Review: Samsung Galaxy S6 Active

3
90%
90%
Great device except the AT&T exclusivity

If you want a Galaxy S6 with better battery life and armored to withstand just about any environment or abuse you can throw at it the Galaxy S6 Active is an awesome smartphone. Unfortunately it's an AT&T exclusive.

  • 9.0
  • User Ratings (9 Votes)
    4.6

Specs

Internally the hardware specs of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active are identical to its Galaxy S6 sibling. It has the same Exynos 7420 processor which merges a 1.5GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 with a 2.1 GHz quad-core Cortex-A57 and the same 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with insane 577 PPI pixel density. In terms of internal storage it is only offered in a 32GB model and there is no microSD card slot to expand the storage.

The camera is also identical to the Galaxy S6–a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera—and it has virtually the same collection of sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass, barometer, blood oxygen and heart rate sensor. It does not have the fingerprint scanner, though.

Its physical dimensions are bulkier thanks to the protective casing on the S6 Active. The smartphone is a 5.78 by 2.89 inch rectangle that is 0.34 inches thick.

Form

The Galaxy S6 Active does not look nearly as classy as the standard Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S6 Edge. Let’s be honest, though, most people buy a device like the Galaxy S6 and then encase it in some sort of military grade case to protect it anyway. If you buy the Galaxy S6 Active then Samsung has already done the work of protecting it so you don’t have to bother.

The Galaxy S6 Active is shock, dust, temperature, vibration, altitude, and water resistant. Samsung claims the Galaxy S6 Active can survive under about five feet of water for up to 30 minutes. It won’t float, though, so if you drop it in a pool you’ll still have to dive for it.

Those who complain about the battery life of the Galaxy S6 will be pleased with the larger 3,500 mAh battery in the Galaxy S6 Active. It provides about 35 percent more battery life than the Galaxy S6 and should be enough to get through a full day without needing a charge for just about anyone.

As the name implies, Samsung has designed this device with an active lifestyle in mind. There is a dedicated Active Key on the side that launches Activity Zone—an app that gives you at-a-glance access to information like current weather, stopwatch, pedometer, and more. It’s basically a one-button, one-stop access to all things active.

Function

With the exception of the missing fingerprint sensor and the dedicated Active Key functionality the capabilities of the Galaxy S6 Active are the same as its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge siblings. If you want more details check out the Review: Samsung Galaxy S6 / Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone.

Verdict

The Galaxy S6 Active is a worthy member of the Galaxy S smartphone family. If you really want the fingerprint sensor or you have to have more than 32GB of storage this version isn’t the one for you. If you want better battery life and a Galaxy S6 device that can withstand almost any abuse you should definitely take a look at the Galaxy S6 Active.

My one complaint is that it is an AT&T exclusive so a large percentage of customers are excluded by default. For those who buy a Galaxy S6 and then turn around and invest another $50 or more for a Lifeproof or Otterbox case to defend it against the elements, just get this one…assuming you’re an AT&T customer.

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About Author

I have a passion for technology and gadgets--with a focus on Microsoft and security--and a desire to help others understand how technology can affect or improve their lives. I also love spending time with my wife, 7 kids, 3 dogs, 5 cats, 3 rabbits, 2 ferrets, pot-bellied pig and sulcata tortoise, and I like to think I enjoy reading and golf even though I never find time for either. You can contact me directly at tony@xpective.net. For more from me, you can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

3 Comments

  1. Where are the flagship features that made Samsung number one, removable battery and removable SD memory card? They are in all the previous Samsung models.
    No wonder they have lost market share for the past 4 quarters!

  2. Ahhhh. But the warranty does not cover water damage so I recommend not allowing it to get wet. My S5 Active got splashed and the battery charger stopped working. The phone was still under warranty but without even looking at the phone the Samsung rep told me I was not covered for any water related damage. I got the impression this rejection happens a lot.

  3. my S6 Active got rained on and the LCD died… Now Samsung won’t honor the warranty claiming it is water damage.

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