Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Ruggedized Smartphone in the Works: Report

Even though the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge handsets are water-resistant, a more rugged S7 Active version could be coming in the future.

Samsung Galaxy S7

Samsung may have accidentally revealed that it is planning a ruggedized Galaxy S7 Active version of its latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge flagship smartphones.

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 a March 28 story by SamMobile. The changelog lists a wide variety of Samsung smartphones that are supported by the app, which in this case also includes 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.

The Galaxy S7 Active could be equipped with most of the features of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge models, but would also incorporate military-grade protection (MIL-STD-810G) and a different overall design, the story reported. A larger battery also is a possibility compared to the standard S7 and S7 Edge 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 included an IP68-certified casing that created a phone that active consumers could use safely, even when exposed to harsh conditions. The Galaxy S6 Active had 32GB of storage and was available from AT&T in camo white, camo blue or gray for $695.

The S6 Active was the third model in the Galaxy S6 line. The standard Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones launched in April 2015. All three models shared aircraft-grade aluminum, chassis, as well 5.1-inch, quad HD Super AMOLED displays. The phones included front and back covers made from Corning Gorilla Glass 4.

Samsung's latest S7 and S7 Edge smartphone debuted earlier 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 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. The Qualcomm processors provide performance that is as much as 30 percent faster than the processors they replace in the earlier Galaxy S6 handsets, according to Samsung. 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, which both seem to provide adequate all-day battery life in my testing. 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.

The Galaxy S7 phone is 5.6 inches long, 2.74 inches wide, 0.31 inches thick and 5.36 ounces. The Galaxy S7 Edge is 5.94 inches long, 2.85 inches wide, 0.30 inches thick and 5.53 ounces. The Galaxy S7 is available in Black Onyx or Gold Platinum colors, while the Galaxy S7 Edge is available in Black Onyx, Gold Platinum or Silver Titanium.