When Samsung released the Galaxy S4 it followed up its popular handset with four slightly different versions that appealed to a range of users. We had the S4 mini, a more compact, less powerful handset that also came in at a slightly cheaper price; we had the S4 Google Play Edition, which ran a vanilla Android OS; there was the S4 Zoom, which featured a 16Mp camera; and then there was the S4 Active, a dustproof, waterproof, rugged version of the standard Galaxy S4. Also see: 26 best smartphones 2014.
Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona on 24 February. Since then, rumours of S5 mini and S5 Primesmartphones have appeared, while a Photoshopped S4 that looked very much like the Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition briefly popped up on the Play Store, and that same device is said to have received Bluetooth certification. The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, meanwhile, is a 20.7Mp version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 - it's the S5 Zoom.
We've written up everything there is to know about both the Samsung Galaxy S5 mini (as before, a more compact, lower-spec version of the standard S5), and Galaxy S5 Prime (a high-spec S5 with a Quad-HD screen and a brushed-metal finish), but we assumed that given the Galaxy S5's dust- and waterproof credentials an Active version would not be required. Isn't the Samsung Galaxy S5 already a rugged smartphone?
But we were wrong, it would appear, if two TK Tech News videos of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active that appeared online earlier this week (below) are anything to go by.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active: Video
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active: Release date UK
Samsung's Galaxy Premiere press event is scheduled for 12 June in New York. We'd be surprised to not see the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active make its appearance at this event, making it likely that the S5 Active will be available to buy in the UK by the end of June. After all, at last year's Premiere event we saw the appearance of the S4 mini, Active and Zoom.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active: Price UK
Amazon lists the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active's RRP as £580, although it is currently selling there for £285. By comparison, the standard S4 has an RRP of £629, yet sells for £310. The S5, meanwhile, has an RRP of £599 and sells for around £495. Following this pattern, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active will probably have an RRP around £550, and quickly be discounted below £500.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active: Design
The only major differences between the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Active were its slightly sturdier (by this we mean slightly chunkier, taller and heavier), water- and dustproof body, lower camera resolution (8Mp vs 13Mp) and underwater photography mode, plus three plastic hardware buttons on its front.
From the videos we can see the Galaxy S5 Active retains the Galaxy S4 Active's hardware buttons, plus you can see S5-specific features such as the heart-rate sensor. Once again, it looks a little larger than the standard version, and features a metal (possibly aluminium) chassis with hard rubberised corners to protect against damage. The rubber waterproofing seal is deeper than that of the standard S5, suggesting it will survive longer underwater.
Samsung Galaxy S5 Active: Hardware and performance
As is seen in the video, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is running Android KitKat 4.4.2 and has the model number SM-G870A. A device known as the Samsung SM-G870 is listed in the GFXBench results database, where it is said to be running a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with Adreno 330 graphics, 1.8GB of RAM and 11GB of storage (that'll be 16GB minus KitKat and Samsung's additional software), which are in line with the Samsung Galaxy S5 itself.
However, GFXBench suggests it has a 5.2in (1920x1080) screen and a 15Mp rear camera (the standard S5 has a 16Mp model). These are promsing specs, given that the previous S4 Active featured a lower-quality LCD screen and its camera halved the number of megapixels offered by the standard S4. TK Tech News believes both to be AMOLED screens.
In the GFXBench T-Rex test the S5 Active scored 28fps, and it managed 12fps in Manhattan. These are identical to our own results for the Samsung Galaxy S5, which again suggests not much has changed on the hardware front.