Samsung Galaxy S6 Active


A never-quit battery, waterproofing & handy shortcut buttons make this Active phone for AT&T sturdy enough for almost any lifestyle.

Jessica Dolcourt leads the Money, How-To, and Performance teams. A California native who grew up in Silicon Valley, she"s passionate about connecting people with the highest standard of advice to lớn help them reach their goals.

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A toughened-up version of Samsung"s flagship phone, the Galaxy S6 Active bears all the hallmarks of the original S6 , then bolsters them with a seriously impressive battery, "waterproofing" and bouncy buttons.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active"s long-lived battery và resistance khổng lồ water, dust và scuffs make it more appealing than the regular Galaxy S6. Its shortcut button conveniently launches two different apps of your choice.
Built of plastic with thick edging, the S6 Active isn"t a particularly attractive device, certainly not as glamorous as metal or glass phones. No expandable storage option means you"re locked lớn 32GB.
AT&T customers looking for a sturdier handset will find the Galaxy S6 Active a worthy upgrade to lớn an already top-caliber phone.
Cloaked in xanh or gray camouflage or all-black, the Active series evokes a sense of combat against day-to-day spills, drops & breaks, while also appealing to lớn a class of people who engage in "active" lifestyles.

The Active lacks the original S6"s graceful lines và upscale metal-and-glass build, but its thicker, hardier construction makes up for any brutishness with practical physicality. Và don"t let the fitness-focus phase you. A durable kiến thiết for a flagship, the S6 Active is a good choice for anyone who wants to lớn shrug off major worries over wear-and-tear & leave the protective case for the other guy -- thể hình shoes or not.

Ready, set, Samsung Galaxy S6 Active (pictures)

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Samsung says (that for now, at least), it"s selling the S6 Active solely in the US, with AT&T as its exclusive carrier partner. The S6 Active for $200 on-contract, or $695 all-in. Or, you can break payments into 30 increments of $23.17 (Next 24); 24 payments of $28.96 (Next 18); or trăng tròn payments of $34.75 (Next 12).

Editors" note: This review calls out the differences between the S6 & S6 Active. To read up on how the camera và processor perform, be sure to check out my full Samsung Galaxy S6 reviews .

Tougher look, sturdier build

Water resistant Convenience key Embedded 3,500mAh battery

The S6 Active is a fun phone to describe. First, the whole thing is unabashedly made of plastic. A rim frames the phone face, intermittently pocked with shallow troughs khổng lồ create a lightly ridged, grippy pattern around the edges. The corners are extra-thick, too, & angled and reinforced khổng lồ protect against smashed corners.

Lucky for us, Samsung also hulks out the phone"s physical navigation buttons as well. Just like in last year"s Active model (and this S5 thể thao variant ), the S6"s touch-sensitive buttons give way lớn three keys below the screen. They"re slightly raised & lightly textured, making them easy khổng lồ find and push. As with the S6 & Edge, you can double-press the home button khổng lồ launch the camera, even when the screen is locked. When it"s unlocked, press and hold the home key for Google Now to lớn spring lớn life.

like the camouflage? It also comes in white/gray. James Martin/

The usual buttons also get the tactile treatment, from the nicely large power/lock key on the right spine lớn the volume rocker và bright blue convenience key on the left (more on this below). Your SIM thẻ hibernates in a snug tray on the right side.

Ready for the best part? Flip the phone over khổng lồ reveal that xanh or gray camouflage pattern (or solid black color, which is a lot less exciting). A plasticky finish & finely pebbled surface carry on the theme of no-slip-grip, along with those thick đen borders. Four decorative rivets return for a third round on this year"s Active. They may look like they mean business, but they"re really just for show.

lượt thích the S6, this S6 Active is an embedded device, which means the back panel won"t pop off. Sorry, no swappable battery or expandable storage here. It also means you"re stuck at 32GB with no other capacity options khổng lồ jump khổng lồ if you happen lớn store a lot of truyền thông files on the device.

Quick draw! Program this handy button to lớn launch your two favorite apps. James Martin/

If there"s one thing you can vày with the Active that you can"t with the regular S6, it"s go for a swim. Samsung decided not to make its S6 water-resistant this time around, a controversial decision that seems lớn be more about saving something useful for the Active than anything else. Rated at military specification IP68 makes the S6 Active water-resistant for up to 30 minutes in 3 feet of water. It also withstands dust & protects against 4-foot drops.

The larger 3,500mAh battery swells from the S6"s just-adequate 2,550mAh ticker. & guess what? It"s performed terrifically in our video rundown tests: over 16.5 hours each time (for an average of 16.8 hours). That"s huge, especially compared to lớn the Galaxy S6"s 12.4 hour lifespan & the S6 Edge"s 13.5-hour run.

Anecdotally, battery life lasted a very full day. Remember that always-on and resource-heavy activities (like maps navigation & music streaming) will draw battery faster.

Activity tracker

Remember that bright blue convenience key? Samsung"s calling it the Active Key. Press it quickly once lớn launch Activity Zone, an app that gives you at-a-glance information & access that"s helpful for all kinds of activities. A long press pulls up a second app. It"s set lớn a music player by default, but, wonderfully, you can customize either of these to xuất hiện just about any phầm mềm you want, say Endomondo or My Fitness Pal or even Google Maps.

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Here"s a closer look at the Activity Zone. When you mở cửa it, it presents a grid of six app shortcuts for the weather, S Health (which has a pedometer), a stopwatch, a flashlight, a compass & a barometer. You can view details in a glance, or tap each shortcut to lớn launch each mini-app fullscreen. Feel free to drag the tiles around lớn rearrange them all you want. Just know that you won"t be able khổng lồ replace them.

Quick access khổng lồ a flashlight, a pedometer and streaming music are some of the activity tracker"s tricks. James Martin/

Samsung reserved the bottom strip of Activity Zone lớn pimp its Milk Music service, a white-label version of Slacker Radio (which I"ve enjoyed for years). The idea is khổng lồ provide easy toggles to curated stations geared toward certain activities: walking, running, yoga, weight training và dancing.

I found the Milk shortcut pretty convenient for my run, even though my fingers" particular grip kept me mashing the volume button. If you aren"t a premium user, Milk streams ads. I often switched between running & dancing until I hit on the jogging tempo or song I liked. Of course, you can always just draw from your own playlists instead.

Specs recap

Android 5.0 Lollipop with TouchWiz interface 5.1-inch 2,560x1,440p display 16-megapixel camera 5-megapixel front-facing camera 2.1GHz Exynos 7 octa-core processor 32GB of storage (no 64GB or 128GB versions) No expandable storage option 3,500mAh battery (versus S6"s 2,550mAh) Wireless charging NFC

In case you"re wondering about that fingerprint reader, Samsung passed on it this time. No scanner might not worry you for locking and unlocking the phone, but it does affect how you"ll use Samsung Pay when that feature rolls out.

The Active will includes the MST giải pháp công nghệ underpinning Samsung Pay; Samsung tells us that you might need khổng lồ enter a password to authenticate transactions, whereas with the S6 và S6 Edge, a simple press of your digit will do.

The S6 Active: Is it?

So now for the main question: Is the S6 Active truly suited for people who work out, or at least work outdoors? My answer: sure, it is. Its body toàn thân is certainly tougher than those of most flagship models, and scuffs will just play lớn the rough-and-tumble aesthetic. Its water-resistant rating offers some practical peace of mind, as well as the luxury of using the phone from the hot tub.

I took the phone on some runs & walks. I have yet to tumble a phone while on a run, but the ridges did make me feel more secure & less paranoid about dropping it. It felt a little wider in my hand, which was noticeable, but not too bad.

Three generations of Galaxy Actives (plus one S5 Sport). James Martin/

Samsung is starting khổng lồ nail it on the Activity Zone by making the phầm mềm more flexible, và the grids more useful. I also lượt thích the optional shortcut to its Milk music service, even though that"s really just a sneaky way to lớn get you to subscribe. Still, with the long-press on the convenience key, you can easily launch your preferred music service or playlist, if it"s something other than Samsung"s.

Those who specialize in a particular thể thao or environment will still need lớn seek out specific apps; the S6 Active is still a general-purpose device.

OK, so what about the Active for non-active types? It"s a good choice for them, too, as long as buyers enjoy the look. Anyone can benefit from a water-resistant coating, và I find the button-pushing rather fun. Likewise, busy people with messy environments (like no-fuss parents of young children) won"t have to worry about fully drying their hands in order lớn navigate around the screen (since buttons aren"t touch-sensitive).

That water-resistant coating gives the S6 Active an edge over the S6. James Martin/

Since you can completely reprogram the Active key, couch potatoes can still benefit from the shortcut button on two favorite apps.

Buy it or skip it?

At $200 on-contract and $700 all-in, the Active is a premium device that contains most of the S6"s terrific internal specs, but then bumps up the battery (always a welcome plan.) At about the same price as the S6, too, you"re mostly looking at the aesthetic trade-off -- plastic over metal and glass -- and if you really want a water-resistant phone.

(The timing seems a little unfortunate to lớn me, since a lot of AT&T customers who may have wanted the S6 Active have likely already invested in the regular S6.)

While there"s always a risk that you"ll break the glass faceplate, the S6 Active is one of the few phones with flagship-caliber parts that makes an effort to lớn protect your asset. There just aren"t a whole lot of sturdy phones these days, even midrange "tough" devices. (I suspect customers are using more cases for this.)

Its slightly wider grip takes on your pocket. James Martin/

Microsoft"s (Nokia"s) Lumia line does bulk up a bit with its thick, polycarbonate casing, & HTC at least acknowledges issues with its Uh-Oh Protection warranty for its beautiful metal điện thoại htc One M9. On the water-resistant front, Sony"s phones -- like the new Xperia z4v for Verizon -- is the latest.

The S6 Active isn"t the most beautiful or premium phone on the market, but it has the benefit of being one of the only ones that will keep up with the speed of your day-to-day life, whether by helping you work (or work out) easier, or by easing your worries about scratches & spills. If you want a flagship phone that you don"t have khổng lồ baby, you can"t beat this one.

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