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Tougher, stronger but failing on looks : Samsung launches Galaxy S7 Active

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active
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People who love Samsung’s flagship devices but are also in the habit of dropping them in the most unlikely of places — the S7 has received a major case update. For the fourth year in a row, the company has launched an active variant of its Galaxy series smartphone, which however, is exclusively available in the US. Enter the Galaxy S7 Active.

The company announced the S7 Active today and apart from the fact that the device is way more rugged than the original, not much has been changed from the original. Lets take a look at the device specifics.

The Good

The company is sticking to the combination of Snapdragon’s 820 System on Chip and a quad-core CPU deployed with Adreno 530 GPU, that worked out so well with S7 in US, China and Japan — the rest of the world has S7 with Exynos 8890 — and you also get 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of UFS 2.0 NAND.

The screen also remains virtually unchanged and the S7 Active comes with a 5.1-inch QHD SAMOLED display capable of reaching around 500 nits peak brightness when using auto brightness mode at 100% APL.

That was what we already knew and loved with the Galaxy S7. Moving on to the rugged part, the S7 Active while retaining the S7’s IP68 rating — that makes it dust tight and waterproof up to 5 feet for 30 minutes — also passes the U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810G tests which make it the perfect companion in extreme conditions, including exposure to high and low temperatures, salt fog, humidity, and shock.

Samsung also claims that that the device can withstand drops from heights of upto 5 feet — even when you drop it face first. This is thanks to an added layer of polycarbonate above the QHD Super AMOLED display and Gorilla Glass 4 which also keeps the device safe from excessive scratches. There is also a dedicated shortcut button above the volume key on the left side, which can be set to open different applications by single press, double press and long press.

Another major difference is the battery size. The S7 active packs a larger 4000mAh battery that should let the active variant last longer than the regular. The device also supports Samsung’s trademark fast charging technology and can be charged wirelessly as well. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the home button for quick access and Samsung’s very own Knox security suite that allows for the separation of work and personal content.

In case the “Home button” caught your attention, the device has three physical buttons instead of the capacitative ones we have all grown to know and love from the original Galaxy devices.

And The Bad

That is the good part. The toughness and the meanness however, comes at a cost. The device is decidedly ugly as compared to the S7 — with all the looks traded for for the extra toughness. Apart from being noticeably taller and wider than the regular S7 — thanks to the metal sides and bumpers on the corners — and there are also little bumpers around the camera’s glass to protect it against cracks on impact.

Also, there is no guarantee that the device will work inside the current Gear VR headset, due to the different measurements of the active version. The more durable plastic and metal chassis causes an increases of 6.4 mm, 5.4 mm and 2 mm, in the height, width and thickness respectively.

That is about it. If you are looking for a sleek, good looking device — The S7 Active is definitely not the thing for you. However, if you are looking for something that can take a beating and can go for a swim as easily as for trek in the desserts, the S7 active is exactly what you are looking for. The device is available in three different variants, Cammo Green, Titanium Gray, Sandy Gold.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to purchase a Galaxy Active, you should give AT&T a look. Apart from being the only place to get hold of the S7 Active, there are also a bunch of available offers. For example, purchasing a new phone on AT&T can net you a free Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch (with qualified wireless services needed on both the devices) while purchasing two handsets on AT&T Next can bring you up to $695 in bill credits over 30 months.

The device will be available for sale starting June 10th for cash installments of $26.50 per month spread over 30 months, or $33.13 for 24 months — equating to a price tag of around $795 either way.

Meanwhile, to take a closer look at the device, watch the unboxing of Samsung Galaxy S7 from AT&T here.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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