Samsung Electronics Co. has launched a new Galaxy 8 smartphone geared for users in extreme environments, such as outdoor sporting events and construction sites.
According to news from Bloomberg, the Galaxy S8 Active features a metal frame, larger battery and shatter-resistant screen, among other features. Samsung revealed the smartphone has also passed military specification testing.
The S8 Active comes just weeks ahead of Samsung’s upcoming media event in New York — scheduled for August 23, 2017 — where it is assumed the company will unveil a new smartphone. The Android device is expected to be called the Galaxy Note 8. It would be the first redesign to the Note line since the Note 7 battery debacle last year.
The Galaxy S8 launched in April to much fanfare, with one Forbes writer saying, “It might be the most beautiful smartphone ever made.” However, the phone did have its flaws, such as issues with facial recognition and disappointment with Bixby, the phone’s voice-activated AI assistant. There were also complaints that the Galaxy S8’s screen had a reddish tint.
Now, the S8 Active will be released exclusively in the U.S. with AT&T, Inc. as the Android device's carrier. The smaller, 5.8-inch model of the S8 smartphone received the rugged makeover. Samsung also sells a Galaxy S8+ phone with a 6.2-inch screen that has not been revamped.
The S8 Active costs $850, $100 more than the standard Galaxy S8.
The new S8 Active model loses the edge-to-edge screen design of the standard models — which is a key selling point of the device — in favor of a frame made for improved durability. The phone includes a larger 4000 mAh battery, giving the S8 Active better battery life than with the standard 3000 mAh battery pack.