While we expected the GS4 Active to be water and dust-resistant, we did not expect an underwater camera mode and LCD screen. What wonderful surprises!
While we expected the GS4 Active to be water and dust-resistant, we did not expect an underwater camera mode and LCD screen. What wonderful surprises!
While we expected the GS4 Active to be water and dust-resistant, we did not expect an underwater camera mode and LCD screen. What wonderful surprises!

Samsung’s waterproof GS4 Active was announced this morning, removing the rumor that Samsung would announce the smartphone at its London announcement on June 20th. While named after the Galaxy S4, the GS4 Active differs from its brother in some important areas. While the GS4 Active makes a compromise or two, its distinct features make it a formidable competitor alongside of its GS4 brother. Samsung may find itself with cannibalized sales, as Apple has experienced between its large iPad and the iPad Mini.

We here at Tapscape want to show you some distinguishing features and help you make the choice as to whether or not you should purchase the rugged smartphone this summer.

GS4 Active Distinction #1: Water and Dust Resistance

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It is that time of year when many individuals want to have fun in the sun and the water as well. Commercials feature families on water rides, screaming as the ride splashes in the water and spouts of water getting their faces, shirts, and hair wet. But have you ever wanted to take pictures underwater, or shoot video beneath the surface? The GS4 Active allows you to do just that, since it has the IP67 waterproof certification and allows your phone to be submerged under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes without water damage.

For those who want to go hiking this summer, or those who intend to reside in nature and enjoy the scene, the GS4 Active has you covered as well. Unlike most smartphones, it will “take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’.”

GS4 Active Distinction #2: Aqua Camera Mode

To help with your underwater fun, Samsung has added an “Aqua” mode to its GS4 Active, a unique feature only found on the rugged GS4 handset. The GS3 has one of the most unique camera apps I’ve ever seen, covering weather conditions such as snow, low-light, and even a “beach” setting is contained in the older Galaxy brother. The Aqua mode is named “aqua” because, as the name suggests, it’s built for the water environment. Splashing water never looked so good!

Be warned, however: the GS4 Active comes with the camera capabilities of the GS3 and the GS4 Mini, sporting an 8MP camera instead of the GS4’s 13MP camera. Still, for most consumers, the difference in megapixels is not enough to stain this phone’s reputation. I would recommend that you purchase this phone, even if you don’t get the 13MPs.

GS4 Active Distinction #3: Metal Casing

One obvious difference in hardware that you will notice about the GS4 Active is that it has metal casing whereas its original GS4 brother does not. Samsung has always made a big deal out of using its plastic casing for smartphones, saying that plastic is easy to mass produce. Samsung took a huge chance on metal casing, and I think this is one area that will really propel Samsung’s GS4 to the top.

Aside from the metal casing, the GS4 Active does come with hardware buttons, so don’t expect the capacitive buttons of the original GS4. Since even the headphone jack on the GS4 Active is waterproof, you’ll come to like this feature as much as I do.

Two Remaining GS4 Active Distinctions: Gigabit Internet and LCD Display

Two distinctions between the GS4 Active and the original GS4 remain, one being the use of 802.11ac WiFi, known as “Gigabit Internet,” as well as the use of a liquid crystal display (LCD) in place of the Samsung Super AMOLED trademark display. This means that you will most likely experience the viewing of an iPhone without all the extra brightness of Samsung’s screens. I usually leave my brightness on “0” most of the time and prefer LCD screens over bright AMOLEDs. If you agree, then you’ll welcome this change from the original GS4 and even the GS3.

In short, Samsung’s GS4 Active can defend itself against water, weather, dirt, and even the sun. It’s the perfect companion for your summer travels.