Samsung Galaxy S7 Active: Phone meets rugged case, minus the middle man
It must be that time of year again: Samsung and AT&T are back with yet another rugged variant of the latest Galaxy flagship. If you paid attention to last year's model, then this new one is exactly what you'd expect – a Galaxy S7 with a beefier, sturdier and plastic body, along with a 33 percent larger battery.
At first glance, you might think the Active series is aimed at Bear Grylls outdoorsy types (and it would make a lot of sense there), but we think this lineup has its own niche with "regular" folks as well. How many people throw down hundreds of dollars on the latest high-end flagship phone just to hide its beautiful metal or glass chassis inside a thick, rubbery case? If you're one of those people, the Galaxy S7 Active is a way of eliminating the middle-man and buying a Galaxy S7 that essentially has a military-grade battery case built-into the phone.
Most of the phone's other specs are the same as the standard Galaxy S7 (that's the standard S7, as there's no Active equivalent of the S7 edge). The common details includes a 5.1-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440) display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage with microSD, 12 MP rear camera and IP68 water and dust resistance.
This year the Active variant also includes a fingerprint sensor home button. Last year's Active skipped that, as the standard S6 didn't have water resistance. After Samsung figured out how to put an IP68 resistant fingerprint sensor on the standard S7, it makes sense that it would also makes its way to the Active variant.
The Active-y additions include a 4,000 mAh battery (the regular S7 has a 3,000 battery), and a "military-grade" build that's 5 percent taller, 7 percent wider and a whopping 25 percent thicker. Samsung is also advertising its screen as "shatterproof."
The Galaxy S7 Active will again be an AT&T US exclusive, launching June 10. It will ring up for US$795 (broken down in 24-month installments), which is about $100 more than AT&T charges for the standard S7. If you're considering the Active just for the battery boost, though, consider that the extra Benjamin is what you'd pay for a Mophie battery case for the regular S7 – and it would add about three times as much extra battery as the Active does.
Product page: AT&T