Samsung has introduced the Galaxy S5 Active.
Samsung's latest flagship, the Galaxy S5 (full stop) launched in April and counts among its bragging points a dust- and water-resistant shell. Those, really, are kid-glove legal terms. Samsung isn't full stop keen to say "waterproof" and have millions of people take their phones swimming. But as numerous reviewers have proved, the GS5 can survive a fall into a toilet or a rest at the bottom of a pitcher of margaritas. (I can't decide which of these offenses is worse.)
Still, there was apparently a need for additional ruggedness. Likely, there was also a need for a GS5 that AT&T could call its own. The carrier is exclusively selling the GS5 Active starting May 30.
It's priced at $199 with a two-year service contract. It can also be purchased on an AT&T Next 12 plan for 20 payments of $35.75 or on a Next 18 plan for 26 payments of $27.50.
(The 12 and 18 in the respective plan names represent the number of payments after which a user can upgrade. With a Next 12 plan, for example, a subscriber would have to make 20 payments to own the phone, but after 12 payments he or she could decide to instead turn in the phone for a newer model.)
What distinguishes the GS5 Active is its case, which transforms the phone into a device Samsung isn't afraid to call rugged. It has an IP67 rating, says AT&T, which means it's "designed to withstand the rigors of your workout and your world."
More exactly, AT&T adds in the fine print, IP67 means the phone is water-resistant and dustproof, and can be submerged for 30 minutes in 3 feet of water. It also passes military specifications for being able to withstand good amounts of shock, humidity, rain, temperature extremes and high altitudes.
The case has reinforced corners and blunt edges—it looks ready to withstand a drop on a boulder and bounce back without a wince. The details around the camera lens on the back also look more outdoor-ready. And if talk of military-grade specs weren't enough to suggest an intended audience, the back of the case also features a dark-green camouflage pattern.
Intense plastic case aside, it's the same phone as the GS5. There are 16- and 2-megapixel cameras, a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1,920 by 1,080) display, LTE capabilities, a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, a heart-rate sensor and, among other features, Samsung's S Health suite of fitness and health-related features.
The rugged case does add a smidge to the phone's silhouette. While the classic GS5 measures 5.59 by 2.85 by 0.32 inches, the GS5 Active measures 5.72 by 2.89 by 0.35.
AT&T Senior Vice President Jeff Bradley, in a May 30 statement, said that consumers could now "enjoy the outdoors with a durable, premium smartphone."
Introducing the Asus PadFone two days earlier, another AT&T executive expressed pride in AT&T's varied portfolio of devices, which she called "industry leading."