Samsung's Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge smartphones have been selling well since they debuted in March, but a ruggedized version of them, which had been part of the previous Galaxy S6 series, has never shown up.
That could change in June when Samsung is reportedly going to unveil a ruggedized version of the S7 series, the Galaxy S7 Active, with mobile carrier AT&T, according to a May 23 story by VentureBeat.
The new handset, which will be similar to the earlier Galaxy S6 Active rugged phone that launched in 2015, could appear on June 10 with AT&T, based on notations in several renderings that were leaked, the story reported. Many of the specifications of the rumored S7 Active are the same as the S7 and S7 Edge models that are already for sale, according to a purported handset specification sheet that was seen by VentureBeat.
The upcoming S7 Active is slightly larger than the 2015 S6 Active, the story reported, due primarily to a larger, more powerful 4,000mAh battery, which replaces a smaller 3,500mAh unit that was in the earlier phone. An earlier rumor that the latest handset would have a larger display screen were apparently incorrect, since the new model will have the same 5.1-inch, 1,440-by-2,560-pixel Super AMOLED display that is used in the Galaxy S7 and in the earlier Galaxy S6 Active.
New to the S7 Active will be a microSD slot, which was missing from the S6 Galaxy models, as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 system-on-chip, 4GB of RAM—up 1GB from the S6 Active—and 32GB of internal storage, according to the story. The new smartphone will run the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. Also to be included is a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera that features the same low-light enhancing dual pixel sensor used in the Galaxy S7. A 5MP front-facing camera is also included.
The new S7 Active will also reportedly be sold only by AT&T, just like the S6 Active, the report continued.
In March, Samsung may have accidentally revealed its plans for the ruggedized Galaxy S7 Active, according to a previous eWEEK story.
The Galaxy S7 Active was mentioned in a changelog for Samsung's Level app, which allows users to configure and control their headphones for their smartphone, the story reported. The changelog lists a wide variety of Samsung smartphones that are supported by the app, which in this case also included a listing for a Samsung Galaxy S7 Active model. No such model presently exists from the smartphone maker.
A ruggedized version of the new Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge (both pictured) is less critical, since both devices are water-resistant and dust-resistant, but an Active version adds military-grade drop, shock and dust resistance to the products.
Samsung's earlier Galaxy S5 smartphone was water-resistant, but the feature was dropped for the S6 and S6 Galaxy in 2015. None of those three phones were dust-resistant.
Earlier reports said that the Galaxy S7 Active will incorporate military-grade protection (MIL-STD-810G) and a different overall design from the standard S7 models.
The original Galaxy S6 Active smartphone was unveiled by Samsung in mid-2015 and was offered in the U.S. by AT&T, according to an earlier eWEEK story. The S6 Active was built for smartphone owners who are tough on their phones. The handset is water-resistant down to 5 feet for less than 30 minutes. The phone model includes an IP68-certified casing that creates a phone that active consumers can use safely, even when exposed to harsh conditions. The Galaxy S6 Active has 32GB of storage and available from AT&T in camo white, camo blue or gray for $695.
The S6 Active is the third model in the Galaxy S6 line. The standard Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones launched in April 2015. All three models share an aircraft-grade aluminum chassis, as well 5.1-inch, quad HD Super AMOLED displays. The phones include front and back covers made from Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
Samsung's latest Galaxy S7 features a 5.1-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display (2,560 by 1,440), while the Galaxy S7 Edge features a 5.5-inch quad-HD Super AMOLED display (2,560 by 1,440). Both models include always-on displays for the time and other information.
Both Galaxy S7 handsets are powered by Qualcomm quad-core 2.15GHz and 1.6GHz processors for U.S. users and include 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, 32GB of built-in storage and microSD expansion slots that support storage cards up to 200GB. Both handsets are built with metal chassis, and both run on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system.
The Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is equipped with a 3,600mAh battery. In addition to 4GT LTE connectivity, the new S7 handsets also can be used with WiFi 802.11, MIMO, Bluetooth 4.2 and near-field communications connections. Samsung Pay capabilities also are included in both devices, as well as wide-ranging Samsung KNOX device security and fingerprint-scanning features.