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Samsung's Galaxy S8 Active is tougher than your S8

Ready, set, drop!

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Jessica Dolcourt
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1 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET

The Galaxy S8 Active is not going to break when it slips your grip.

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2 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung's latest in its line of tougher Galaxy phones, the Active ditches the S8's fragile glass backing.

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In its place are reinforced plastic sides, with a special emphasis on protecting the corners.

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Four screws drive home the idea of toughness, but they're just for show.

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5 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

The S8 Active is rated to withstand water, dust, humidity, extreme temperatures and shock.

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Its software is identical to the Galaxy S8.

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You'll notice that the backing is grippier than the S8...

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...and that the edges are less rounded.

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The two phones share the same excellent 12-megapixel camera.

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10 of 26 Sarah Tew/CNET

And have the same Bixby Voice button on the side. In past phones in the Active line, this used to open a health app or any other app you chose. Our loss.

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11 of 26 Josh Miller/CNET

Now, you only get Bixby.

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You also don't have any buttons on the front of the phone, allowing for more screen real estate at the cost of more tactile control.

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You get a standard headphone jack and USB-C charger port.

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Compare the S8 Active, left, and Galaxy S8.

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The Active is definitely a chunkier hold.

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And the S8's edges look fragile by comparison.

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The contrast is pretty stark when you compare from the bottom...

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...or from the side.

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Once you put the Galaxy S8 in a case, they get to be about the same size.

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When I dropped both phones, the S8's case helped protect it from scratches and scruffs equal to the S8 Active's built-in shell.

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One more look at the two S8s side by side.

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Both the Galaxy S8 and the S8 Active are water-resistant.

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There's one other extra that the S8 Active has on top of the regular Galaxy S8, and that's a larger battery.

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The S8 Active's battery kept going for an average of 24 hours in our tests.

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Whichever phone you chose, you're getting some quality hardware specs.

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Read even more pros and cons in our full Galaxy S8 Active review.

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