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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active becomes official – Rugged version of the popular S4

We weren’t expecting to meet Samsung’s newest tough phone until the company’s June 20th event, but this morning the Korean company has surprised us somewhat by making the Galaxy S4 Active official.

Put simply, the Galaxy S4 Active is the Galaxy S4 in a much tougher shell. Samsung wants you to have all the good smartphone features without the worry of damaging your £500+ phone too easily, so it’s taken the S4 and put it in a metal shell. As a result, the S4 Active is dust and waterproof with IP67 ratings and can be submerged in up to 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The earphone jack is even waterproofed, allowing you to listen to music in watery conditions.

Samsung has kept the same 5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display, 2GB of RAM, 2,600 mAh battery and 1.9GHz quad-core processor as the phone’s more plastic brother, along with the same Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system and TouchWiz user interface. You’ve also got the same Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi ac, NFC, Infrared and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity, as well as the pretty cool Air Gesture and Smart features.

Unfortunately the S4’s 13 megapixel camera has been replaced with an 8 megapixel one in the S4 Active, although Samsung has added a new feature in the form of ‘Aqua Mode’ – switch to this in the camera app and the phone will optimise your shots when underwater, perfect for those pool parties. In keeping with the outdoors theme, Samsung has added the ability to long press the volume key to use the LED flash as a torch. Up front is the same 2 megapixel camera as on the regular S4.

Being built from tough metal and featuring screwed in panels, the S4 Active is a bit thicker and heavier than the slender original – 9.1mm thick and 151g compared to 7.9mm thick 130g with the original.

So far it seems the Galaxy S4 Active will be available in 16GB only, with the micro SD card slot still available to offer expansion by up to 64GB. Samsung says the phone will launch this summer initially in the US and Sweden, in ‘Urban Grey’, ‘Dive Blue’ and ‘Orange Flare’.

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