8.2/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active currently has an Informr score of 8.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 15 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • 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

What's bad

  • Expensive
  • 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.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.35 GHz
Screen Size
5.8"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


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...

- Ryan Whitwam, The Wirecutter
GSMArena

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.

- GSMArena
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.

- Jessica Dolcourt, Cnet
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.

- AndroidGuys team, Android Guys
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,...

- Eric M. Zeman, Phone Scoop


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.8"

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active's screen size is 5.8 inches with 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.35 GHz

There is a Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Octa core 2.35 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 7.0 Nougat (Update Available: 9.0 Pie) operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
4000mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 4000 mAh battery.

Galaxy S8 Active Specs

Overview
Release date August 11, 2017
Regions available USA
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat (Update Available: 9.0 Pie)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835 Octa core 2.35 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1 W/kg
Body: 0.8 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 4000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 534 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 666 minutes
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Meteor Gray, Titanium Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.2 x 7.5 x 1 cm (6 x 3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 207 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 1440 x 2960 pixels
Pixel density 568 pixels
Size 5.8 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, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
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 Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
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 USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB)
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
ƒ/ 1.7
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, Phase detection, Exposure compensation, Time lapse mode, Slow motion recording, Voice activation
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Auto focus, Wide-Angle lens, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
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
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (YouTube, Samsung+, UBER, Samsung Bixby)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung SM-G892A

Additional Sensors: Heart rate sensor, Iris scanner
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy S8 Active Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
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