Dear Samsung, You suck!!
Not really, but I keep seeing this trend with my favorite phone. Don’t buy the even numbered releases, but the odd numbered ones! This is why I don’t think the S8 Active is a winner…
My first Samsung phone was the S5 Active. I was looking for a phone that fit my lifestyle a little better. I’d lost all hope after Apple lost a few years of photos backed up on their cloud and went on the hunt. Samsung’s Active line fit the bill perfectly for me and wasn’t a big deal since I was already an AT&T customer. I mean it is awesome to be able to take a picture of a fish you just caught while still hooked standing in the middle of a river. I mean, it is “Active” so that’s what I have used them for.
The S6 Active
I had high hopes for this one but when the spec came out I wasn’t impressed. They removed the SD card and the option to change the battery. The battery wasn’t a big deal but the SD card!!! That was huge and one of the biggest advantages Samsung had over Apple. At that time I said screw it, I’ll wait, and I did. My S5 worked fine and I had a spare battery that got used on some of those extended excursions in the middle of nowhere. I used the S5 as everything, GPS, compass, camera, flashlight, e-reader, speedometer on one of my bikes.
The S7 Active
When this was released I was happy they put the SD card back in. I upgraded the day it came out. Being able to shoot RAW format in advanced mode was nothing short of amazing and a year later is still giving my mirrorless and DSLR cameras a run for their money. I still love this phone and it is tough to put it lightly. It survived a nasty motorcycle wreck mounted to the handlebars of the bike and was the only thing to come unscathed from the accident. That is how tough it is!!
The S8 Active
Once again Samsung has messed up a perfectly good phone and this is why. One of the biggest selling points of the Active line is being waterproof/resistant. For people like myself, that do a ton of outdoor activities are going to run into a very big design flaw with this phone. They removed the buttons!!! Have you ever tried to use a touch screen with water on it or with wet hands? Doesn’t work very well does it? If you are out in woods or a kayak or whatever and there is water involved you will miss these buttons. So Samsung made a ruggedized S8 but kinda didn’t think much about the “Active” part. Water and touchscreens don’t mix and the tactile buttons are a godsend for those that are actually being active with an Active.
This is probably only going to impact a small percentage of users like myself. I won’t be upgrading this round because of it. I keep seeing this happen a lot in the tech world nowadays. New versions aren’t actually upgrades in functionality as a whole. They drop useful things from the previous generation, like buttons. Samsung probably did this for a bigger screen area but dammit, I need my buttons. If I wanted a bigger screen I’d just get a Tab or a regular S8.
….which isn’t very useful when climbing up a mountain. Though it might work if your paddle was broke or lost??