Galaxy S5’s extra-durable cousin, the S5 Active, is yet to be made official, but following a couple of unauthorized, comprehensive hands-on videos, the formal introduction looks like a mere formality.
Since Samsung upped the sturdiness ante on the standard S5, certifying it for basic water and dust resistance, we were doubtful about the practicality of an Active flavor from the get-go. As S5 Active’s story became to unravel and we discovered it featured all of S5’s specs and nothing extra, the media began to question Sammy’s clarity of mind even more.
After all, flooding the market with nearly identical devices is the OEM’s M.O., but in this case we could have been looking at interchangeable handhelds. Only that doesn’t appear to be the case, at least if we take for granted two YouTube clips allegedly starring the S5 Active.
And yes, the user who uploaded them has a spotty track record, very recently “leaking” out a purported S5 Prime that’s probably a fake. Yet the phone caught on camera this time around fits the S5 Active profile perfectly.
Aesthetically, it’s essentially a cross between the S4 Active and S5, with a hunkier, more muscular chassis. So yeah, that’s how it sets apart from the regular S5 – thanks to a bulkier, more robust body, leading to increased ruggedness and, possibly, better water protection.
S4 Active’s trio of protruding physical buttons is apparently here to stay, which leads to likely the only major S5 – S5 Active hardware distinction: the latter lacks fingerprint recognition. It does however sport a built-in heart rate monitor, plus a Full HD display, quad-core Snapdragon 801 chip and 2 GB RAM.
As a consequence, the SM-G870A AT&T-bound bad boy scores in GS5’s ballpark in most benchmarks, including AnTuTu and Geekbench. Again, this could all be a hoax, but it would need to be extremely complex for the pre-release prototype shown on video to boot to a text saying “Samsung Galaxy S5 Active Powered by Android”.