What happens when you take the best Android phone you can buy at this time and toss a protective shell on it, enlarge its battery, and make it waterproof? You get the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, an AT&T exclusive that’s aimed on the “active” crowd who enjoys working out, has a job that requires a more durable phone, or those who need a bit extra safety around a cellphone without giving up flagship level specifications and experiences.
However that is not a nasty mark against the Samsung Galaxy S6 active — the Samsung Galaxy S6 itself is a fairly nice device, so if you add a couple of additional features it makes the active version simply as appealing to a sure type of potential phone buyer. Not everybody needs a sleek, slim and slippery telephone that sacrifices battery capacity for appears.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active takes Samsung’s flagship smartphone and provides waterproofing, protection towards drops, a bigger battery and unique physical buttons.
Read on with our full review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 active to see how it all comes collectively. This is my Samsung Galaxy S6 Active review.
The design is rugged, however not tacky or tank like. There is a subtle camouflage pattern on the back, which can sound like probably the most stereotypical design choice Samsung may have made however, we expect it manages to remain tasteful and appropriate. The phone additionally has ridges at various factors around its edges that allow you to get a firm, solid grip.
If you routinely purchase thin and attractive phones, only to cover them inside tank like cases to guard your investment, then you may eliminate the middle man – and really shed some bulk – by going with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active. It is better protected than a Samsung Galaxy S6 inside something like an Otterbox however, cheaper and extra compact.
There is not a ton about the Samsung Galaxy S6 active that sets it aside from the flagship Samsung Galaxy S6, however, the huge difference is, of course the external hardware of the phone. Gone is the modern, slim and rounded exterior made up of glass and metallic, changed instead by a much more active looking exterior.
An excellent hard plastic piece surrounds the edges of the smartphone, with inserts of grippy rubber making it simpler to carry the phone and bigger textured buttons for volume and power which are easy to press. The back of the Samsung Galaxy S6 active is a textured hard plastic plate, with uncovered rivets and a metallic ring surrounding the camera lens. The edges of the device create a small lip round a familiar 5.1-inch QHD display screen that should shield the display if it is positioned face-down on a table, and bigger bezels all around should save it from unlucky drops.
The standard Samsung setup of a big physical home button flanked by two capacitive keys is gone, changed with a triumvirate of textured buttons with chrome logos that almost completely match the buttons of the earlier generation Active. The buttons are a bit of on the mushy side and sadly do not light up, however perhaps the largest issue with them is that the home button no longer doubles as a fingerprint sensor. That is a shame because Samsung finally has that hardware component found out within the Samsung Galaxy S6, and it is a great feature (and safety enhancement).
The casing, of course, provides the Samsung Galaxy S6 active better safety from the world around you, as it is water, dust and shockproof (within reason). That is all without annoying flaps over the headphone jack and USB port, and the SIM tray can even be simply removed with only a fingernail. You do not have to be an extreme sports athlete or construction worker to see the advantages, either — I am sure many reading this have had a spilled drink in a restaurant or a surprising drop to the sidewalk ruin a phone. Those are not points here.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 active is notably — however not severely — thicker, wider, taller and heavier than the standard Samsung Galaxy S6, however the added grip of the sides and back actually make it simpler to carry and use (particularly 1-handed). You may simply argue that the Samsung Galaxy S6 active is a bit too tough, rugged or cumbersome looking, but you may also say the same about a few of the thicker and protective cases on supply for any other phone you purchase. Consider this phone as coming with a pre-installed protective case — it will bother some folks, however, most would not have a problem with it. (Simply maybe shy away from the blue and white versions of the phone with the camouflage backs.)
I personally have no issues with the physical design of the phone as a lot as I am only a bit annoyed by the move to all physical buttons below the display. Without a fingerprint scanner embedded within the home button, there is not a lot of reason to have that home button at all, and now it is joined by 2 extra buttons that have no have to be physical. High-sensitivity modes make the touchscreen usable even with gloves on, and the physical buttons at this level are simply taking up space unnecessarily.
The 5.1-inch display screen on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is truly good and definitely one of the best screens we have seen on a cell phone. Only the LG G4 and Galaxy Note 4 can match it for sharpness, however, the Super AMOLED panel on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is lower above in each other respect.
In comparison with most LCD-screened phones, the Samsung Galaxy S6’s display is more vibrant though Full HD (1080p) screens look just as sharp unless you begin wanting at the display from a few inches away. The Samsung Galaxy S5’s display is simply as vibrant as the Samsung Galaxy S6, but the Samsung Galaxy S6 produces cleaner, more pure whites. Whites look slightly blue on the Samsung Galaxy S5, whereas the Samsung Galaxy S6 seems to be closer to the Apple iPhone 6, which is the best on this department.
However, there is no doubting which has the perfect contrast. AMOLED screens do not have a traditional backlight, which implies blacks seem perfectly black. This means videos and photos look unbelievable, whereas the punchier colours outshine the Apple iPhone 6 as properly. It seems to be great indoors and holds up properly even in direct sunlight.
Samsung’s TouchWiz UI lets you modify the show colors to suit the consumer’s preferences, and we found that the AMOLED Photo setting produced the most color faithful results without heavily sacrificing vibrancy. Apple iPhone 6 is the benchmark for color accuracy, however, the Samsung Galaxy S6 is nearer to the Apple iPhone than another phone we have seen.
The display appears good from each viewing angle, too, making it good for sharing videos and photos on. There actually is not any department where this display does not excel. It is good.
Samsung tossed the same 16MP camera into the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active as was used within the regular Samsung Galaxy S6. Since the camera used within the regular Samsung Galaxy S6 is considered by many (together with us) to be the best within the business, I can not think about you’ll be disappointed on this area. The user interface is the same. The quick launch shortcut is identical. The speed of the focus and shutter are identical. It is awesomely identical.
If you need differences, you will find it within the pre-loaded Sports and Aqua modes. The Sports mode you may download on the regular Samsung Galaxy S6, however, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Aqua is (for obvious reasons) exclusive to the Active line. On this mode, you’re basically simply activating the Active and volumes buttons as your shutter and video record, respectively, when underwater
Software & Performance
The Samsung Galaxy S6 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop integrated with a newly streamlined model of TouchWiz and it is extremely snappy to use. The most effective features is the multi-window performance – I used it frequently.
Multi window enables you to open and use 2 apps simultaneously by holding down the choice button or dragging from the highest left corner of the display screen. It is nice for writing an e-mail whereas checking particulars on-line, or sharing posts from social media whereas speaking about them with a pal on WhatsApp, for example.
General, the streamlined appear and feel of the TouchWiz is a winner. We did experience a few instances where downloaded and native apps would randomly stop working, however, we think about this will be smoothed out fairly simply with updates.
TouchWiz will get an enormous helping hand by the fact that is the most powerful smartphone on the market right now. Only One M9, with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, gets near matching its efficiency.
The credit goes to the 64 bit Samsung Exynos 7420 octa core processor and 3GB of RAM – it is the 1st time Samsung has used this chip in a phone. It appears that switching away from Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon processor in its flagship phone has paid off handsomely.
The Exynos 7420 processor has an advantage over the powerful Snapdragon 810 processor utilized by the HTC One M9 because the chip is smaller and extra power efficient. You may read the software and efficiency sections of our Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge review for an extra detailed breakdown of how it compares to the competitors, however, needless to say the Samsung Galaxy S6 impresses.
One of the best demonstrations of the Samsung Galaxy S6’s power is how easily it handles graphically intensive games like Asphalt 8 or Real Racing 3. There are no dropped frames whatsoever and the video games are rendered better than we have seen on another phone.
How pissed were you while you noticed that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active had a much bigger battery (3,500mAh) than your recently-purchased common S6 (2,550mAh)? Maintain that thought, because it’s going to get worse. In my time with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active and its large 3,500mAh battery, I came away extremely impressed by the fact that this phone can simply pull you through a heavy day, yet Samsung hardly increased dimension or weight.
As for the speaker, it has modified locations on the Samsung Galaxy S6 active, moving from the bottom of the phone to the back (where it was on the Samsung Galaxy S5) — however because the back of the phone is not perfectly flat there’s a little bit of room for the noise to get out when it is sitting on a table. The speaker still is not very large and does not sound that great — as we anticipate in a Samsung Galaxy S6 — however when you’ve a water-resistant phone it is tough to have a larger speaker. The speaker still gets the job done for speakerphone calls and YouTube videos, however still is not on par with the leading front-facing and dual speaker setups you may find elsewhere.
Interestingly Samsung has stuck with the identical ported grille style earphone speaker above the display screen for calls, whereas many different rugged units go with a bone conducting speaker setup to limit the variety of places water and dust can enter the device.
- OS: Android 5.0
- Body: 146.8 x 73.4 x 8.6 mm
- Weight: 150 g
- Display: 1440 x 2560 pixels, 5.1 inch
- Memory: 32 GB internal, no expandable, 3 GB RAM
- Processor: Exynos 7420
- Camera: 16 MP, 5 MP secondary
- Battery: 3,500 mAh