsy person can knock this phone around...

- Joshua Vergara, Android Authority
Tom's Guide

If you live life a little more dangerously than most, the Galaxy S6 Active is like a dependable James Bond gadget. It will work rain or shine, and it's got enough juice to last you more than a workday. Just as with the regular S6, you'll also enjoy speedy performance, a vivid display and an excellen...

- Cherlynn Low, Tom's Guide
Droid Life

The Galaxy S6 Active is for the most part, a really great phone. It has almost all of the good stuff from the Galaxy S6, yet is also equipped with a massive battery that will last you more than a day, and can withstand some water and rough play. The camera on this phone is awesome, as is the display...

- Kellex, Droid Life


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.1"

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active's screen size is 5.1 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 5+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
3500mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3500 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 21 days standby time, 1440 minutes, 900 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy S6 Active Specs

Overview
Release date June 12, 2015
Regions available USA
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
No
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Samsung Exynos 7420 Octa core 1.5 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.19 W/kg
Body: 1.58 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3500 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 960 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 900 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1440 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 21 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Camo White, Camo Blue, Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.7 x 7.4 x 0.9 cm (5.8 x 2.9 x 0.4 in)
Weight 150 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design Yes
IP Rating IP 68
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 577 pixels
Size 5.1 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared Yes
Bluetooth 4.1
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, HDR, Scenes, Exposure
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, FLV
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
5+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WMA, WAV, M4A, OGG
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, FLV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
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