Samsung traditionally brings out a rugged version of its Galaxy S flagship a short while after the smartphone launches, though in the UK you may not have been aware of this fact since they are usually sold as US-only AT&T exclusives. You’ll also like our full Galaxy S8 review.
The Galaxy S8 is already reasonably tough, with IP68-rated dust- and waterproof protection, and Gorilla Glass 5 protecting the screen. But there is an awful lot of glass in its design, and it appeals as much for its good looks as it does its performance and features. For some users, a protective case will not be enough.
So in 2017 the Galaxy S8 will be no different, and according to Sammobile Samsung is preparing an Active version of its new flagship.
Rumours often come from unexpected places, and Netflix has again confirmed the theory by claiming a Galaxy S8 Active has used its service. It confirms the Active supports HD streaming, though we’d be very surprised if it didn’t. Read: Galaxy S8 vs HTC U11.
Samsung itself appears to have outed the existence of such a handset on its own site, too:
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) June 19, 2017
When is the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active release date?
Samsung typically unveils its Active handsets in June, so we expect the Galaxy S8 Active to be announced this month.
The smartphone will once again be exclusive to AT&T in the US.
While customers elsewhere may be able to purchase the Galaxy S8 Active through channels such as eBay and Amazon, we recommend you very carefully check the frequency bands supported or it could form a very expensive paperweight.
Here’s how to check whether a phone is supported by your network.
How much will the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active cost?
Last year the Galaxy S7 Active was introduced with a $100 premium over the standard Galaxy S7, so we can expect the same again.
With a US price of $720 for the Galaxy S8, you can expect the S8 Active to cost around $820.
What are the rumoured features and specifications?
Codenamed ‘Cruiser’, the forthcoming Galaxy S8 Active (SM-G892A) will likely feature many of the same customisations as previous Active handsets that enable it to go the distance whatever the elements.
You can expect a higher-capacity battery (probably around 4,000mAh, and still with wireless and fast charging) and MIL-STD-810G compliance (pressure, temperature, shock and radiation resistance) to that regard.
It will more than likely feature rubber protection around its edges, making it both larger and heavier than the Galaxy S8.
In the Galaxy S7 Active the company added shatterproof protection to the screen, so it’s likely we’ll see the same again here. Should the screen become subject to damage, any cracks won’t spread across the entire screen.
The screen is unlikely to get the curved edges seen in the flagship models, which is a theory backed up by an image recently leaked by the Wireless Power Consortium. This image also tells us that there are no longer any buttons on the front of the device.
It will be interesting to see what Samsung does with the fingerprint scanner, which in the Galaxy S8 it has moved to the rear, and previously physical back and recent buttons.
Last year the internals were identical to that of the Galaxy S7, so we expect the same again for the Galaxy S8 Active. That means the Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a microSD card slot.
(In the UK the Galaxy S8 has the Exynos 8895 processor, but we won’t be getting the Active in the UK.)
Cameras will most likely continue at 12Mp at the rear and 8Mp at the front.
What we don’t yet know is whether, like previous Active phones, the Galaxy S8 Active will feature an Activity key in addition to the Bixby button.
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2017