The Samsung Galaxy S5 is one of the best smartphones there is. Like most smartphones, though, the S5 is fragile. Drop it from too high up, and the S5 will crack like a Fabergé egg. Repairing it will cost you nearly as much as a new one.
If you want the quality and features of the S5 but don’t want to worry about it breaking the first time it slips out of your hand, you could get a bulky case. Or you could grab Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 Active.
Designed for sporty outdoors types, the S5 Active features a more robust design than your standard Galaxy S5, as well as an “Activity Zone” app for the active (more on that later). But active or not, the phone should prove especially valuable for the klutzes among us, including yours truly.
Available exclusively through AT&T, the S5 Active will cost you $199 with a two-year contract, the same as a regular Galaxy S5.
Beefier, but a bit bulkier
Like its predecessor, the Galaxy S4 Active, the S5 Active gets a ruggedized body that makes the handset more durable. Its beefier exterior means the Active meets military specifications for everything from extreme temperatures to shocks and vibrations.
That doesn’t mean you can put this thing in the oven and expect it to survive, but it should be able to withstand being left in a hot car, or a cold car overnight, without issue.
The main draw of the Active, though, is its ability to survive a drop. Samsung says the handset can withstand a drop of up to 4 feet onto a flat surface and keep on ticking. That’s a potentially fatal fall for many other smartphones.
Like the standard S5, the Active can also be submerged in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. You can take photos underwater by using the volume key, though you can do that with the normal S5 as well.
In order to make the Active water-resistant, both the S5 Active and the standard S5 get an annoying USB port cover that you have to flip open whenever you want to charge your phone. It seems like a small inconvenience, but over time, having to dig your fingernail into the cover to pop it open will begin to wear on you.
The S5 Active is a hair taller and thicker than the regular S5, but at 6.0 ounces, the Active is nearly an ounce heavier than the 5.1-ounce S5. That’s fairly weighty for a smartphone.