Samsung S5 Active review


Welcome to the 2014 Samsung Galaxy S5 Active quick review. Our recent trip to Japan saw us trying out the latest ruggedised phone from Samsung, begin the S5 Active. Now we did much thinking and realised that all the current crop of ‘ruggedised’ phones should really be how regular phones are designed. That is phones that can be used in doors and outdoors without worrying about a few drops of water or dust and indeed accidentally.  That said the S5 Active is not indestructible but made with real more hard wearing materials than the regular Galaxy S5 and easily better than the iPhone 6 that has the potential to die when you leave your air conditioned car or plane to a humid environment – for instance.

In terms of construction the S5 Active looks and feels very good but we feel designed to be held by guy we think its just the colour scheme of the phone we tested which was the  military style camouflage scheme. In a regular grey it stands out as being more like a prop from a sci-fi movie. The S5 Active feels solid yet light enough considering the extra bumper protection system. We’re not sure how much actual metal there is on the phone but to be honest it didn’t matter. We have no complaints about anything and neither will you and we regard it as one of best made and impressive looking phones available in 2014.

In terms of hardware features the S5 Active has everything you could possibly want in 2014. It has things like infra-red blaster perfect of universal remote control, heart rate monitor, replaceable battery and even a micro SD slot. It is superior than the previous Galaxy S4 Active which was short changed on specs compare to the regular S4 of the same time. When compared to the regular Galaxy S5 we think the Active is the better looking phone. Since both have the same top end features

In terms of use the Galaxy S5 Active is very good. We didn’t find the interface daunting apart from the various update and status notifications seemingly more numerous than other operating systems. In fact the settings screen was more accurately described than on the iPhone OS for instance but Windows Phone 8 OS settings is better than either. Samsung’s Andriod OS appeals to those who want flexibility, customisation options and ability to do things that you can only dream of on an iPhone! However it has also become clear that if you want simplicity go for any Windows Phone 8.1 which easily beats the iPhone or Android.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is a very appealing smartphone in terms of looks and feel. It also has all the features of a top end smartphone that you can use without worrying too much about weather conditions and in this sense it is unique. All other phones have lower spec hardware and require additional, bulky and largely unattractive cases although admittedly providing very good protection to deal the day to day use. We definitely like the the S5 Active even more because it doesn’t come with any PR that goes too far.


  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
  • Network
    Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
    All 3G frequencies
    All 4G frequencies
  • Design
    Touch screen
  • L145.3 x W73.4 x D8.9 mm
  • Weight 170 grams
  • Display
    5.1 inch 1,280 x 1080 AMOLED
  • Camera
    16MP auto-focus
    LED Flash
    2nd forward facing still/video call camera 2MP
  • Video Camera
    1080p high definition 30FPS main video camera
    2MP Video phone camera
  • Connectivity
    Bluetooth V4
  • CPU
    Quad core 2.5 Ghz
    Separate Andreno 330 Graphics CPU
  • Memory
    2Gig RAM
    Up to 16 Gig for user
    Up to 128Gig micro-SD expansion
  • Features
    A-GPS, GLANOSS, Compass, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
    Proximity, Ambient Light, Barometer, Heart rate monitor
    Google Play store and Samsung Store
    Li-Po 2800 mAh battery
    Up to 20 Days standby
    Up to 24 hours Talk Time
  • Price history
    Approx $800 AUD late 2014 (Outright)