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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Samsung's splash-happy Galaxy S4 Active

Like the original, but a little different

Buttons you can press

Otherwise an S4 clone

Screwed down

A closer look

Side view

A camera mode made for surf

Easy to grip edges

Takes a dunking

Samsung had already announced the dustproof and waterproof Samsung Galaxy S4 Active prior to the phone's first official viewing, but it's only now that we can finally bring you an eyes-on.
Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
What's different about the Active versus the original ? Good question. Apart from the tougher build, not much. The handset is heavier and slightly thicker, and its 8-megapixel camera can take a shot or two beneath the waves without getting waterlogged.
Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Instead of capacitive buttons, the S4 Active has grippier keys you can press to navigate around.
Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Beyond that, the shape, colors, and finish look almost identical to the original S4...
Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
...that is, they look alike from the front. Flip it over and you see hardware accents designed to make the phone sturdier.
Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Let's get a closer look at that texture on this bolted-down S4 Active.
Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
It may weigh more, but the Galaxy S4 Active won't take up any more room in your pocket.
Caption by / Photo by Andrew Hoyle/CNET
The Aqua mode on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active shuts down the touch screen and enables the volume keys for use as the shutter/record button.
Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active's back side features top and bottom edges with a cross-hatched pattern. They're designed to help you grip the phone better when it's wet.
Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active can take a dunking under 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.
Caption by / Photo by Brian Bennett/CNET
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