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Samsung Galaxy S8 Active - Unboxing and First Impressions - Sprint Product Ambassadors

Sprint Product Ambassador

Hey Everyone!


It’s time again for another new and exciting device in the already-powerful Sprint lineup! Today I have the pleasure of writing about the Samsung GS8 Active, a tough phone ready to take on what you throw at it (or it at?).


Today’s blog is regarding my first impressions/unboxing!




The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is the latest installment in the S Series of devices on the Sprint network!


The device comes with the following in the box:

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
  • USB Type-C Charging Cable and Samsung Rapid Charging base
  • MicroUSB to Type-C Adapter
  • USB A (in) to Type-C out Adapter – This is great for transferring content via Samsung SmartSwitch, as well as plugging in a mouse or other USB peripheral should you need it
  • AKG Headphones – just like the Note 8



The devices comes out of the box with 7.0, not Oreo, but Samsung will likely be working on Oreo in a future release.  Stay tuned to Samsung & Sprint’s social channels for software updates as they become available.


Why go Active versus S8 non-Active?


The Galaxy S8 Active is a ruggedized version of the Galaxy S8. It provides nearly the same functionality as the GS8 handset, but it’s made for those who are either clumsy or who need a sturdy device on job sites or for their active lives.


The housing of the GS8 Active acts as its own case, meaning you don’t have to purchase one. There are options available, but these tend to add additional weight and size to the device that is simply unnecessary in my opinion.


The housing is more plastic than glass compared to it’s S8 variant, but this doesn’t make the device feel any less premium. The housing, as previously noted, acts as its own case and includes reinforced corner bumper guards to prevent damage during drops – these types of reinforcements are typical on many of the rugged cases you can purchase today such as those from UAG or OtterBox.


20180116_222039.jpgback view20180116_222053.jpgside view20180116_233545.jpgfront view


Overall, the device is pretty much the same as the S8 in terms of functionality, but there are some key differences to be aware of. If you want to skip my notes below, head here for the full differences from Samsung


Battery – In the S8 Active you get an extra 1,000 mAh of battery life (4,000 vs 3,000) than the S8. This is quite a bit more battery life packed into nearly the same size phone, so you know it’s going to last you just that little bit longer when you need it most!


Size/Weight – The S8 Active comes in slightly larger than the S8 at 5.99” tall, 2.95” wide, and .39” thick. The S8 in comparison is 5.86” tall, 2.68” wide, and .31” thick. In addition, the weight is actually a fairly large difference when we’re talking about phones. The S8 Active weight about 7.34 ounces (just under half of a loaf of bread!), and the S8 weighs just about 5.5 ounces. The extra size includes the built-in case and safety features to protect the device, and the weight goes right along with that extra protection. It’s worth it for piece of mind. In the end, it’s not something you’re going to notice for too long if you’re coming from a lighter phone. Plus, its nice to know you can feel it in your pocket, right?


Screen – The screen on the S8 Active is truly much different than that of the S8. While you still get the beauty that is the Super AMOLED, you do get added protection with an additional layer of protection. Instead of the typical glass feel that the other S-series devices have, you have a softer, plastic feel to the screen. This prevents shattering and significant damage to the screen. However, I will note that from previous experience with similar screens, this one is a bit more susceptible to scratches from keys and other items in your pocket. I highly recommend getting a screen shield for this guy if you want to avoid that.


Another note about the screen here – Because it is ruggedized, the edge-to-edge screen is not something that you’ll get with the S8 Active. The screen is reinforced to provide maximum protection, so there is a bit of a buffer on the screen that is noticeable. Again, however, this is worth the extra protection.


20180116_233500.jpgProtected screen20180116_233541.jpgProtected screen


Similar to other Samsung devices, the setup is easy, yet it does take some time to complete. Samsung adds on multiple items during the device setup process to ensure that you are able to use your phone efficiently after it’s fully set up. However, I do find that this becomes overkill at times, and it would be nice to see an option to “remind me later.”  Still, fully setting the device up from the beginning allows for a great user experience from the start.


After the setup process, the phones moves to the new Samsung UI, which is absolutely beautiful. This is the same user interface that you’ll see on other Samsung S Series devices, and one that I think makes it look professional and premium compared to other devices.


One tip when setting up the devices is to make sure that all applications are updated. Since devices come with the stock version of many applications, numerous updates may be available upon activation.  Head to the Google Play Store to update any Google or other applications on the device before you begin.  I would also recommend navigating to the Galaxy Apps store to update any Samsung-Specific applications prior to use. The nice thing about Galaxy Apps is that once an update is available, it will notify you upon launching the application.


Overall impressions


The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is durable, rugged, aesthetically pleasing, and fits well in the palm of my hand. I know it will be able to stand for whatever I might want to throw at it. I don’t need to purchase a case for the added protection, and I receive nearly all of the same features as the Galaxy S8 variant.


If you’re in the market for a rugged smartphone with the bells and whistles, then the S8 Active is truly the answer for you. It combines beauty and brawn in a way that not many other devices have been able to do!


I look forward to my journey with this device, and I hope you’ll stick around for the ride. There is a lot to share about this phone, and I intend to share as much as I possibly can about it! 


As always, thank you for stopping by to read this!  


What do you want to see in future blogs? What is a feature that you’d like to learn how to use?




Troy Glidden

Service & Repair Manager

Portland, OR area

Follow me on Twitter: 


The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. 


Sprint Product Ambassador

Beautiful device isn't it?  Great pics and great review Troy. 

Sprint Product Ambassador

@shanezam203 It's Gorgeous! I've often had a difficult time loving a "rugged" phone, but this one really works to avoid sacrificing features for security! I truly love this one