The Good The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active’s durable battery and water, dust and damage resistance make it more attractive than the regular Galaxy S6. Its quick button conveniently launches two different programs of your choice.
The Bad Built in plastic with thick edges, the S6 Active is not a particularly attractive device, of course, not as glamorous as metal or glass phones. No storage extension means you’re locked up to 32GB.
The Bottom Line AT&T customers looking for a sturdier handset will find the Galaxy S6 Active a worthy upgrade to an already top-caliber phone.
An upgraded version of Samsung’s flagship phone, the Galaxy S6 Active has all the hallmarks original S6 , then backs them up with a seriously impressive battery, waterproofing and bouncing buttons.
Dressed in blue or gray camouflage or solid black, the Active series evokes the feeling of fighting against daily spills, drops and tears while appealing to the class of people who are engaged in an “active” lifestyle.
The asset lacks the original sophisticated S6 lines and sophisticated metal and glass construction, but its thicker and more robust design compensates for any roughness with practical physicality. And don’t let the focus phase on fitness. Sturdy design for the flagship, the S6 Active is a good choice for anyone who wants to get rid of big wear issues and leave a protective cover for another guy – gym shoes or not.
Ready, set, Samsung Galaxy S6 Active (pictures)
Samsung says (that for now, at least), it’s selling the S6 Active solely in the US, with AT&T as its exclusive carrier partner. The S6 Active for $200 on-contract, or $695 all-in. Or, you can break payments into 30 increments of $23.17 (Next 24); 24 payments of $28.96 (Next 18); or 20 payments of $34.75 (Next 12).
Editors’ note: This review reveals the differences between the S6 and S6 Active. To familiarize yourself with the work of the camera and the processor, be sure to read my completeness Samsung Galaxy S6 Review .
The stiffer the look, the stronger the construction
- Water resistant
- Convenience key
- Built-in 3500 mAh battery
The S6 Active is an interesting phone to describe. First, the whole thing is effortlessly made of plastic. The bezel frames the face of the phone, intermittent with shallow troughs to create a slightly curved, stylish pattern along the edges. The corners are also too thick, angular and reinforced to protect against broken corners.
Fortunately for us, Samsung also reveals the phone’s physical navigation buttons. Just like in last year’s active model (and this S5 Sport variant ), the S6 touch buttons are inferior to the three keys below the screen. They are slightly raised and slightly textured, making them easy to find and click. Like the S6 and Edge, you can double-click the home button to launch the camera, even when the screen is locked. When unlocked, press and hold the Google Now home key to get back to life.
Normal buttons also receive tactile processing – from a nice big power / lock key on the right spine to a volume switch and a bright blue comfort key on the left (more on that below). Your SIM card is wintering in the tray on the right.
Ready for the best part? Flip your phone over to reveal a blue or gray camouflage pattern (or solid black, which is much less exciting). Plastic trim and thin pebble surfaces give a non-slip theme and those thick black frames. Four decorative rivets return for round three on this year’s Active. They may look business-like, but they’re really just for show.
Like the S6, this S6 Active is a built-in device, which means that the back panel does not pop. Sorry, there is no replaceable battery or extended storage here. It also means you’re stuck at 32GB with no other storage options to go if you want to store a lot of media on your device.
If you can do one thing with Active that you can’t do with a regular S6, it’s a swim. This time Samsung has decided not to adopt a waterproof S6 – a contradictory decision that seems to be about saving something more useful for Active than anything else. Designed to IP68 military specification, the S6 Active is water resistant for up to 30 minutes in 3 feet of water. It also withstands dust and protects against 4-foot drops.
The larger 3500 mAh battery swells from a just adequate 2,550 mAh ticker. And guess what? This is terrible in our video rental tests: 16.5 hours each (16.8 hours on average). That’s huge, especially compared to the Galaxy S6’s 12.4 hour life and the S6 Edge’s 13.5 hour mileage.
Anecdotally, the battery life lasted a very full day. Remember that always active and resource-intensive activities (such as map navigation and music streaming) recharge your battery faster.
Remember that bright blue convenience key? Samsung calls this the Active Key. Quickly click it once to launch the Activity Zone, an application that gives you overview information and access that is useful for all activities. A long press entails a second program. By default, it is tuned to a music player, but surprisingly, you can configure any of them to open any program you want, say, Endomondo or My Fitness Pal, or even Google Maps.
Here’s a more detailed look at the activity area. When you open it, it displays a grid of six weather app shortcuts, S Health (which has a pedometer), a stopwatch, a flashlight, a compass and a barometer. You can view the details at a glance, or tap each shortcut to launch each full screen of mini-applications. Feel free to drag the tiles around to rearrange everything you need. Just know that you cannot replace them.
Samsung has reserved the Activity Zone lower band to sway its Milk Music service – a version of Slacker Radio (which I’ve used for years). The idea is to provide easy switching at curation stations focused on specific activities: walking, jogging, yoga, weight training, and dancing.
I found the Milk Label quite comfortable for my run, even though the special grip on my fingers kept me pressed by the volume button. Unless you are a first-class user, milk is advertising. I often switched between running and dancing until I got to the pace of the run or the song I liked. Of course, you can always just take your own playlists from them.
- Android 5.0 Lollipop with TouchWiz interface
- 5.1 “2.560×1,440p display
- 16MP camera
- 5 megapixel front camera
- 2.1-GHz Extanos 7-core processor
- 32GB storage (without 64GB or 128GB)
- No storage extension
- 3,500mAh battery (compared to 2,550mAh S6)
- Wireless charging
If you’re curious about this fingerprint reader, Samsung has submitted it this time. No scanner can bother you about locking and unlocking your phone, but it does affect how you use it Samsung Pay when this feature is deployed.
Active will include Samsung Pay’s MST technology; Samsung tells us that you will need to enter a password to authenticate your transactions, while for the S6 and S6 Edge it will just click the number.
S6 Active: This?
So now the main question is: Is the S6 Active really suitable for people who work or at least work outdoors? My answer: sure, it is. His body is definitely stiffer than most flagship models, and scuffs will just play to the rough aesthetics. Its waterproof rating offers some practical peace of mind as well as the luxury of using your phone from a hot tub.
I took my phone for some jogging and walking. I still have to break the phone while running, but the ridges made me feel more secure and less paranoid about dropping it. It felt a little wider in my hand, which was noticeable, but not too bad.
Samsung is starting to push this into the area of activity, making the application more flexible and the grids more useful. I also like the extra shortcut to his Milk music service, though it’s really just a sneaky way to get you to subscribe. However, by pressing the convenience key, you can easily launch the desired music service or playlist if it is anything other than Samsung.
Those who specialize in a particular sport or environment will still need to look for specific programs; The S6 Active is still a general purpose device.
Okay, what to do with Active types for inactive types? This is also a good choice for them if buyers are enjoying the look. Anyone can take advantage of the waterproof coating, and it seems to me that pushing a button is quite interesting. In addition, busy people with a messy environment (like parents of toddlers who don’t have fuss) don’t have to worry about drying their hands completely to navigate the screen (since the buttons are not touch sensitive).
Because you can completely reprogram the Active key, the couch potato can still use the shortcut button in two of your favorite applications.
Buy or miss?
For $ 200 a contract and $ 700 for everything, Active is a premium device that contains most of the stunning S6 internal features but then knocks out the battery (always a welcome plan.) At about the same price as the S6. , for the most part, you look for an aesthetic compromise – plastic over metal and glass – and if you really want a waterproof phone.
(The timing seems a little unfortunate to me, since a lot of AT&T customers who may have wanted the S6 Active have likely already invested in the regular S6.)
While there is always a risk of breaking the glass front panel, the S6 Active is one of the few flagship-grade phones to protect your asset. Today, there are simply not many solid phones, even medium-sized “hard” devices. (I suspect more cases are being used.)
Microsoft’s (Nokia) line of Lumia slightly increases the volume of the polycarbonate body, and HTC at least acknowledges problems with it Uh-Oh protection guarantee for its beautiful metallic HTC One M9. On the waterproof front, Sony phones are like new Xperia z4v for Verizon, this is the last.
The S6 Active is not the most beautiful and portable handset on the market, but it has the advantage of being one of the only ones to keep up to date with the speed of your daily life, whether it helps you work (or work) easier, or ease your worry about scratches and spills. If you want a flagship phone that you don’t have to baby, you can’t beat it.