While Samsung fans are desperately waiting to get the first glimpse of Galaxy Note 8 later this month, the Korean company has officially announced a rugged version of Galaxy S8. The Galaxy S8 is an incredibly beautiful smartphone with an Infinity display. But the Infinity display makes it the most fragile smartphone on the planet. For people who want a sturdier, rugged flagship, Samsung has launched the new Galaxy S8 Active.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
Image Source: AT&T.com (screenshot)

Galaxy S8 Active comes with military certification

The S8 Active has been rumored for months. Last month, a Reddit user leaked its photos and design elements. Samsung has launched the Active version of its previous Galaxy S devices in the past. The latest Active phone isn’t a huge surprise. However, its arrival only a couple of weeks before the Galaxy Note 8 unveiling suggests Samsung doesn’t believe the S8 Active would affect the Note 8 sales.

The Galaxy S8 Active is now up for pre-order on AT&T. Samsung Electronics North America CEO Tim Baxter said in a statement that the new Active phone was designed with “tested durability and strength” to address the needs of people who need a rugged device for their lifestyle. The biggest selling point of Active phones has always been ruggedness and durability.

Designed to survive accidental damages

Samsung has made a few design compromises to make the new phone sturdier than ever before. The S8 Active lacks the beauty of the Infinity display. The device has passed military specification testing (MIL-STD-810G) for ruggedness. The military-grade certification involves testing the phone in 21 different conditions including low pressure/high altitude, extreme temperatures, shock, dust, salt, humidity, and others.

The device has a metal frame and bumper to protect it against tilting, twisting, shock or abrasion. It has a tough texture on the back and side for a secure grip. The phone sports a shatterproof display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It can survive accidental drops onto a flat surface from up to five feet. The S8 Active also has an IP68 waterproof rating, meaning it can survive immersion in five feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

Unlike the standard Galaxy S8, the Active version has thick side bezels. Samsung has launched the rugged version of only the smaller Galaxy S8 with 5.8-inch Quad HD display. There is no Active variant for the 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus. The S8 Active weighs 208g and measures 151.8 x 74.93 x 9.9mm. It means the new phone is thicker and heavier than the regular S8. The Galaxy S8 is 8mm thick and weighs only 155g.

Same specs as Galaxy S8, but with a bigger battery

On the inside, the new Active phone is similar to the Galaxy S8, except for the battery. The Galaxy S8 Active packs a huge 4000mAh battery, which offers 32 hours of talk time, 113 hours of audio playback time, and five days of standby time. It has a single nano-SIM card slot, and runs Android Nougat. Samsung is offering the S8 Active with 64GB of internal storage, which you can further expand up to 256GB via a microSD slot.

The phone packs 4GB RAM. It is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor. Just like the regular Galaxy S8, the Active model offers a 12-megapixel main camera with OIS, autofocus, 8x digital zoom, and LED flash. There is an 8MP camera with autofocus on the front. The device has been priced at $850, higher than its regular sibling. The Active phones traditionally cost more than their regular counterparts due to rugged design.

Will it remain exclusive to AT&T?

The Galaxy S8 Active will be exclusive to AT&T, at least for a few days. In the past, the Active devices were launched exclusively on AT&T. The telecom carrier has started accepting pre-orders on AT&T Next. You can get the unlocked version for $850 or go with AT&T Next for $28.34 for 30 months. You can also get up to $200 in credits if you trade in an eligible device.

The new smartphone will become available in stores on August 11. Other carriers such as Verizon and Sprint are expected to get the device in the near future. It will be the first time a Galaxy Active phone will be available on any carrier other than AT&T. Notably, AT&T has come up with many exciting launch offers to attract buyers. For example, you’ll have an option to get $500 towards a Samsung TV purchase if you buy the S8 Active on AT&T Next and add DIRECTV as well.

If you are not interested in Samsung TV, AT&T will give you a Samsung Gear S2 for just $0.99 or Gear S3 for $49.99 on AT&T Next.

The Galaxy S8 Active will appeal to people who work in rough environments or want a rugged smartphone. When SquareTrade conducted a breakability test for the regular Galaxy S8, the device cracked from all sides on the first drop itself. SquareTrade called it the most fragile smartphone in the world. In contrast, the S8 Active will be able to withstand accidental drops and extreme conditions.