Back in the day, when people were still smarter than their phones and glasses were only used to deflect sun or improve eyesight, a mobile device’s sturdiness and reliability was equally as important if not more important than how “sleek” or “cool” the gizmo looked.

samsung galaxy s4 active1 Samsung Galaxy S5 rumored to be Active by default as water and dustproofing take off

Remember Nokia’s indestructible “bricks”? Everyone owned or wanted one and not just because iPhones were not yet around. But something went terribly wrong once phones became “smart”, with foolish races for world’s thinnest or world’s lightest deflecting the attention away from dependability.

Only it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice more and more people are returning to the roots of the mobile landscape, not by choosing feature phones over smart gadgets or preferring bulk over portability. Instead, by seeking products built of more reliable materials and capable of taking a swim or fall without instantly breaking down.

Enter Sony’s Xperia Z, one of the first high-end smartphones to see daylight on the Western hemisphere with resilience to both water and dust, followed by the Z1, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Active and soon enough the Note 3 Active.

Samsung Galaxy S4 active 2 Samsung Galaxy S5 rumored to be Active by default as water and dustproofing take off

But while Sony tends to make water and dust protection basic, primary features on its top-notch handhelds, Samsung still seems to think “Active” devices remain nichey and thus not worthy of breaking into the mainstream.

For now, because word around the street is next year’s Galaxy S5 will be Active right off the bat. Meaning, unlike the S4 Active, which came after the original S4 and downsized a few specs, the standard version of the GS5 will be top-notch in terms of hardware and software while also rocking a ruggedized exterior.

The big question is whether this changes anything in regards to Sammy’s prepared shift of design philosophy starting with the S5. Namely, will the S5 pioneer a new age of full-metal Samsung Galaxy phones after all or will it continue to view plastic as fantastic?

Only time will tell, so for the time being let’s make sure we take all the GS5 gossip with caution and a pinch of the proverbial salt.

Sources: Phone Arena, ET News