It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone at this point, but Samsung has just now made the ruggedized version of the popular Galaxy S 4 official, called Galaxy S 4 Active. The SGS4 Active includes an IP67 rating, which means it's fully sealed against dust (first digit 6 connotes a completely dust sealed design), and submergible up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes (second digit 7). Samsung notes that the earphone jack is also water resistant so you can continue to listen to music while submerged with the appropriate headsets. Samsung also makes note of an 'Aqua Mode' setting in the camera to enhance audio and saturation when taking photos and video under water. 

Superficially the SGS4A is almost the same as the international and other variants of SGS4, however there are a few changes to the phone beyond just a sealed design with IP67 rating. SoC remains the 1.9 GHz Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064AB) we've seen before, the major change is that camera gets a bump down to 8 MP instead of 13 MP, and there's a 1080p LCD display inside instead of Super AMOLED. Camera is likely still using 1.1 micron pixels, just the 8 MP version of the sensor for reduced z-height since LCD is a bit thicker. LCD makes sense here for cost reasons (something has to give) and brightness plus outdoor viewability reasons — AMOLED can go just as bright, but at higher power than the equivalent for LED backlit LCD. The back of the SGS4A seems to be removable given the presence of a thumb groove in the press photos, so ostensibly behind there is the microSD card slot, microSIM slot, and likely still user-replaceable battery. It's also obvious from the photos that the SGS4A includes physical menu, home, and back buttons instead of the still somewhat odd combination of both physical and capacitive on SGS4.

I have to admit that I like the design and appearance of the SGS4A in these press photos a heck of a lot more than the non-active SGS4, even if the SGS4A puts on a few mm around the edges and is heftier. I've put together a table with the comparisons. 

SGS4A vs SGS4 Comparison
  SGS4 SGS4 Active
Length 136.6 mm 139.7 mm
Width 69.9 mm 71.3 mm
Thickness 7.9 mm 9.1 mm
Weight 130 g 151 g
Display 5.0-inch 1080p SAMOLED 5.0-inch 1080p TFT LCD
Camera 13 MP with LED Flash 8 MP with LED Flash

There's no official information on pricing, but Samsung gives availability as 'this summer' in the US and Sweden in three different colors – Urban Grey, Dive Blue and Orange Flare. The latter two Blue and Orange colors are very vibrant from the looks of things.

Samsung will be showing the SGS4A off at its June 20th event in London. 

Source: Samsung

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  • ayqazi - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    You know why I'd consider getting this? No stupid Pentile crap! Finally yellow icons will look yellow, instead of having a tint of green to them when I look up close. And, unlike the HTC One, a removable battery and expandable memory! And due to the popularity of the original S4, the Cyanogenmod support will be up-to-date, which is always a good deal!
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    Exactly why I'm actually really excited this has LCD instead of AMOLED for once in a flagship :)

  • zoxo - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    I actually prefer good quality transflective lcd screens. Never any trouble with those even in direct bright sunlight. Don't know what are the density limitations on those (if any)
  • casteve - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    It's time to dust off the rubber ducky for the underwater video cameo.
  • Affectionate-Bed-980 - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    Brian - You said something has to give in terms of cost and materials, so we still don't know how good this 1080p panel is right? Is it going to be HTC One-like? Or something worse? Shrug. I like a well calibrated panel, but if it sucks to begin with, there's only so much you can do.
  • sherlockwing - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    Samsung is a supplier of HTC One's display, so the quality of these displays on GS4A should match that of HTC One:

  • vipuls1979 - Friday, June 7, 2013 - link

    Forget about Galaxy S4 samsung is offering Rs 10000/- cash back on Galaxy Note II also it is available on 6 months EMI , for more information kindly visit and check yourself
  • LeftSide - Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - link

    I just want to know the difference in battery life.
  • medi02 - Thursday, June 6, 2013 - link

    Hard to get how someone who owned OLED screen would swap it with an LCD.
    Something is seriously wrong with you guys.
  • wthr - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Um, seriously? S-AMOLED is great...if you are not outside, or are never away from a charger for very long. This looks like a great phone, and its battery life is going to kick the shit out of the rest of the (current) Galaxy series. Looks like I found my next phone!

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