This review is about 4500 words long. We do that a lot here at Android Police, and if you want an exhaustive breakdown of the hardware and software in the Galaxy S7 Active, then by all means, read on. But if you want the long and the short of it, here it is: the S7 Active is a Galaxy S7 with a permanent "tough" case around it and an extra 1000mAh of juice. If that sounds like a good thing, and good enough that the $100 premium AT&T asks is reasonable, then the phone is right up your alley.
If you'd rather have something smaller, or more trendy, or with a bigger screen or a modular capacity, look elsewhere.
Now that the primary Galaxy S7 series has regained its water-resistant powers, one might wonder why we need a ruggedized "active" version. And the answer is that, while the S7 and S7 Edge are some damn fine phones, all that delicately curved and exposed glass isn't exactly what you'd call durable. If the general tank-like construction of the Galaxy S7 Active isn't enough to turn your head, consider that it has almost exactly the same capabilities as its more mainstream brother (which is fairly unusual for rugged phones), plus an even bigger 4000mAh battery.
We really love a good deal here on Android Police, but what we love more is a good freebie. Granted, in this case, you have to buy something and part with your hard-earned cash to get your gift, but you're still eventually getting a gadget for the awesome price of zero bucks. And it's even better when both items are best sellers and really well rated on Amazon. If you're interested, here are the deets.
The speaker in question is Omaker's M4. It's IP54 rated to be shockproof, dustproof, and splashproof. It has Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC to easily connect any Android phone (or other device) and start music playback.
Kyocera is one smartphone manufacturer that could care less about beating the competition on specs. It makes cheap phones that either won't receive updates or won't get them until long after you've given up hope. But the handsets are affordable, and many of the later models tend to be pretty rugged.
Both of these hold true for the Kyocera Hydro Wave, which is now available from T-Mobile and on its way to MetroPCS. This 5-inch qHD phone comes powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal memory. Fortunately, there's a microSD card slot for extra storage.
Samsung's Active line of phones have been dull but reliable machines for the last few flagship generations, and it looks like they're bringing them back for another round. GSMArena has posted photos of what definitely looks like a Galaxy S6 Active, and we've been able to confirm that this is what the phone will look like (with a very small margin of error) thanks to a secondary source.
When we talk about Motorola, we usually mean Motorola Mobility. That's the company that makes phones, while Motorola Solutions is a telecom and equipment maker. They were both spun off from the classic Motorola Inc., but now we have reason to talk about Motorola Solutions. This entity will be announcing an Android device on October 21st. Neat.
Mountain climbing! Off-road biking! Skiing! Climbing trees! All of these activities are simply too extreme for your current smartphone, or so Cat (nee Caterpillar, the bulldozer people) would have you believe. Their latest Android-powered rugged phone is the S50, announced today at IFA in Berlin and boasting mid-range specs with a body that looks like it's designed to shrug off shrapnel. It's the follow-up to Cat's B15, a phone durable enough to survive an encounter with a front-end loader.
The S50 improves on the predecessor in every way, with a bigger 4.7" Gorilla Glass 3 screen (resolution unknown), a quad-core 1.2Ghz processor, an 8MP rear camera, 8GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, an LTE radio, and KitKat from the get-go.
So far Samsung's "Active" mini-series has exactly two devices, the Galaxy S4 Active and the Galaxy S5 Active. (Three, if you count Sprint's S5 Sport variant.) At IFA 2014, the company is expanding its ruggedized horizons into the tablet world with the Galaxy Tab Active, an 8-inch device with the same IP67 water and dust protection, plus a chunky body that can resist drops of up to 1.2 meters (four feet). The Tab Active also includes a "C-Pen" stylus, physical navigation buttons, and Samsung's first removable tablet battery.
Samsung is aiming the tablet at businesses which perform in rugged environments, with additions like a dockable POGO pin charging option and the KNOX encryption system.
Update: Verizon's specification page has been changed to indicate that the LG G Vista has an "HD" screen. It looks like there was an error in the original spec list. We're going to assume that means that it's a 1280x720 screen.
Looking for a mid-range phone on Verizon? Then you've got two more choices starting today. The LG G Vista, an enormous "phablet" device, and the Kyocera Brigadier, the latest in the company's line of "tough" phones, are both on sale now at Verizon's website. They should be in at least some company-owned retailer stores starting Thursday, July 31st.