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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

Like the normal S4 - but much more satisfying

Battery life

Battery life is one of the most important factors when it comes to smartphones these days and when you have a full featured powerhouse in your pocket you want to be able to push it to its limits without it limping to the charging mid-afternoon.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active comes packing a 2600mAh which is the same as the well performing juice pack found in the stock Galaxy S4, so we're off to a good start here.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

With general day to day use, including phone calls, text messaging, social networking, web browsing and music streaming our Samsung Galaxy S4 Active managed to see us all the way to bed time, although just a sliver of battery remained most nights.

We did find that some extended gaming on the S4 Active would drain the battery quite substantially, partly thanks to that big, full HD 5-inch display constantly being on and if you're planning a gaming session you'll want to make sure a power point is near by.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

On the morning commute listening to music and doing some web browsing and social media activity saw the battery drop 15% in around one hour which isn't overly fantastic.

The screen is by far the biggest drain on the S4 Active's battery, but if you keep the brightness low and don't leave it on all the time it will last for a whole day as the background updates and syncing do little to affect life.

One of the handy things with the Galaxy S4 Active is its removable battery, which means you can easily swap out a flat for a fully charged unit - but if you don't go overboard with your usage you shouldn't have to worry about that.

We ran our battery life test which sees a 90 minute video played, with the screen on full brightness and background updates on applications turned on. On the Galaxy S4 Active the battery dropped by 24% to 76%, which isn't as good as the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z or Galaxy S4.

If you're really struggling for battery life then you can always turn on the Power Saving Mode - there's a toggle in the quick settings of the notification bar - to eek out some precious extra life from your S4 Active.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

We're a little disappointed that the S4 Active's battery life isn't as good as the Galaxy S4's and we experienced hitting the red line several times during our test. It's still just about acceptable and if you're careful you shouldn't need to worry about the handset lasting.

Connectivity

With the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active being a top of the range device it sports a plethora of connectivity options to ensure you're always connected.

The usual suspects are all present including Bluetooth 4.0, which uses less power than previous versions to save on that precious battery life, and Wi-Fi allowing you to jump online at home, in the office or when you're in the presence of a hotspot.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

You can also transform your S4 Active into a wireless hotspot itself, allowing you to share your phone's web connection with other devices such as tablets and laptops - great if the Wi-Fi fails at the venue you're at.

The Galaxy S4 Active can take advantage of the superfast 4G network if it's available in your area, boosting the load times of web pages, allowing for super slick streaming and letting apps download in a flash.

Make sure you keep tabs on your usage however, as data can quickly rack up and you may find yourself with a nasty bill come the end of the month if you haven't kept an eye on what you're doing.

NFC, or near field communication if you prefer its full name, is still finding its feet but it is slowly making its way onto more and more smartphones and the Galaxy S4 Active is one of those, and complete with S Beam it's easy to share content wirelessly between other enabled devices.

And lets not forget GPS which lets the Google Maps app, among others, pin-point your location with impressive speed and accuracy ensuring you never get lost again.

All these connection options can be quickly turned on or off in the Quick settings in the notifications bar which makes linking up with other devices even easier.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

An added extra is hidden behind the rear plate of the Galaxy S4 Active and comes in the form of a microSD slot, allowing you to build on the relatively mediocre 16GB of internal storage stuffed inside.

A microSD card is a great way of getting content onto your shiny new Galaxy S4 Active without having to actually physically connect it to a computer, but should the mood take you can always pick off the rubber flap over the microUSB port on the base of the handset and dig out a USB cable to form a physical connection.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
SAR Value0.26 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy S4 Active
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourGrey
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time15 Hour
Product ModelGT-I9295
Screen Size12.7 cm (5")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)153 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density441 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height139.7 mm
Width71.3 mm
Depth9.1 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time320 Hour
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy S4 Active GT-I9295 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.90 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 600
Product LineGalaxy S4 Active
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor, Barometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I9295ZAAXEF
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Robust companion for outdoor activities

Now you don't have to worry when using your phone on the beach or out on your mountain bike. You can capture these moments and more, and even share them with friends instantly. The Galaxy S4 Active's protection from liquid splashes and completely dustproof design lets you jump into any situation without hesitation. Start your active life with the perfect companion.

Capture your underwater story instantly.

Take your phone under the surface and capture a different world. With the Galaxy S4 Active, you can shoot and record underwater. New Aqua Mode allows you to capture your underwater adventures with optimised clarity. Instead of using the touchscreen, just push a volume key to snap an aquatic shot. The Galaxy S4 Active lets you dive in and capture all of your underwater moments with no hassle.

Limited Warranty2 Year