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Why the Galaxy S8 Active could be nearly invincible

Rumors say the S8 Active won't crack under pressure thanks to a shatter-resistant screen.

Patrick Holland/CNET
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We all have that friend whose phone screen looks like a mosaic. Some of us are that friend. 

Some alleged details about the S8 Active.

via Weibo user Kumamoto Technology

But shatter-resistant screens are here to put an end to the sadness. And it sounds Samsung's latest Galaxy S8 variant -- the Galaxy S8 Active -- will be merely the latest phone to get the goods.

How might it work?

Spiderwebs begone

In 2015, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 was one of the first flagship smartphones to brag about a screen that wouldn't crack. 

When CNET put that claim to the test, it turned out Motorola was right. The display was damn near invincible, and it was mostly thanks to a surprisingly simple old-school technique: Plastics.

Unlike hard glass screens, soft plastic ones don't tend to crack on impact. 

The more recently released Moto Z2 Force, too, features a shatterproof display with polycarbonate (aka plastic) layers. The downsides are that plastic doesn't feel quite as nice to the touch and it tends to scratch easily -- which is why the Motorola phones typically come with a factory-installed screen protector to start.

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Will Samsung do this?

Turns out it already has. The Galaxy S7 Active featured a screen that was made with a plastic/glass blend akin to the Motorola phones. 

And now, it seems Samsung may give the S8 Active a similar treatment. A recent leak on Chinese Social network Weibo claims that the S8 Active could feature a shatter-resistant screen as well. It'll also be a flat screen according to previous leaks, which could protect from corner impacts as well.

But that might not be the only way Samsung improves upon the Galaxy S8. The Weibo leak claims that the S8 Active could get the following:

  • 4,000mAh battery (vs. the S8's 3,000mAh battery)
  • MIL-STD-810G durability rating (meaning protection against things like extreme temperature, high altitudes, and shock)
  • Colors like gray and gold

And that's in addition to maintaining the Galaxy S8's IP68 water resistance and edge-to-edge display.

The S8 Active may also be slightly bigger and heavier than the S8, according to the leak.

When can I get one?

The S7 Active was released in July and the S6 Active in June. This could mean we're in store for a summer release, but there's still no official word yet. The closest we got to a confirmation of the phone was when it was mentioned in some Samsung documents back in June, but no release date was given

The Moto Z2 Force, meanwhile, will be available August 10.

Samsung declined to comment on this story.

Speaking of Samsung phones: every day brings us closer to Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 reveal on August 23