Samsung on Monday officially announced the Galaxy S8 Active, a more rugged version of its flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone.
Like the last few Galaxy S Active models, the device will only be available on AT&T. It will be available to pre-order on August 8, with a full release on August 11.
AT&T says the device will cost $US28.34 a month in a 30-month payment plan, which comes out to about $US850. AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on how much the device will cost outright.
As various leaks had suggested, the Galaxy S8 Active ditches the curved sides of the standard Galaxy S8 for a flatter, more traditional design. The display itself is the same as before — which is a good thing — but the bezels around it are more pronounced.
Most notably, the Galaxy S8 Active comes coated in a thicker frame with metal sides and a polycarbonate material on the back. The makes the phone a bit heftier than the standard Galaxy S8, but Samsung says it allows the device to meet military-grade durability standards. The company says the phone is water-resistant, too, and that its display can survive drops from up to five feet without shattering. Point being, the S8 Active shouldn’t fall apart if you rough it up a bit, though we’ll have to test it to be sure.
The other noteworthy change should be battery life: Samsung says the Galaxy S8 Active comes with a 4,000mAh battery, which is significantly larger than the 3,000mAh battery in the regular model.
Beyond that, you’re looking at just about the same phone as before. The internals are the same, the same top-notch cameras are still here, and the fingerprint scanner is still awkwardly placed toward the top of the phone’s back.
There also remains a button dedicated to activating Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant. Previous Galaxy S Active phones have included a customisable button that can be mapped to various shortcuts, but here you’re stuck with the voice assistant Business Insider’s Steve Kovach recently deemed “half-baked.”
This being a carrier exclusive, there’ll also be some apps pre-loaded onto the phone by default — AT&T says its DirecTV Now streaming service will be included, for one.
All of this means the Galaxy S8 Active should be plenty powerful, but still fairly expensive for a phone that gives up the standard S8’s signature feature (that curved design). Nevertheless, if you’re on AT&T and don’t want to bother with a phone case, the S8 Active may be worth a look.
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