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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Unboxing: Waterproof with Style

Meet the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
Meet the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Unboxing and Initial Review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

Following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, we saw the expansion of the Galaxy S4 line when Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. We’re definitely going to do our best to feature all three variants but for today we have the waterproof and dustproof Samsung Galaxy S4 Active in the Unbox HQ. As usual let’s kick things off with the unboxing!

Here are the specs again just in case you guys have forgotten ’em:

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Spec Sheet

  • 1.9GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage with expandable storage via MicroSD up to 64GB
  • 5-inch TFT HD display (1080 x 1920 pixels) at 441 ppi
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash and Aqua Mode for underwater photography
  • 2.0-megapixel front-facing camera
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, WiFi hotspot, DNLA, Bluetooth, NFC, Infrared Port, LTE
  • 2,600 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2.2 Jellybean

Based on the spec sheet the only noticeable difference is the lower megapixel camera (8MP vs 13MP). The real change though happened externally. We’ll get more into that in a bit.

Unboxing and Hardware Check

The Minion is back!
The Minion is back!
It looks like Samsung has embraced and adopted the “woodish” box style that the Galaxy S4 started. It was the same style used for the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Mega 6.3, and now the Galaxy S4 Active. As usual we have the product hero shot up front and the specifications at the back.

>>> SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Full Review

Officially unboxed! Wahoo!
Officially unboxed! Wahoo!

For the unboxing we removed the plastic and cut the tape running along the sides. We popped open the lid and pulled it off and we were immediately greeted by the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. While it looked like the GS4, the first noticeable difference was easy to spot. Instead of the usual physical home button flanked by capacitive buttons for menu and back, the Galaxy S4 Active sports physical buttons for all three.


I don’t know the rationale behind this but it’s probably linked to the waterproof feature.

The biggest external change though was the back plate. Instead of your sleek glossy plastic back with some sort of pattern, we have what looks like a brushed metal finish (still plastic though) and visible screws on all four corners of the device. We don’t know about you guys but we’re definitely digging this new style! It looks much more premium and it feels a little more solid and compact. Definitely have to give props to Samsung for this!

Sexy back!
Sexy back!

In our hands, the Galaxy S4 Active felt more natural and assuring as opposed to the super lightweight Galaxy S4. The rounded corners were again a blessing as it didn’t bite into the flesh of our palms, something that other Android flagships have yet to address with their hardware designs.

For the ports all the usual suspects are on the sides with the headphone jack having no plug or tray… which means it’s one of the first waterproof headphone jacks we’ve seen on a consumer smartphone. The micro USB port at the bottom though still has a door which you need to flip open if you need to transfer data or charge.

Still maintains a thin form factor but feels much more solid in the hand than the GS4.
Still maintains a thin form factor but feels much more solid in the hand than the GS4.

Anyway, we’ll do a more comprehensive hardware check on the Galaxy S4 Active when we do the full review.

Moving on, all the other stuff were in the compartment below the smartphone in the box. The wall charger, USB to micro USB cable, manuals, certificates, and the earphones were all there. Nothing really special, just standard fare.

What's in the box?
What’s in the box?

Initial Verdict: Crazy Excited to Test this Out!

Using Nova Launcher with Stark Wallpaper and Click UI buttons. Going for a minimalist feel.
Using Nova Launcher with Stark Wallpaper and Click UI buttons. Going for a minimalist feel.

We’re definitely stoked with the Galaxy S4 Active. It sports monstrous internals and at the same time delivers better durability and water resistance than the Galaxy S4. We also are digging the new look, especially the screws and the back plate. In black, it’s one of the most handsome handsets out there. As for the lower 8MP camera and the TFT screen, we’ll tackle those after we’ve put the device through the paces in the next few days.

Watch out for our full review soon!

This loaner review unit was provided by Kimstore. If you want to buy one already (without waiting for our review), you can get it from her online store for Php28,700. Click here for the product listing.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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