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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active feedback thread: now with challenges added!

(116 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 07-Nov-13 14:48:58

This thread is for the very lucky 20 MNers who were selected from hundreds of you to try out the NEW Galaxy S4 Active handset from Samsung.

To check out the features of this smartphone please see here

Samsung says "We think this new handset would be great for parents. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is specifically designed to handle all aspects of modern family life - including

~ the great outdoors - with a fully sealed design that provides great protection from dust and water - you can even use the device to shoot photos and video underwater, with your results optimised by the new Aqua Mode.

~ everyday family life and all the challenges of modern family life.

~ looks and functionality - the Galaxy S4 Active also shares the Galaxy S4s slick design and useful smart services, so you can enjoy the same great style and convenience"

So testers please share - for the moment - your first impressions of the phone by answering the questions - challenges to come!

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?
~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?
~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?
~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?
~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?
~ Any additional comments

Challenges will follow!

Thanks MNHQ

PS We'd love more reviews of smartphones on MN: all welcome!

darksparrow Thu 07-Nov-13 17:24:26

What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?
I had a Galaxy S3 mini. It has meant that the leap to an S4 has been relatively painless. They display on the mini was okay, but very difficult to see in sunlight, even the highest setting wasn't enough. The camera wasn't the best either. I got it as the smaller size appealed to me at the time - now after having a larger phone with a much better screen that decision was an error!

What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?
I had heard the quality of the display on the S4 was great and the Active is just as good - but with the bonus of being a bit more robust. I have dropped a previous phone down the loo (an orginal S) and whilst it did live to tell the tail, it was a shock just how easy it was to ruin your phone.

What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up? FIrst impressions were I though it was going to be a bit more rugged - maybe have a built in skin or the like- suprisingly it looked very like a normal S4.

What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?
I have been too scared to use the waterproof feature - there is nothing physically about the design of the phone that fills me with confidence. I will do it as part of the challanges, but if I had bought my phone myself I don't think I would have the guts to put it under water.

The camera is great and the settings much easier to navigate round than my previous phone.

I've done lot of googling and watching You tube to customise the phone to how I like it - turning off notifications, welcome message and the like.

I've not tried the sound and motion features yet will do this weekend and post again.

What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?
It feel quite big and slippery - I've order a skin for it to improve the grip. The weather has turned very cold here and I'm wearing gloves and have been worried about dropping the phone. I understand the need for physical buttons so you can operate the phone underwater when the touch screen won't work but they do feel a but clunky when you are used to the flush buttons - it reminds me of using my old S. I prefer the look without the buttons but I guess that they are needed for functionality.

Any additional comments
My DH who has an iphone 5 is very jealous and thinks my new phone is fabulous.

There are few accessories for the active which is quite frustrating. I've ended up going for a Samsung skin but I would have liked more choice. I also like to run with my phone and, as it will not not fit in the pocket for my running tights I am in the market for an arm holder - but finding, again, very little choice which is surprising as the phone is marketed to outdoor types.

Indith Thu 07-Nov-13 17:49:09

Placemarking for later

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?

I had a Galaxy Ace, which drove me utterly bonkers because the internal memory was tiny so it was unable to have more than about 4 apps downloaded. It ran slowly, froze a lot, and the camera never seemed to take decent photos no matter what I did with the settings. It was my first foray into smartphones having been happy with a very basic camera phone for a long time, and I wished after using it for a few weeks that I'd done more research before choosing it as it just didn't seem very, well, smart ...

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

The large screen, the large internal memory, and the fact it is meant to be very tough - I have a whirlwind toddler who delights in throwing things/dropping things/hiding things, a 10 yr old who likes using my phone for games and taking photos, and a hopelessly clumsy DP who has been through 3 phones this year so far (he hasn't been allowed to touch it yet, the children have though grin ) I also have a friend with an S3 which I've always liked the look of.

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

I was surprised it seemed so shiny and thin, I think I was expecting something more like one of those rubber coated radios that builders have grin As soon as I plugged it in to charge and the screen lit up I was really impressed by the display and quality of the screen. Its far beyond what I was used to from my previous handset, much much crisper and clearer with richer colours.

Set up was completely painless. Everything transferred fine, I had to get my SIM cut down to a micro SIM before being able to finish setting up but a nice man on the market in town did that for me (and drooled over the phone a bit too)

I can't quite believe it'll stand up to much dropping or underwatering - it just goes against everything I know about expensive technology - but I am willing to trust Samsung on this!

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

Used the camera, lots. Most of the pictures are coming out really good but I'm having some trouble getting anything black to photograph well in low light - flash or no flash. This isn't something I'd usually notice but its been Hallowe'en and Bonfire stuff galore here recently and I couldn't get a good picture of DD (10) in her cat outfit at all. I suspect however that there will be a setting I can change to improve that, I just haven't found it yet!

Loving the forest themed alarm I've set up - I've actually timed it for before DS (3) wakes, specially so I can have a gentle awakening in advance of the toddler day starting. This is what passes for relaxation now I have children hmm

Downloaded heaps of apps now that I've got the space to do so - the Guardian, FB, Ebay, mobile banking, weather, all the obvious ones and then a star gazing one, relaxation sounds, CBeebies for DS and one called My Horse for DD. No MN app here though, I know from past experience its a bit rubbish (sorry MNHQ) but have the mobile site bookmarked on the homescreen. Customised everything, set up different sounds for everything - it felt like 'mine' really fast which I love.

DD has asked me to say that her favourite thing of all so far is the bead of light on the lock screen which moves around if you hover your finger over the screen. I like this too, it entertains me more than it ought to, but I wouldn't go as far as to say its my favourite thing hmm

Not yet tried it underwater as the bath plumbing is out of order but MNing from the bath is something I am massively looking forward to as soon as its all fixed.

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

Feels light and easy to use despite the size. I did think it would be a bit big in one hand but actually its not. I do have to say that I am having trouble with the side button placement - its so hard to avoid hitting the volume button when going for the power button and vice versa. I think its something I'll get used to and my fingers will learn not to do with time but its quite frustrating at first.

Like the different coloured LEDs to tell me different things.

I've bought it a nice purple gel case and a screen protector which give me a bit more peace of mind over the fairly high chance of it being dropped!

~ Any additional comments

Everyone who has seen it loves it, including my die hard iPhone lover of a younger brother.

DoItTooJulia Thu 07-Nov-13 20:04:00

I had a HTC before. It was really frustrating, difficult to scroll down with, tatty really quickly, clunky and generally inferior to my DHs iPhone.

My first impressions when I got it and fired it up was how slim, shiny and delicate it seemed! The screen is huge and bright and clear, which is great.

So far i have used and loved the TV remote feature! It's bloody brilliant! Ds has been on YouTube on it and loved watching science videos and minecraft tutorials. It kept him quiet on a two hour car journey, which is a first! I haven't had chance to download my apps yet, but tha will be my job over the next couple of days. The ringtones are bit meh, so I'll be setting up a new one!

The phone looks great, it feels lovely too. It's quite big, but not in a brick kind of way, more in a mini tablet kind of way. Everybody is very very jealous of it!

emblosion Thu 07-Nov-13 21:20:06

I had a htc desire S before. I was happy with it initially but it was showing its age, the screen was losing sensitivity and it needed periodically restarting to stop the software from freezing up - very irritating. My DS had chomped on it and the power button had stopped working properly - the phone would randomly turn off and refuse to turn on - annoying and inconvenient. The camera was not great quality and very fuzzy in lower light levels.

The s4 active appealed to me in particular because the toddler is a one-child wrecking force and has already broken remote controls, my previous phone (see above) and has a penchant for immersing things in water..... the s4 got great reviews and my husband has a S3 that he was very pleased with.

First impressions were how light and thin the phone was and how HUGE the screen was. The screen resolution is really sharp and I love the size of the screen - way bigger than my old phone. I think I was also expecting something more rubbery (!). It is bigger than my old phone but not uncomfortably so and it is fine to hold in one hand. It was very intuitive and easy to set up, although I am used to android phones I haven't had a Samsung before and it was fine to find my way around.

I had to wait a few days for my new sim to arrive but in the meantime made full use of the internet via wifi and getting my apps set up and downloaded. I've watched videos and was pleased with the picture and sound, used the camera - which is fantastic, and played a few games. I actually find the keyboard a bit awkward for typing - I keep accidentally hitting numbers instead of the top row of letters but that is probably at least partially my butterfingers and I think someone mentioned that this is a setting you can change, so I'll have a play around with that. I thought the sound quality on the earpiece was very good - way better than my htc.

I'm planning to get a case and a screen protector but haven't got round to it yet - I do find the phone a bit slippery? I've dropped it a couple of times, but that might be because it's wider than I'm used to (and the aforementioned butterfingers)

it's generally a lovely looking phone and everyone that sees it is wildly jealous! I'm really looking forward to the challenges.

androbbob Thu 07-Nov-13 21:53:43

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?

I have a Nokia - basic phone but not a smart phone. I did have a Blackberry for work, but change of employer meant a downgrade of phone! I found the BB great as I could send emails and take photos and send them on to whoever I needed to while out and about on site. I am a civil engineer and working full time on a construction site.

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

The size of the screen - I did think the phone too large at first and heavy, but the more I have used it, I find it solid. It is bright and colourful on the screen too. My SIL has an S3 mini so I knew what to expect, but I think this is far better. We have compared them!! The fact that it is dust proof and waterproof (not tried this yet...afraid) is a good feature for me.

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

The phone seems shiny and sleek and I was expecting a more rugged looking phone. The proper buttons on the bottom are good. My sim fitted in fine and all my contacts were there and I received a text from my provider to set up the facilities I needed. It all works fine and I have no issues.

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

I have connected to the internet via wifi, so can get my emails.

I have taken photos for work and emailed them to my work email address

I have downloaded a couple of games and some apps for me and these work well. I want to try to download a book and a video to see how well these work. I also have my banking on the go, which is useful.

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

I think it feels solid, not too heavy and not to chunky, but well built. It is large though and I struggle with typing text as I catch the wrong letters frequently. I have jsut noticed the coloured lights - blue for a text message, and a green and red one as well. Good for when the screen is locked and blank.

I have struggled to get a case for it as its too big for pockets, so gets chucked in my bag. Had to order one on line. I suspect this is as it is fairly new, but Carphone Warehouse, 02 and Phones 4 u didnt have a great choice for many phones.

~ Any additional comments

I like the phone so far - nothing negative to say.

magentastardust Fri 08-Nov-13 00:06:33

*What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?

I had a 4 year old LG cookie so as you can imagine I was delighted at getting the chance to try out a smart phone . My old phone still did the job of texting and calls but having access to emails and social media on the go for work will make a big difference.
I also had an ipod touch which I just loved and used for pictures, viber , apps but it now has a cracked screen and doesn't update anything as it is a couple of years old and therefore ancient in technological terms!

* What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?
I liked the fact that it was marketed as being 'whatever proof' -I have 3 children the youngest a very energetic 2 year old ,so having something that is wipe clean, waterproof and robust if it gets dropped was very appealing. I also liked the look of the big screen and the camera-I love taking pics on the go of the kids and uploading pics to facebook and the like.

* What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

It was lighter than I was expecting, for some reason I was expecting it to be quite masculine and looking like one of those rubber coated jcb phones! I also worried that it would be too big to use one handed as with my toddler always around that wouldn't have been handy but that's not the case at all.

I was really impressed by the picture quality and screen display -really clear and better than I was expecting.

Set up was fine-I of course had an old sim card so I had to get a micro sim after having a delay with the delivery of mine I was very impatient about getting going so decided to just trim my sim myself with the help of google and youtube-worked perfectly and all my numbers transferred over without a hitch.
I had to use google a lot though to find out how to work my way around the phone and turn off push in apps and get settings as I wanted them-a couple of days in I am finding my way around no problem but I think some sort of guide would have been good.

I am a bit scared to drop it or put it underwater -it doesn't really look any different from other smart phones so I am going to have to be brave for the challenges. Like a poster above said -I'm not sure that if it had bought the set myself that I would be confident about putting it underwater.

* What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

I have used the camera and down loaded photo editing apps -really enjoying these. Dd1 and I tried the drama mode to take pictures of her dancing across the room.

I have downloaded quite a few apps- Facebook, twitter ,MNtalks, kindle,pinterest, Tesco groceries , tune in radio -really simple and quick to do. Love that the kindle app syncs with my kindle too.
It is a good sized screen for a lot of these apps.

Have had a quick play with the S Health app but haven't used it properly yet.
liking the motion features, the screen capture took me a while to master but I have it now. The same with the finger being used to scroll up and down -a bit hit and miss. Can't seem to get the head tilt to work though.
The hovering and revealing text messages is good too.

Also been using the alarm which I love -so much nicer being slowly woken in the morning to 'a walk in the forest' instead of beeping or an irritating tune.

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

I think the phone looks good , It is manageable with one hand and it looks impressive. It feels a bit slippy ni my hand and I am a bit scared I will drop it very soon.
It is a bit of an awkward size though to fit in pockets or inside phone pockets of handbags -I have ordered a cover and a pouch though although it is quite hard to get covers and cases -less choice compared to all the other types of phones.
I think if I had a choice I probably would have preferred the more feminine looking white Samsung s4' and I also prefer the touch buttons rather than physical ones. I do understand why in this case they have replaced them for actual buttons though.

ShatnersBassoon Fri 08-Nov-13 10:06:21

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?

Sony Xperia. I didn't like how it felt. It was a lot heavier than the HTC Wildfire I'd had previously, although quite a bit bigger. I had to buy a gel cover for it because it was so slippery in my hands, which obviously added bulk to a nice slim phone. But it would seem that this is a normal thing for modern smart phones, as the S4 proved to be worryingly slippery too!

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

I like that it's tougher than the average smart phone. I cracked the glass on my HTC by dropping it off my lap onto a gravel path, and it couldn't be repaired. I'm not frightened to let the children squabble over it have a go on it.

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

It's so light! And feels so delicate! I was expecting something like phones I've seen builders using with big rubbery padding around them. I think going from the Xperia which is remarkably heavy has made the lack of weight all the more obvious.

Set up was very easy. I think it was quite instinctive and obvious, nothing was puzzling.

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

I'm very impressed with the camera. I've never had any success with taking photos on phones, everything coming out blurry, but I've had some great clear shots on this. I like the 'cheese' and 'smile' thing, very clever.

The touch screen seems very sensitive which has annoyed me a couple of times, but I think I'm just going to subconsciously develop a new way of handling the phone to stop my fat fingers splurging letters all over the place.

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

I love the look of the phone. It's big, the display is very clear, sharp and easy to see.

I'm not yet used to the 'real' buttons at the bottom, having had 'screen' buttons on my old phone, but I believe they're essential for underwater functioning, just seems a bit clunky.

It feels too slippery in my hand, and DH said the same. So slippy that I couldn't hold it when I had gloves on the other evening. I've ordered a cover for it to stop me worrying about butter fingers. I was a bit disappointed that I'd had to do this, adding bulk to a slim but already pretty big phone. A slim, rubbery ridge down the edges would make a huge difference. The children, with their clammy little hands, don't find it slippery, but I'll be glad when I get the cover on it!

~ Any additional comments

I'm feeling very, very nervous about submerging the phone. My common sense will be fighting my hand all the way!

GhostsInSnow Fri 08-Nov-13 10:46:36

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?
I had the Galaxy S II, it was slow mostly but it didn't seem particularly tough. I doubted it would stand up to anything challenging. For example, walking the dog in the rain and checking a text was a definite no! I imagine it wouldn't have fared well had I dropped it either.

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

It's water resistant features. The fact that I could check texts in the rain or change the song I'm listening to without panicking that it was going to go bang in a puff of smoke.

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

It was quick! Very quick! Set up was very easy for me with coming from an SII I had a Google Account which did everything for me, imported all my contacts etc. Great to have the security of never losing important contacts.

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

Had a play with the camera on Bonfire Night. The night feature was fantastic. Love the air gestures too, especially where you can hover your hand over the locked phone to check for missed calls/texts. And the 'turn over to silence' feature is fantastic!

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

The phone feels light, yet sturdy in my hands. Whilst I think I'd still have my heart in my throat dropping it I feel much more confident it would survive it than any other handset I've had. I love the steel bolts on the back of the casing too! Nice little details like that and the covers for the charging port really do make this phone stand out.

~ Any additional comments

I really do love this handset. I know I've said much about it's water resistant features already but that really is a huge selling point of this phone for someone who uses a handset outdoors or even in a steamy bathroom.
Can't wait to put it through some challenges this weekend!

MellowMarshmallow Fri 08-Nov-13 13:51:27

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?
HTC Desire X It had the most amazing camera.....and that was it. Frequent updates which made the phone run slower, and twice wiped my contacts. It broke 3 times in 2 months. Once when the cat knocked a glass of water near it, and some water seeped underneath the phone. It was not submerged at all, just stood in about 2mm of water for a mater of seconds. Another time it broke when some rain water dripped into - quickly got the horizontal lines of death, although the jury is still out whether it was caused by the rain or the update that went on at around the same time. Finally screen smashed when ds2 dropped it onto a tiled floor.

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?
That I can use it to text, use apps, take pictures even when it is raining without fear of it being ruined. We are a very active family and out in all weathers, and need a phone to keep up with us.

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?
First impression was that it looked enormous. My HTC was my first smartphone and it's tiny in comparison. Set up fine. Had to get micro SIM. Contacts sorted and used this opportunity to revisit which apps I really want on my phone and find some new ones.

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?
The camera which I love because the big screen makes it so much easier to see my pics, and when I upload them to FB I can see what everyone else can see. True story - I once snapped a family shot of my dbs playing with dc, using my HTC, uploaded it to FB, then got lots of comments about my db's backside - his jeans were showing a tad too much, but because the screen was so small I hadn't noticed when I checked the picture - but on a full size computer or laptop screen it was obvious. Don't expect to have any screen size problems with this whopper.

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?
It looks huge, and it feels really wide. I am using it with two hands. I think that's a confidence issue and I will get used to using it one handed.

~ Any additional comments
I have just realized from reading other people's feedback that I can put Kindle on this and because the screen is so huge I can read it (couldn't do that with HTC comfortably) - so happy - that's my weekend project.

I feel so much more confident letting dc have it to take photos with,play apps, using it in the bath, using it outdoors because it is designed to be rugged.

Indith Fri 08-Nov-13 15:48:57

What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?

I had a Sony Experia...Tipo I think? Little bottom of the range one.
It was basically the cheapest smart phone I could get, it was my fisrt foray into smart phone. It was very slow and had a tiny memory so was always yelling at me that it was full, or would try to update and fail due to lack of storage space.I basically never used internet stuff unless on wireless as it was very slow.

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

Very shiny, felt nice but it looked HUGE compared to my little sony.

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

It was pretty easy to set up, I've struggled a bit to find some stuff but I've got used to the layout now and it is ok. I agree with others a little basic "getting started" type user guide would have been good. I've got used to the size now and it feel good. I've got most of my apps and things sorted now.

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

I've had it in the bath which was nice, though like others I've not dared to dunk it!

The dcs had fiddled and dropped it. I'm not keen on letting them play much though, I've found the emergency call key pad VERY easy to swipe and bring up so I really have to keep it out of reach of the toddler which is a shame. I've had a few phone break because of toddlers teething on them and otherwise bashing them so I was really looking forward to being able to be more relaxed about this indestructable phone. My little sony the toddler could fiddle with when the screen was locked without doing much harm, I just had to be careful he didn't drop it in the loo or something but I've stopped letting him play with this one because within 2 seconds of getting it he has the keypad up.

I love the head tilt stuff, really nice to be able to flop with phone and not have it rotate the screen the wrong way! The scrolling by eye gaze I've not really used so far. I have it switched on but it seems sporadic, the other day it started doing it an it was fab but I've not managed ot make it do it again since.

I love the screen size for web browsing and kindle reading. I'm out tomorrow night and then taking dd to Rugby on Sunday so will no doubt have a chance to play in the rain and to test some camera features.

Currently listening to the radio on iplayer on it and it sounds good. Have also watched some stuff on 4od and it was really good.

So far when I've used it on 3g it has been much faster than my old phone.

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

I think once you get used to the size it is really nice, it looks and feels good. It really doesn't look like it is a tough as it claims. The screen is really nice to touch. I have got it a little gel case thingy and I do have a screen protector but I've not put it on yet, I am loathe to put anything on it that will make the screen feel less nice. But I think I still will, it spends a lot of time lurking in my bag with keys and other things that may scratch it.

~ Any additional comments

Looking forward to teh challenges. Need to pop some music on it really and try out the headphones, maybe take it for a run.

HowardTJMoon Fri 08-Nov-13 16:32:58

What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?
I've had a Samsung Galaxy S2 since 2011. There was little about it that I found particularly frustrating to be honest - it's still a good phone even though it's starting to show its age a bit.

What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?
I like the idea of a phone that I don't have to worry about using in the rain or in grubby areas. It's also a very powerful piece of kit.

What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?
The thing that I noticed first was the quality of the screen. It's gorgeous. The individual pixels are just so tiny you can't see them at all. Instead, you just get perfectly crisp text and images. the phone itself seemed quite heavy compared to my S2 but I soon got used to it and the weight does lend it a solid feel. The set-up was quick and easy. Once I put my Gmail account details in it automatically loaded up all the same apps that I had on my S2 and all I needed to do was re-arrange the home screen the way I like it and re-enter a few passwords for various services.

What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?
I found all the various smart-stay and smart-scroll stuff rather distracting at first so I've decided to turn them all off and try them out one by one to see which work for me. I haven't had much luck with the "keep the screen on while you're looking at it" feature but I do like the "vibrate the phone when you pick it up if you have new messages" feature. The "wave your hand over the phone while it's sleeping to get it to show the time, missed calls and battery state" thing is very cool but I wonder how much battery it uses up.

What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?
I like the solid, almost industrial look and feel of it. The menu/home/back buttons are annoyingly stiff to use although maybe they will get a bit softer over time. Have I mentioned the screen? It's fantastic!

Any additional comments
I notice that the standard Galaxy S4 has a wireless charging option. The S4 Active would really benefit from the same facility as it would mean you wouldn't need to fiddle with the little cover on the micro-usb socket every time it needed charging. Please, Samsung, if you produce nothing else for the S4 Active, please at least offer a wireless charging option!

MoogDroog Fri 08-Nov-13 20:36:43

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?
I had an iPhone 3gs. I was getting along well with it until it upgraded to ios 6 and from then on it ran like a wilting cabbage, crashing constantly and needing to be reloaded every few weeks.

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?
I liked it's tough claims and big screen. Durability and features like being waterproof are really useful with small dc's.

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?
my first impressions were of how substantial very elegant it is. I was expecting something more rugged and utility, but it's very beautiful. Once it sprang into life I was astounded at the clarity of the screen.
Set up was very easy really, was guided through most of it, though I have done a fair amount of Googling over the last few days to get things just right. I'm attributing much of that to moving over from an apple phone.

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?
I think I've had a play with most of the features and I'm really impressed. The camera is really good - I took it out on a family walk and we got caught in a downpour. I was able to carry on taking pictures in the rain without worrying. I love that you can take a picture by saying 'cheese' or 'smile'.
I really like the air gestures and being able to scroll a page by tilting my head - I can really see these being useful when I'm in the kitchen with mucky hands.
I've used my phone as a remote control, and managed to get the TV to show what's on my phone screen.
I tested it's waterproof claims by taking it in the bath - I was able to MN whilst I wallowed and gave it a drunk and it was fine.
Looking forward to trying the touch screen with gloves as it gets colder.
Everything it does is amazingly fast. It's a very clever, very powerful little machine.

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?
It feels great. It's a very pleasing phone to look at, unfussy and sleek. Very thin, big screen and a decent weight. I've bought a case and a screen protector, which has added a bit of bulk but I feel happier with them on!

~ Any additional comments
It does chew through the battery quite a bit and I can see myself buying a spare, though it is quick to charge up again. A slightly longer charge lead would be good too.

YeahBuddy Fri 08-Nov-13 23:49:35

~ What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?

I actually had an S4 that I got when they first came out (back in April/May time). The only thing that annoyed me was the fact that it seemed to have a life of its own, getting things to work and moving around the phone felt illogical after being an avid iPhone user for so long. BUT the most frustrating thing about it is that it died on me! I have just turned two year old twins and one of them got hold of my phone and killed it with dribble - cue lengthy (and costly) insurance claim...

~ What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

Definitely the fact that it appears to be toddler-proof - although only time will tell I suppose!

~ What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

First impressions actual were that it looked slightly cheaper than the original S4, I wasn't sure about the buttons at the bottom of the screen although I have grown to like them a lot. Now I have a case on it you can't tell the difference between the active and the original s4. Set up was very easy, I just popped in my sim and put my Google details in and all the apps I had on my S4 were automatically downloaded - very easy!

~ What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

I have actually been using the motion controls a lot more with this phone than my last, they seem to have been tweaked slightly to work better. The camera, as before, is brilliant but I can't wait to try it out underwater!

~ What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

It is very light, which it needs to be being this size. At the moment I am typing this on the phone whilst lying on my side in bed which isn't the most comfortable of positions as I need both hands to type with, this is however a very minor irritation and is what comes with having a screen as big as the S4 has.

~ Any additional comments

another thing I have noticed is the battery life on the Active appears to be slightly better. I still have to charge it every night (which I have now been doing for years anyway!) But it does not seem to drain as quickly.

Looking forward to the challenges grin

MellowMarshmallow Sat 09-Nov-13 23:04:44

MNHQ could we have a thread for us to share cool features, and apps for the phone? Wasn't sure if I could start one in product tests?

Indith Sun 10-Nov-13 08:23:12

Good idea.

took mine on a MN meet up. purely to test the camera you understand. I possibly only took a couple of pictures and then the cocktails y took over.

emblosion Sun 10-Nov-13 10:49:16

I can report today that phone has survived a body slam from ds1! He was toddling about pretending to talk into it, slipped and fell, slamming phone screen down onto floor to break his fall. Heart was in my mouth as I've no case or screen protector yet but all is perfectly fine. Well done Samsung!

magentastardust Sun 10-Nov-13 11:07:42

Yes that would be good as wasn't sure if it was ok to post here either?

How is everyone getting on with covers etc. I got a clip on hard shell cover which is fine but I also ordered a pouch as my main worry is it gettting scratched in my handbag. its too big to fit in any 'phone pockets' inside handbags.
My pouch arrived, but I can get the phone in but can't get it out very easily -too much of a tight squeeze. It was sold as for an S4 active too. angry
Anyone got links to any pouches/covers that they have?
Have put a screen protector on which will do the job but doesn't feel as nice!smile

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 10-Nov-13 12:27:51

MellowMarshmallow - I'd love you to put them on THIS thread....all comments/ sharing very much welcome (and nice and tidy too all in one place) - thanks.

MellowMarshmallow Sun 10-Nov-13 13:48:22

Oh ok. Wasnt sure if it was for questions only. Tried and failed to use drama shot today but otherwise photo quality brilliant. Got amzer riuble layer case. Not pretty but fits well and feels sturdy.

MoogDroog Sun 10-Nov-13 14:08:20

Magenta - I bought this case for it. It seems sturdy, but does add quite a lot of bulk. it's got a stand as well which might come in handy. I've put a screen cover on too, which I've got used to, though it doesn't feel quite as nice. I might knit a pouch for it, as it doesn't fit in any of my phone pockets either.

I love this phone. I've quit nicking DH's ipad too as it's such a joy to use.

Indith Sun 10-Nov-13 14:10:56

I got one of these for mine.

ShatnersBassoon Sun 10-Nov-13 14:13:38

I've ordered a couple of rubbery silicone ones from eBay for £1 or so each, and they come with screen protector film. I just want something to stop it slipping out of my hand!

alemci Sun 10-Nov-13 16:10:16

What handset did you have before and what frustrated you about it?

I had a Galaxy G something. It kept locking when you are looking at say a n.o. so the information keeps on disappearing. It was ok and useable.

What was most appealing about the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active?

For me the fact that it is a smartphone so I can access the internet and add apps and have it when I am out and about. It looked attractive and had a nice sized screen.

What were your first impressions when it arrived and you got it fired up? How was the set up?

I thought it was very attractive but I was nervous that I wouldn't get to grips with it and it may be complicated.
The set up was slightly tricky as I had to order a new sim card and then my network provider had to switch me onto having 3G which they had to activate at their end.

What features have you used so far? What's your opinion of these?

I have downloaded some apps such as radio which I listened to and ebay and i have already used it to put stuff on. I also used the camera and storybook which was very easy to do. The diary planner thing is good as well. very impressed with all the features.

What about how the phone looks and feels in your hand?

Although the phone is bigger than my last one, it is really light. Feels very comfortable in my hand

Any additional comments

Haven't used the water feature yet. I was worried if the back of the phone is secure. I haven't taken the plastic bit off yet on the back.

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