Samsung released a variant of the Galaxy S4 back in July that had an upgraded Snapdragon 800 SoC on board. The upgrade is noticeable, and Samsung may be looking to bring that same upgraded chip to the Galaxy S4 Active. According to Korean blog Naver, this new and improved Galaxy S4 Active could launch as soon as next month. It will be available on SK Telecom at launch. Further information about international availability wasn’t provided.
We reviewed the Galaxy S4 Active back in July, you can find the review here. The current Galaxy S4 Active runs on a Snapdragon 600 SoC, so it’s no slouch. But the upgrade to a Snapdragon 800, along with the more powerful Adreno 330 GPU compared to the Adreno 320 in the current model, would provide a real difference. Either way, both of the devices are fast, high-end smartphones.
The Galaxy S4 Active sells for about â‚¬500 in Europe, and can be purchased unlocked in the U.S. for about $600. The S4 Active is the first high-end smartphone from Samsung that is IP67 certified as being waterproof. It has a 5-inch Full HD display, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, and comes with LTE connectivity. The S4 has an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and a 2,600 mAh battery.
Reviewers and consumers who have used both the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Active seem to actually prefer the S4 Active. The S4 Active replaces the capacitive buttons on the S4 with hardware buttons, and the back of the device is designed to look more rugged. It stands up to Samsung’s claims of being waterproof and dustproof, but other than the ruggedized appearance, it is basically the same as the Galaxy S4. There are two main differences between the devices, as far as specs are concerned. The camera on the original S4 is higher resolution, coming in at 13 megapixels. The S4 Active steps that back to an 8 megapixel shooter. The other difference is in the displays. The S4 display is AMOLED, while the S4 Active display is LCD. In real world use, the cameras are close to identical and the display panels look almost the same. It sounds like we’ll have an upgraded processor on the S4 Active pretty soon, too. We just hope it is available outside of South Korea.