Why you should buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active over the “vanilla” S4

Samsung’s latest smartphone is set to be the most powerful ruggedised mobile ever made
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

The thing about tough smartphones is that, once you get past the fact that they can happily get drenched, survive a drop onto the pavement from five feet and let you play Candy Crush Saga in arctic temperatures, they tend to be a bit rubbish. There’s always the feeling that, in order to achieve that toughness, the manufacturers have cut down on design, features and power.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active might change that trend. This phone, officially announced by Samsung this week and due out in the US in a matter of days, is every bit as powerful and well-equipped as the regular Galaxy S4 – and it’s tough.

How tough? Well, its fully sealed body conforms to IP67 standards, meaning it’s protected from dust and can be fully immersed in up to a metre of water without any ill effects. It’s certainly more than capable of surviving a day on the beach, a shift at the building site or a muddy, boozy weekend at Glastonbury. Even the headphone jack is water resistant when in use.

No compromise on power

As we say, there’s no compromise on features and power. Android 4.2.2, a 5in 1080p screen with an iPhone 5-besting pixel density of 443ppi, 1.9GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and an 8MP camera make this as fully-loaded a smartphone as you could wish for. There are even the Air Gesture, S Health and S Translator exclusive apps from the original S4.

So you’ve basically got the Galaxy S4 in all its glory – plus a helping of ruggedised extra glory heaped on top. The only price you pay is having to put up with a bit of extra girth to the phone body. Samsung has yet to reveal the UK price and release date for the Galaxy S4 Active, but it’ll be available in the US (from AT&T) for $200 on a two-year contract.

It isn't the only S4 variant Samsung is working on, either. There'll soon be a scaled-down Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and a photography-focussed Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom in the shops too.