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Galaxy S6 Active: 5 Things I Learned on the First Day



The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is a rugged, durable and fully water-resistant variant of the popular Galaxy S6, made exclusively for AT&T. It’s one of the best smartphones available today given all the features and capabilities this phone has to offer, along with everything else the premium Galaxy S6 brings to the table.

Surely buyers have seen the commercials with AT&T rough-housing with the phone, dropping it in water, tossing it around, and generally being hard on it, and that’s the point. This “Active” version of the Galaxy S6 is built for those with an active lifestyle.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S6 Active: 5 Things You Need to Know

Back in June Samsung and AT&T announced the new Galaxy S6 Active, just as the two have done over the past two years with previous versions. With a device like the Galaxy S6 Active there is a lot to cover, tons of features or advanced capabilities, all of which we’ll detail in a full review. For now, here’s my thoughts and a few things that stood out after one day using this smartphone.


The new Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is essentially the same stunning and impressive premium flagship Galaxy S6 that has been available for the past few months, only it has a much bigger battery and is extremely rugged and durable. You won’t enjoy the same glass and aluminum design with a big home button and fingerprint scanner on the front. Instead it’s an industrial phone that’s made to last, wrapped in a durable material, and features actual hardware buttons on the front.

Like other “Active” versions of Samsung phones we’ve lost a few features, but gained so much more that it’s worth it for some. The regular Galaxy S6 is covered front and back in glass that can crack and shatter if dropped, the battery is rather small, and the fingerprint scanner isn’t for everyone. If you want a durable device, one with nearly 1/3 more battery life, and can handle daily wear and tear unlike anything else, this is your phone.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 9.55.22 AM-L

For those considering the two or aren’t sure what the differences are between the regular Galaxy S6, and the Galaxy S6 Active, here’s what you need to know. The Galaxy S6 Active is the exact same smartphone in almost every single aspect. It’s the same hardware, software, camera, and more, but has been slightly redesigned, is more durable, water-resistant, and even has an extra “activity zone” button that can be customized to do nearly anything you’d like. Here’s the specs.

Galaxy S6 Active Specs
•    5.1-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD display
•    8-core Samsung Processor with 3GB of RAM
•    32 of storage
•    16 megapiGalaxy xel rear and 5MP front camera
•    Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
•    Massive 3,500 mAh battery with wireless & turbo charging
•    IP68 Shock, Drop, and Water Resistant
•    Camo White, Camo Blue, or Gray colors
•    more

This device comes with the same stunning and beautiful 5.1-inch display, the same 8-core processor with 3GB of RAM, the same camera, same software, but the rest is where things are different. Instead of a tiny 2,550 mAh battery it has a massive 3,500 mAh battery for nearly 2 days of battery life.

It has a military-grade IP68 rating that means it’s drop, shock, dust and water-resistant. And there isn’t flaps covering the ports either. It has a coating on the inside that prevents water from damaging the device, even submerged in water, which it can handle just fine, but Samsung doesn’t recommend.

Now that I’ve been enjoying Samsung’s impressive Galaxy S6 Active for a little over a day or so, here’s what I learned after abut 24 hours of using it.

A Better Samsung Galaxy Experience

A Better Samsung Galaxy Experience

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active delivers the same great Samsung Galaxy experience of all other devices, and is exactly the same as the regular Galaxy S6 in terms of software. Running on Android 5.0 Lollipop we have a beautiful material design interface, smooth animations, tons of options, a great camera, and fast software.

The Galaxy S6 has been my daily device for months, but I may end up making the Active my permanent device. Why? It's the same great experience, only better. It feels exactly the same except I have piece of mind that I don't need a case, the battery will last longer, and I'm no longer fearing that one drop will ruin my $600 smartphone. That alone is all buyers really need to know. It's that durable, and that good.

Owners will have to get used to the odd physical buttons, but after a few minutes you'll completely forget about them and feel right at home, just like any other Samsung smartphone.

The camera is great, the software has no noticeable lag, and this is just an all around exceptionally fast and stable smartphone. Not a single hiccup, freeze, crash, or slow down. The 8-core processor keeps things running extremely fast.



  1. Chief Wiggum

    07/19/2015 at 8:30 pm

    So we’re commending Samsung on returning some features that were taken away from the S5? Garbage.

  2. BGood

    07/20/2015 at 11:14 am

    Sounds like Samsung wants to have its cake and eat it, too! They market the phone as IP68 submersible, give the camera an “underwater mode”, and then recommend that you never submerge it?

  3. andrean

    07/21/2015 at 1:05 pm

    Dropped mine from about 2 feet and the screen shattered… won’t bother trying to see if the replacement is waterproof

  4. Cc

    08/01/2015 at 2:15 pm

    Friend of mine has had hers for over a month and has water damage caused by overspray from the water hose ??!!! Not water resistant at all and Samsung is not helping

  5. 411monk

    09/03/2015 at 1:32 pm

    The only appeal with the Active is the larger battery. I would still use a case with this phone because … Yes it can survive a drop (maybe), but the nicks, and dents on the frame will drive me crazy, plus the damage would decrease resell value. Also the rugged frame does not help with the weakest party of any phone — the screen.

    Also, which one of these problems has numerous and effective solutions … limited power or limited storage? There are so many ways to solve the problem of a phone with short battery life. However, what about a phone with only 32GB of storage. How do you work around that problem? (I know there are ways, no need to answer) would you really want to walk around with a USB drive sticking out of your phone?

  6. Total Meltdown

    09/03/2015 at 1:38 pm

    The water resistant part is for accidents only. It’s not 100% water resistant. It should be good to go after a drop in a tub/sink/puddle/snow. You don’t want to be getting in a pool with the thing, you idiots.

    I like the design, the whole “need a pretty phone” mentality is foreign to me. Function of looks anyday.

  7. marquis ivey

    01/15/2016 at 6:34 am

    had mine 2 days dropped it glass cracked. it still worked for 2wks then screen went black. Samsung said they would fix at cost but when I asked for info. never responded. Funny thing is when I purchased a new one they emailed wondering if I still wanted them to fix it. That was a whole month later.. Hello Samsung TOO LATE.

  8. IOURI Tcherniakov

    02/27/2016 at 2:54 am

    worse-st phone I ever see, it is not rugged at all, iphone more rugged. they screw up customers
    software unfriendly, no service and support from samsung

  9. louis

    04/02/2016 at 2:03 am

    I have this in the white and camo.
    It truly is a well built phone,extremely fast,rugged and HUGE battery life!!
    Camera and video is nothing short of amazing,and with the recent release of the s7,these can be had unlocked for $300,which is what I paid for mine.
    Personally, I think Samsung knocked this one outta the park!!
    Who cares about storage,you have 32gigs built in,and ATT locker is free,so you can send and store all your pics to a cloud and access them anywhere!!
    Just an awesome phone folks!!

  10. Samsungsux

    04/23/2016 at 11:20 am

    I’ve had this phone about 6 months. It is NOT water resistant. I had it outside in light drizzle and within 30 minutes began having weird “port charging” messages and other issues. Samsung tells me it can’t get wet. WHY, then, does it have an “underwater shot” camera mode if you can’t even take it out in heavy fog?!
    There have also been numerous software problems that the Samsung Experience at Best Buy couldn’t figure out, so Samsung wanted me to send in phone, expecting me to be without it for 2 weeks. This is my work AND personal phone. C’mon!
    And finally, icing on cake, yesterday the phone fell out of my bag on to the floor, a total of 2′, and the glass cracked! Break resistant up to 4′? I think not.
    So far I’ve received one estimate for repair- $350!! That’s half the cost of what I paid. This phone is NOT worth $1k!

    Samsung is full of crap. Advertising this phone as break resistant and water resistant, then refusing to service it under warranty, is absolute BS. I have had 4 Galaxy phones, all have had major problems and Samsung refused to service any of them without lots of $$, rendering the warranty useless.

    I hate Apple, but I think at this point I have little choice but to move on to a Iphone. Samsung is the worst service and most fraudulent/misleading advertising ever.

  11. Briago Moore

    05/22/2016 at 10:56 am

    Why does everyone keep touting the ATT BS that it is not waterproof “only water resistant”?
    ATT & Samsung are both clearly advertising it as IP68 certified. IP68 is defined as being submersible for over 30 minutes at least 1.5m deep (this is even stated on both of their sites). This clearly makes it water proof regardless of anyone’s legal rangling.
    It is advertised as IP68, so if being submerged for a couple minutes damages the phone, then it is clearly a defect in the phone that they should be warranting, or else it is false advertising which is against the law!

  12. robert long

    05/30/2016 at 3:59 am

    i have run mine through a full cycle in the washer while on it worked as soon as it come out of the washer. so after that i started useing it to make underwater vidio in shallow water. did not bother it.

    but last knight it just quit . it has been highh and dry for weeks. it is like the battery has failed it dont do anything.

  13. Moses

    06/17/2016 at 6:31 pm

    Took mine for the first time to the pool. At 2 feet and water started comming in. Ip68 graded my ass! This is certainly not water proof!

  14. Uncle Bobby B.

    06/20/2016 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve been using mine poolside, in the pool and underwater all summer and it works great. The phone has an “aqua” mode for intentional use in/underwater and it works great. The only issue I have is you have to wait for the speaker to dry out before you have any real sound coming out of it.

    Also I’ve had quite a few good drops with no breakage, I’d say best phone I’ve ever had.

  15. Caitlin

    07/26/2016 at 12:58 pm

    I’ve not had a problem with this phone and water. I’ve taken it in the pool at least 5 times and it always works fine. The only problem I have is with the speaker afterwords, it’s fuzzy and quiet but if you give it time to dry out it works fine. Also, sometimes charging it afterwords doesn’t work if you don’t shake the phone out but of you do its fine.
    As for dropping it, I have nicks on the phone but I’ve never cracked the screen or even scratched it. This is definitely one of my favorite phones and I’d totally recommend

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