Samsung's rugged flagship Galaxy S8 Active series, which has been exclusively retailing on AT&T since August, will now be available for two other network carrier subscribers soon.
The smartphone-maker confirmed that Galaxy S8 Active will be offered to T-Mobile and Sprint users in Meteor Gray colour option this month in the US. However, there is no specific information on the actual date of the release and price of the device but costs $850 at AT&T.
Nevertheless, this is a major move by Samsung, as the rugged Android flagship has been exclusive to AT&T since 2013 (Galaxy S4 Active) and with the extended availability, the company will be able to add more customers and increase the market share in the US.
This extension has also led many to believe that Samsung, if it receives a positive response from Sprint and T-Mobile customers, might expand the Galaxy S8 Active to several other network carrier brands, and also possibly outside the US, starting with Europe and other Asian regions in coming months.
For the uninitiated, Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is touted to be the company's toughest and most durable Galaxy phone series to date.
It boasts a high-grade metallic frame with an improved, rugged structure and certified shock-proof, shatter-proof (can survive a 5-foot drop on a flat surface), IP68-rated water-and-dust-resistant handset.
This means device-owners can take it for a dip in the swimming pool or any freshwater reservoir (river, pond or lake, and not the salty sea or ocean) and take pictures or take calls for 30 minutes up to under five feet of water.
It has also passed military specification (MIL-STD-810G) testing against a subset of 21 specific environmental conditions, including temperature, dust, shock (and vibration), and low and high altitude.
However, for want of maximum protection, Samsung Galaxy S8 Active has lost the trademark Infinity Display feature seen in the original Galaxy S8 series.
Though the current Galaxy S8 series is one of the best looking phones in the market, it's dual-curved screen design language is vulnerable to breakage when dropped from even from a low height.
(Note: All Galaxy S8 series owners are advised to buy protective guards to cover the front and back of their devices to prevent them from getting cracked or dented).
The new Galaxy S8 Active sports a 5.8-inch QHD (2K:1440x2560p) display. The key difference between the new and the old Active models is that the 2017-series has touch-based buttons on the screen, whereas the 2016 model had physical keys.
Another major difference between the original and the Active model is the battery capacity. The latter houses a 4,000mAh battery (with wireless charging capability) — 25 percent more than the standard Galaxy S8 (3,000mAh).
Rest of the internal hardware remains same for both the devices. It comes packed with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, advanced 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera setup with f/1.7 aperture and an 8MP Smart autofocus front-snapper with f/1.7 aperture.
The Galaxy S8 Active also boasts a dedicated Bixby button mapped to various functions such as Activity Zone, quick access to apps and proactive reminders.
Other stipulated features include Android 7.0 Nougat, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, Wi-Fi, 4G VoLTE and MST.
Another notable aspect of the Galaxy S8 Active is that it boasts 5G Evolution technology, which makes the device future-ready for the next generation of telecom standards.
The company has confirmed that it will offer high-speed internet and telecom service in Austin and Indianapolis, and in over 20 major US metros by the end of the year.