Samsung's Galaxy S8 Active, which is exclusive to AT&T network subscribers, will be made available to customers of other carriers in the coming weeks.
This a major move by Samsung. The rugged Android flagship has been exclusive to AT&T since 2013 (Galaxy S4 Active), but now things are to about to change, much to the delight of Samsung fans who subscribe to other telecom service providers.
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If prolific Twitter spy Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) is to be believed, the Galaxy S8 Active is coming soon to Sprint and T-Mobile, and also possibly to other mobile service providers (MSPs) in the coming months.
For those unaware, 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-foott 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 pressure altitude.
However, for want of additional protection, Samsung Galaxy S8 Active has lost the hallmark Infinity Display feature seen in the original Galaxy S8 series.
Though the design language of the current Galaxy S8 series is a visual delight, it makes the device vulnerable to breakage when dropped 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 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.
The new Galaxy S8 Active houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a 4,000mAh battery (with wireless charging capability) — 25 percent more than the standard Galaxy S8 (3,000mAh).
As far as the camera hardware is concerned, the Galaxy S8 Active comes with the 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.
The upcoming GigaLTE standard will support 1 Gbps internet speeds, but the Galaxy S8 Active, which is said to support 5G, will let users enjoy close to 10 Gbps download speed