Not too long ago here on PhoneDog.com, I unboxed this guy—the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active; the most recent, latest and greatest Samsung smartphone that’s actually based off the Galaxy S6. But what makes this guy so different is the fact that it’s water-resistant, shock-resistant, dustproof and it has an IP68 certification meaning it’s very durable. So in this video, I’m going to go ahead and compare the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active against the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge to see what’s different and to ultimately help you decide which smartphone is best for you here on PhoneDog.com.
So the Galaxy S6 Active, first of all, doesn’t feature a curved display like the edge does. It’s a flat display just like the standard S6 which allows you to have a fairly traditional smartphone design. The edges are flat and they aren’t tapered or narrow like on the S6 edge, which has to take into account for that curved display. This makes it very hard to actually hold in the hand, there’s no added grip because it is aluminum. The Active only has more area to grip the device overall on the sides but there is some added texture and indents into the material, which ultimately increases the grip.
Some of the major differences in terms of button placements and ports is that the edge has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom while the Active has it up top. The volume rocker is on the left hand side of each device however there is a large singular volume rocker on the Active and it’s located slightly lower on the placement of the volume buttons on the S6 edge. There is also a new physical button on the side. It’s the Active Key which activates the Activity Zone feature which I’ll be sure to talk about later; but the edge doesn’t have this at all.
On the front of the S6 Active, there are no capacitive touch navigation buttons. They’re all physical navigation buttons for the multi-view, home, and back commands. And unlike the S6 edge, we do not have a fingerprint scanner, which is a bummer. While I personally prefer on-screen navigation buttons, ultimately it does make sense to have physical navigation buttons for a rugged smartphone since they work in more scenarios. I mean it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing gloves or not.
Flipping these two devices over, we still have the same old 16MP camera sensor and a heart rate monitor on the back. The S6 Active will be branded with AT&T since it is exclusive to AT&T, whereas the standard S6 and S6 edge are available on all four major carriers here in the US. You will also see that the speaker grille is located on the back of the S6 Active as opposed to the bottom of the S6 and the S6 edge. I prefer my speakers to be in front of my devices obviously because they’re facing towards me but having them on the bottom of my device is still better than having them on the back because I often find myself covering up the back speakers way too easily. When using the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, for example, this just doesn’t happen as much or nearly as often as when I use the S6 edge.
But the hardware is absolutely the defining difference between these two devices. On one hand, we have a smartphone that’s designed with glass and metal; which are premium materials. While on this hand, we have the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, which is a much more durable device but it’s not crafted with premium materials. It’s crafted with primarily plastic. The S6 edge feels like the more premium and the more expensive device and it looks better too in my opinion. But the S6 Active is much easier to grip and hold on to since it’s a little bit thicker and it has that rubberized texture on the back, which is not as slimy and sticky as the standard Galaxy S6 or S6 edge. And in addition, it doesn’t have the curved display which ultimately causes the edges to taper and become narrow. So once again, it is very easy to grip a lot more than the Galaxy S6 edge.
I mentioned just how ugly the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is and I still feel that way, especially when you compare it to something like the Galaxy S6 or the Galaxy S6 edge. But if we compare it with other durable smartphones with the same ratings and durability as the S6 Active, it’s actually a pretty darn good-looking device and definitely looks better than say some Sonim phones that are currently on the market.
One thing I have yet to mention is the Active Key, which activates the Activity Zone when pressed once. This gives you access to the weather, barometer, SHealth, compass, flashlight, stopwatch, and Milk Music which I’ll be trying one of these days. It sounds like it has much potential. But what’s even cooler about this device that activates the Activity Zone is that it can be reprogrammed in the settings to open up just about any app on a single press as well as a long press. And you can enable it to work even when on the lock screen so this is pretty cool. I found it useful to activate it to open up the Peel Smart remote app so that I can quickly control my TV using the built-in IR blaster. The S6 edge, unfortunately, doesn’t have this button and it can’t do this.
And one of the best features of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is not so much the durability, although that is pretty darn awesome, but it’s actually the 3500mAh battery which is inside of it. I can’t even get through a full day on a single charge using the S6 or S6 edge which has ultimately caused me to completely abandon this device as my daily driver. But the S6 Active can last me a full day without any worries and it can get me somewhere between 5 and 6 hours of screen on-time which is pretty insane.
All of the internal specs are essentially identical so we get the same Exynos 7420 octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM, we get the same beautiful 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a Quad HD resolution. It’s all here, it’s all the same with the exception of the battery and the hardware which we already talked about. One major difference though is the carrier availability. So the Galaxy S6 Active is exclusive to AT&T while the S6 and S6 edge can be found on basically every carrier at least here in the US.
If you’re going to put your Samsung Galaxy S6 edge in a protective case and your carrier happens to be AT&T, I would personally say you might as well go with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active as your next daily driver or your next smartphone because you don’t need a case. It’s water-resistant, dustproof, shock-resistant. It might not look as elegant as the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 edge but who cares? If you’re going to put it in a case, you might as well just go with this phone. With the larger battery and better battery life of the Galaxy S6 Active, I think it’s enough reason to buy this device over this device.
So those are the key differences between the Galaxy S6 Active and the Galaxy S6 edge. Let me know down below in the comment which device you prefer and why.