Preview: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a rugged, water and dust-resistant version of the Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is a rugged, water and dust-resistant version of the Galaxy S4.

The key feature of the Galaxy S4 Active is water and dust resistance. It's rated to IP67 standards, so it will survive being submerged in one metre of water for up to 30 minutes.

The phone has a water-resistant earphone jack, so with waterproof headphones you can effectively listen to music underwater.

The Galaxy S4 Active is slightly bigger phone than the original Galaxy S4. It's taller, wider and just over 20g heavier. Given the water and dust resistance, we don't think it's too much of a sacrifice to make.

There's a few other changes. The menu, home and back keys on the front are physical buttons rather than capacitive ones and the 5in screen uses a TFT panel rather than super AMOLED.

The camera has also been downgraded from 13-megapixels to 8-megapixels.

The downgrade in megapixels is offset but Samsung's "Aqua Mode", which allows users to capture underwater photos and videos.

Samsung says this mode will "increase visual quality and clarity for enhanced underwater images and video". The volume key can be used as a camera shutter.

The Galaxy S4 Active runs the 4.2 "Jelly Bean" version of Android that's skinned with Samsung's TouchWIZ UI, so all the extra functions that Samsung provides are present including 'Smart Scroll', 'Smart Pause', 'Air Gesture' and 'Air View'.

There's also an S Translator app, 'Group Play' and the 'S Health' app which aims to replace fitness tracking accessories like Fitbit.

There's no word yet on an Australian release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, but it will initially be available in the US and Europe in 'Urban Grey', 'Dive Blue' and 'Orange Flare' colour variants.

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