Samsung’s latest flagship phones Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have been flying off the shelves around the world since launch. S8 is the best and most beautiful Android phone you can buy right now. With a beautiful edge-to-edge OLED display, it looks close to perfect. But it’s not the sturdiest phone out there. Folks at SquareTrade revealed recently that the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus were the worst performing phones ever in their drop tests. If you want a sturdier version of Samsung’s latest flagship, the Korean company is gearing up to launch a new device called Galaxy S8 Active.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
Image Credit: Samsung Mobile / YouTube video (screenshot)

Galaxy S8 Active code named ‘Cruiser’

Active is the rugged version of Samsung’s flagship devices. Last year’s Galaxy S7 Active was exclusive to AT&T in the United States. The upcoming Galaxy S8 Active is also expected to be an AT&T exclusive. Despite being a rugged device, the S7 Active wasn’t able to justify itself as a “water-resistant” phone, according to Consumer Reports. But AT&T seems to have given Samsung another go.

The Galaxy S8 Active is reportedly code named Cruiser. Its model number SM-G892A was spotted in the User Agent String a few days ago. The same model number was also found on Netflix. The video streaming platform also revealed that the S8 Active would support HDR streaming. However, Netflix has since updated its site to remove the reference to the SM-G892A.

Blogger Roland Quandt recently posted two screenshots on Twitter. One belonged to the User Agent String and another was from Netflix. The User Agent String suggested that the upcoming device would run Android Nougat out of the box, though it did not provide specific details about the phone.

Galaxy S8 Active gets MIL-STD-810G certification

Since it’s an Active model, we can expect the device to offer military-grade ruggedness. All other specifications are likely to be similar to the standard Galaxy S8. The device has reportedly received certification for MIL-STD-810G standard. It means the Galaxy S8 Active will have a military-grade sturdiness, allowing it to survive drops and falls that other smartphones can’t.

It would be interesting to see how the S8 Active performs in terms of water resistance. Last year’s Galaxy S7 was water-resistant, but the S7 Active couldn’t live up to Samsung’s claims. The standard Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus boast of IP68 rating, meaning they can remain in water for about 30 minutes up to a depth of 1.5 meters. Samsung is unlikely to make the mistakes it made with the S7 Active.

The Galaxy S8 has ditched the physical keys and features the fingerprint sensor on the back panel. But the Active phones need physical buttons because touchscreens don’t work effectively when there is water involved. You can expect the Galaxy S8 Active to feature a 5.8-inch display, 4GB RAM, and 64GB of internal storage, which you can expand further via a microSD card slot.

It is likely to run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, which is built using 10nm manufacturing process. The device is expected to feature a 12-megapixel main camera with OIS and a 5MP front snapper.

How will it differ from Galaxy S8?

Besides being sturdier, one area where the Active version has differed from the standard one is battery. Last year’s Galaxy S7 packed a 3000mAh battery while the S7 Active featured a huge 4000mAh battery pack.

Also, the Active devices come in different color options than the standard model. For instance, the Galaxy S7 Active comes in Titanium Gray, Sandy Gold, and Camo Green. The Galaxy S7 was available in Black, White, Silver, Gold, and Pink Gold.

It’s worth pointing out that adding military-grade sturdiness to the device would require some obvious changes to the Galaxy S8’s gorgeous design. It will be a matter of choice between a beautiful design and ruggedness.

When is the Galaxy S8 Active coming?

The Galaxy S7 Active was exclusive to AT&T customers in the United States. It was never made available in other countries. The S8 Active is likely to stick to AT&T only. Its unveiling is imminent. AT&T has traditionally released the Active devices in June, meaning you can expect the Galaxy S8 Active to arrive next month. It is unclear what impact the delayed Galaxy S8 launch would have on the release of the Active variant.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to buy the Galaxy S8, AT&T is offering a lucrative deal. The device costs $750, which not too many people can afford. But AT&T has come up with a new trade-in promotion for a limited time, offering a $200 credit towards the S8 purchase. The offer runs through the end of May. You are eligible to get the $200 trade-in credits as long as your device is worth $20 or more. It just needs to be in working condition.

The deal reduces the Galaxy S8 price to a more reasonable $549, but you will have to commit to an AT&T service plan.