For a few years now Samsung has released an Active version of their flagship Galaxy S device. Things are no different this year with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active available exclusively on AT&T.
If you remember from the review of the original Galaxy S6, the phone was thin, sexy and slippery. It may look gorgeous but it’s not ideal for the regular active lifestyle. Check out the specs below
Samsung Galaxy S6 Specs
Display: 5.1 inch 2560 × 1440 Super AMOLED display (576 PPI)
Cameras: 16 Megapixel rear-facing camera (with OIS) / 5 megapixel front-facing camera
Processor / RAM: Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz, Octacore application processor/ 3 GB RAM
Memory: 32GB / Internal Memory (no expansion slot)
Battery: 3,500 mAh embedded battery / Wireless Charging
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi / NFC / IR Blaster
OS: Android Lollipop 5.0 with TouchWiz
Features: OIS / Live HDR /IP68 rating water and dust resistant / Active Key / Wireless Charging
Design and Build
As you can see, everything is pretty much the same except the battery size and build of the phone . In terms of cameras and processor type and power, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Active are the same. The build is pretty important here because it is what mainly differentiates the original S6 from the Active. The S6 Active has a thicker build all around. The corners have raised bumpers. You can get 3 different colors, all black, grey camo or blue camo (non removable covers).
The front has the 5.1 inch display. The navigation keys are physical (not capacitive), are right under the display. They are raised and have a textured feel.
The buttons have the same placement as the original. We have the power button on the right side, volume rocker on the left side. Above the volume rocker you have the active key.
There are no protective covers over the microUSB port and headphone jack.
If you’re worried about how fragile the original S6 is, you will enjoy the sturdier build of the S6 Active which has physical buttons (but say goodbye to the fingerprint scanner).
Display and Software
Just like the review of the original Galaxy S6, the S6 Active display is vibrant, bright, and crisp. Won’t disappoint on sunny days. TouchWiz got the makeover it needed, Although it still looks a bit cartoonish, but you can download one of the built-in themes, or a launcher from the Google Play store to fix the look. Samsung does the favor of putting the apps in folders for you, so there isn’t so much clutter. As for maneuvering around, the S6 was a champ. There was no lag, even after having a few apps open.
I enjoy having touch screen phones, but it’s nice to have quick access to your favorite apps. You can program the Active Key to open to any app you want (after a long press). When short-pressing the Active Key you get Samsung’s Activity Zone App.
Home Button Shortcut
The home button can be used to quickly access the camera. Even though it’s not a new feature on the Galaxy S6 Active, it’s still one of my favorite ones. Being able to snap pics quickly is always a good thing.
While some may not be happy with Samsung’s decision to use an non-removable battery. Others are happy with the options that brings. Wireless charging may not be the norm yet, but it is becoming quite popular.
The Galaxy S6 supports two types of wireless charging. And charging bases are pretty affordable now. You can find some from Incipio. Tylt Products, or even use Samsung’s wireless charging pad. The Galaxy S 6 charges up pretty quickly. Being able to charge wirelessly is an added bonus.
Plain and simple, the camera on the Galaxy S6 Active is awesome. Without much hassle you get crisp pictures, with great detail. Even when zooming in you can see the detail in most pictures.
This is where the S6 Active really outdoes the original. The 3,500mAh battery lasts all day with no problem. It can last 10-12 hours depending on screen brightness and use of apps. Makes you wish this long-lasting battery was on the original.
Pricing and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is available on all major carriers in the US. It’s available in 3 colors: Black, white and grey camouflage, or blue and grey camouflage.
Testing it on AT&T, in New York City. I had great coverage. Seems to be improving in NYC. Check out AT&T’s coverage map HERE
You can check out pricing and details for the Galaxy S6 Active on AT&T here. Right now it starts at $129.99 with a 2 year contract. You can use AT&T Next to pay the S6 off in monthly installments.
For those of you on AT&T, you might enjoy the option of the Galaxy S6 Active. You’ll definitely need to backup regularly and/or live on cloud storage due to only having a 32GB storage option. It recommend this phone for athletes, and clumsy people (read: me), since it could take a bit more of a punch than it’s more elegant, glassy, and sleek brother.
Would you get this device if it was available on your carrier (if you’re not on AT&T)?