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AT&T Makes Good on Waterproof Promise of Galaxy S4 Active

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Following reports that the Galaxy S4 Active (reviewed) may not be as waterproof as Samsung and AT&T would like you to believe, the Rethink Possible network is now making good on its promise with customers by allowing users to make a one time exchange of water damaged phones. The program will allow users whose phones carry a positive Liquid Damage Indicator (or LDI) strip to make the exchange at an AT&T-owned corporate retail store. The caveat is that the phone must have been purchased at an AT&T store and users who may have obtained their phones through third-party retailers like Best Buy or Amazon should contact those retailers directly.

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Though AT&T has so far been quiet about this goodwill gesture allowing customers to exchange their phones, Phone Arena is reporting that the program shows up in an AT&T internal database. If your Galaxy S4 Active has been affected by liquid damage, you should contact AT&T as soon as possible to see what your options are.

The Galaxy S4 Active is marketed as a water resistant, albeit non-rugged, smartphone that can withstand about a meter of water submersion for up to thirty minutes at a time. The phone is also rated as dustproof and carries much of the same internal specs as the flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone, including a thin profile, Snapdragon 600 processor, and a 5-inch 1080p HD display. The main difference between the two units is that the Active model bears an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera rather than the newer 13-megapixel shooter of the Galaxy S4.

Users had been reporting that the phone is dying underwater. AT&T advises that the phone should be properly secured before water use, including covering the micro USB port with the rubber cover that’s hinged to the phone and ensuring that the back battery cover snaps into place.

The exchange program is said to be for water damaged phones only. Users with phones that may have suffered blunt force physical trauma would have to go through other channels, including insurance claims.

In addition to the Galaxy S4 Active’s water problems, it looks like a similar issue is placing rival Sony with its Xperia Z, another waterproof smartphone. In the U.S., the Xperia Z is now sold through T-Mobile US’ network.

Tech enthusiast in Silicon Valley enjoying the possibilities of ubiquitous connectivity, information sharing, and collaboration enabled by mobile broadband. You can contact Chuong on Twitter @chuongvision or search +chuongvision on Google+.

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