The Samsung Galaxy S Active lineup, since its introduction alongside the Galaxy S family's 4th iteration, has always been about ruggedness. Before the Galaxy S5 brought water resistance to the mainstream, the S4 Active had it. It wasn't a device you wanted to drop, but there was a good possibility of survival. With each passing entry in the Galaxy S Active series, the phones seemed to get just a bit tougher. This year's Galaxy S7 Active stands in sharp contrast to its glass and metal brethren. While the normal Galaxy S7 and its Edge variant are water-resistant, you'd be hard-pressed to find an owner with a story of a tumble that went well. The Galaxy S7 Active owners, it turns out, may have plenty such stories.
In a drop test contest conducted by PhoneBuff, the Galaxy S7 Active and Galaxy S7 were dropped from 5 feet up on their back and front. At the back test, the Galaxy S7 fared surprisingly well, with some light scuffing along the metal sides being the main telltale sign of the impact. The Galaxy S7 Active shared these wounds, with the distinct difference that they wiped right off. It was in the dreaded face-down drop test that the Galaxy S7 Active truly proved its mettle. While early drop test results for the Galaxy S7 may have been relatively positive, the one used in this video not only cracked like a walnut on the front-facing drop, but its beautiful AMOLED panel ceased to function. The Galaxy S7 Active, however, shrugged off that same drop with, again, minor scuffing.
After the main testing had ended and shown the Galaxy S7 Active to be as rugged as it was advertised to be, PhoneBuff decided to take it a step further. A bonus round saw the Galaxy S7 Active rigged up to a drop tester marked with a skull. The marking was quite appropriate, given the tester's design; it's made to drop a single phone repeatedly to its doom. The Galaxy S7 Active proved itself virtually unkillable in this test, being dropped face down from 5 feet onto the unforgiving concrete of PhoneBuff's test lab a mind-blowing 50 times with no further wounds to show for it. Rather than up the height and conduct more drops, PhoneBuff simply gave up. In the U.S., the phone is already available exclusively on AT&T. While, much like its predecessors, it is unlikely to ever see an unlocked bootloader and custom ROMs, the Galaxy S7 Active is running a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and is quite likely to receive an update to Android N in the future, making it quite future proof despite the eventual prospect of becoming frozen in time.