How does Samsung show they care about families? Answer: By giving parents one less thing to worry about - their phone. This is exactly what Samsung hopes to achieve with their remake of the Galaxy S4.
This was actually announced back in May, but only recently went on sale. According to Samsung's website, the S4 Active is currently available in blue through AT&T.
There are actually several key differences between the original S4 model and the S4 Active. Luke Mansfield, originally reported by DailyMail, stated:
We know a lot of parents use their phones to show children content. We ended up going to a lot of family homes where we were shown a graveyard of smashed phones.
Keeping this in mind, the S4 Active features a hardened case basically sealing in all the critical parts. This is designed to be dustproof and waterproof. The screen is made out of Gorilla Glass 2 offering a scratch resistance design.
In terms of official rating, the S4 Active received a rating of IP67. Decoding this can be a bit tricky, but the first number following the 'IP' identification provides the protection against solid objects. In this case, a rating of 6 represents protection from dust. The second number represents the protection of liquids. A rating of 7 represents the protection against the effects of immersion in water to depth between 15 cm and 1 meters.
More specifically, Samsung states that the S4 Active can stay under water for half an hour, allowing the user to take pictures underwater. Of course, what they don't tell you is the setup process. Before users can start taking pictures underwater, the touch screen is actually disabled and the user has to manually set alternative shutter controls.
Another major feature is WatchON allowing users to use the phone as a TV remote. This, supposedly, is to allow for greater convenience provided that users have a TV that has the Samsung hub integrated.
One major drawback has been apparent. Samsung is not honoring its warranty agreement. Samsung's warranty states:
This Limited Warranty does not cover: (a) defects or damage resulting from accident, misuse, abnormal use, abnormal conditions, improper storage, exposure to liquid, moisture, dampness, sand or dirt, neglect, or unusual physical, electrical or electromechanical stress [...].
As VentureBeat describes it:
Early owners of Samsung’s durable device are finding that, just because Samsung says the phone can survive a dip in a fish tank, that doesn’t mean the company is responsible for any potential damage resulting from the plunge.
As it turns out, it is still up to the user to take the necessary precautions and proper installment of the device before attempting any "extreme" usage.