Samsung's ruggedized version of its flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones will be available starting June 10, exclusively through AT&T. The handset follows the ruggedized Galaxy S6 Active that launched in mid-2015, but gains a bevy of improvements from the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones.
The upcoming Galaxy S7 Active, which was announced by AT&T and Samsung on June 6, has a shatter-resistant and water-resistant 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Quad HD touch-screen display and meets IP68 certification to withstand water exposure of up to 5 feet for 30 minutes. Aimed at users who work and use their phones in hostile environmental and physical conditions, the S7 Active also meets MIL-STD- 810G specifications for dirt, dust, temperature, shock and salt resistance. The 5.1-inch display is the same size as the one found on the Galaxy S7 handset.
Starting June 10 the Galaxy S7 Active can be obtained through AT&T stores or online for $26.50 a month for 30 months (total payments $795) on an AT&T Next plan or for $33.13 a month for 24 months (total payments $795.12) on an AT&T Next Every Year plan.
The Galaxy S7 Active also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of memory, 32GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot for expandable storage up to 200GB, a 4,000mAh battery and fast charging capabilities. It runs on the Android Marshmallow operating system.
The S7 Active includes many of the features of the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge handsets, including a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with Dual Pixel technology for great images even in low light conditions, a fingerprint sensor for security and the Samsung Knox defense-grade mobile security platform to protect user data. The handset also includes an always-on display, a customizable "Active" key that can be set to call up an oft-used function, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, near-field communications connectivity capabilities.
The GSM smartphone, which is available in Sandy Gold, Titanium Gray or Camo Green colors, is 5.85 inches long, 2.95 inches wide and 0.38 inches thick; it weighs 6.52 ounces.
"The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is one of the best Galaxy devices ever, and it can only be found at AT&T," Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of device marketing and network services at AT&T, said in a statement. "We've worked with Samsung to design our most stylish active smartphone of the past four years, and it can still handle your daily grind whether you're a multi-tasking mom, an outdoorsman at the lake, or a contractor on a jobsite."
Rumors of the anticipated S7 Active smartphone began earlier in 2016, according to a previous eWEEK story. The possibility of 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, according to the report. Both the flagship Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are already water-resistant and dust-resistant, but both lack military-grade drop, shock and dust resistance.
Samsung's earlier Galaxy S5 smartphone was water-resistant, but the feature was dropped for the S6 and S6 Edge in 2015. None of those three phones are dust-resistant.
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 is available from AT&T for $695.
Samsung's latest S7 and S7 Edge smartphone debuted in March. The 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 also 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. The Galaxy S7 has a 3,000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is equipped with a 3,600mAh battery.