CNET First Look
Samsung's Galaxy S4 Active makes wavesJust how good is the smartphone's underwater Aqua mode? We plan a pool party to find out.
There are quite a few waterproof phones out there, but very few of them try to make waterproofing a feature on the camera. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. This is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. So, this phone is rated IP67 that's for dust and water. It is waterproof to a depth of 1 meter. That's only a little bit more than 3 feet and for up to 30 minutes. Now, this isn't exactly a rugged phone and it's not like some of the waterproof phones that we've seen. Although the headset jack is waterproof, you do have to make sure that the plug for the micro-USB port is completely sealed and you have to make sure that the removable back cover is also completely sealed. Samsung recommends that you make sure the cover is completely snapped on and pressed down on the AT&T logo to complete the seal. If you do take off the back cover, you'll see that there is a rubberized rim that goes around the edges, not supposed to keep out dust, water, and other particles. I mentioned that the phone doesn't seem very rugged that's because, except for the sort of stylized, rubberized bumper on the top and on the bottom, it really does look a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S4. The buttons are a little bit thicker and easier to press here for the volume and also for the power/lock button. It's a little bit less glossy, so it's a little more grippy that you don't see a thick casing, but the back cover and battery are removable so you do have components internally that you have to worry about. Once the phone is completely sealed, that's when you'll be able to turn on Aqua Mode. What that does since you can't actually use the touchscreen to take a picture means that you will use the volume rocker to either take a still or video. All right, I'm all sealed up and ready to go. The S4 Active costs $199 at AT&T. I'm not entirely sure that this is a phone you should think of as a rugged or durable device and I would be very cautious before taking it underwater because if you do get water inside, then you might end up with a bricked phone. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. You can check out my full Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review at CNET.com.