Today it is exactly three months since the purchase of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active and the start of its operation by me. I decided to tell you about my impressions of using the flagship in armor.
At first I wanted to write something in the style of the 'Ex-Flagship' series of articles I had abandoned, but I thought it was too early to write off the seventh generation of Korean 'galaxies', so it would be a cross between operating experience and personal impressions.
Appearance and impressions
The first thing I encountered when using the device was, oddly enough, the reaction of others. It can hardly be called a wow-effect, but friends who saw this device in my hands asked the question – what kind of model is this? After my answer, the majority nodded meaningfully, they say, it's understandable, and ignored the 'Active' prefix, believing that it was a simple S7 in a shockproof case. After my words that this is not a cover, they certainly asked to take a closer look at the device. In general, there were almost no indifferent people. The phone actually gives the impression of being wrapped in a protective case. Mechanical navigation keys, which have become very rare in our time, add brutality. Now, after a few months, 'Asset' does not seem to me either massive or bulky.
Warms the soul and its dissimilarity to other phones – it can only be confused with representatives of the same 'Assets' family from Samsung.
However, when you have to pick up an S8 or S7, and even an S7 EDGE, treacherous thoughts run through that, perhaps, change it to something more compact, elegant and neat … But that quickly passes.
I don't even know whether to scold Samsung for the absence of this line in the Russian market or to praise it. On the one hand, it would be easier to buy it, on the other hand, then it would not be practically exclusive (no one among my acquaintances has such a model, and most have not even heard of its existence).
A very controversial and subjective issue. To begin with, it should be noted that the device is rather large and weighty (148.8 x 75.0 x 9.9 mm). However, you get used to it very quickly, because, despite its size, it fits perfectly in the hand, and thanks to the case materials such as dense rubber, anodized metal and textured plastic, it does not slip at all.
To drop it is much more difficult than the usual 'seven' and even more so 'eight'. A 4000 mAh battery, wireless charging, NFC, and MST also contribute to the dimensions, thanks to which the thickness is almost a centimeter. But, again, the device remained comfortable. More recently, I was looking for a phone and set the maximum width limit to less than 75 mm. It turned out that 75 mm is okay.
One of the nagging can be considered the location of the volume and power buttons on different sides, opposite each other. This is not always convenient. Often, when pressing the volume buttons, it turned out to accidentally press the power button and vice versa. But this is a complaint for the entire Galaxy S line. Why not have buttons on one side? There is also a plus – an additional 'Active' button to which you can assign three actions (one press, two presses and long press-hold). For this special thanks – the flashlight has found its own button.
The camera implementation is worth mentioning separately. As it should be in such devices, the camera glass not only does not protrude from the body, but, on the contrary, is recessed below the level of the back cover – this implementation protects the camera from accidental damage. Similarly, the glass covering the flash and heart rate scanner is recessed.
In general, if you need a weighty, tightly knit bar that gives a feeling of reliability in the hand, then this is the 'Active'.
Power, battery and memory
Since this is an American, it works on the basis of Snapdragon 820. Not the most productive pebble, which, however, is enough for everything and even more. 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of permanent memory should make this device lightning fast, but no matter how you dismiss it, no matter how much you turn a blind eye to it, I have to admit that there are brakes. The interface jams on seemingly simple operations, such as scrolling through the list of applications. And if you go to uninstall applications, delete any of them and then try to scroll through the list of remaining applications, you will get almost a slideshow. It’s annoying. It’s unclear what it’s connected with, whether it’s such an optimization, or whether the shell is to blame, but I have to admit that it periodically slows down.
In this case, the battery pleased. In my case (and this is very intensive use) the phone lasts for 1.5 days.
The average screen luminescence is about six and a half hours daily, most of which are in the browser and the trading application with constant information updates. At the same time, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, data transfer, GPS and synchronization of everything and everything with push notifications to the bracelet are always turned on on the phone. In standby mode, the device consumes 3% of the battery overnight.
The signal reception level is slightly better than on the usual “seven” based on Exynos. Still, Snapdragon is better at catching the network.
Oh, this is what I have been 'sitting on Samsung' for since the Galaxy S3.
I am not a photographer at all and I perfectly understand that my opinion on this issue can be reasonably smashed to smithereens, but if I write very briefly, then the camera suits me completely.
At the same time, all my photos for all my articles were taken on phones, including the usual S7, and S7 Edge, and S8, and the last three months S7 'Active'. If you try to paint in more detail, the coolest thing is how 'Active' shoots in poor lighting conditions and at night.
Despite the twilight in the room, the color of the beer is very accurate.
Aperture 1.7 matters. Almost all shots taken with this phone were made in automatic mode. The only complaint is the front camera, namely the frame distortion. If you shoot very close, then you can see obvious distortions that are difficult to compensate. Even after the appearance of a special distortion correction mode in one of the updates, it did not help much. You need to shoot on the front-facing camera, stretching your hand out as far as possible.
'Seven' or 'seven assets'
Internally, these are almost identical devices. Slight differences in the main camera, not visible to the naked eye. Some other components are used, thanks to which the 'Aktiva' camera shoots a little better (or maybe it's just a matter of settings, since the modules are outwardly identical).
As for the rest of the parameters on the side of the usual 'seven', there is a thinner and neater case with compact dimensions and graceful contours. On the side of the 'Asset', brutality, reliability and Battery. Yes, that's right, with a capital letter. This is why you don't want to change to either the usual 'seven' or 'eight', and even to the 'nine' too. The only alternative seems to be the S8 Active, but I don't like its design at all, alas.
By the way, quite recently the 'Active' experienced a very unpleasant fall – it galloped up a flight of stairs on a concrete staircase. I dropped my phone for the first time in years. Either he fell very well, or I was just lucky, it had no consequences. Another plus for the asset.
Like any purebred 'American', 'Active' needs Russification, which is quite simple to do. The method is no different from that for the usual American G7, so I will not dwell on this.
At the moment, the current version Android for S7 is Nougat 7.0. Most Active users are looking forward to Oreo 8.0. Но, в отличие от европейских версий, 'Актив' выпущен эксклюзивно для американского оператора AT&T, а значит, скорость выхода обновлений зависит не от Samsung, а от AT&T. We wait.
But if you think about it, it's not entirely clear what users are expecting. No revolutionary changes are foreseen, and if you remember that this is Samsung, which means TouchWiz, then outwardly it is difficult to expect cardinal differences. The main hope is for optimization, and therefore for improving energy consumption.
And also, having been using Samsung smartphones for a long time, I realized that their shell, which attracts a lot of criticism on the web, is for me personally one of the most convenient and thoughtful. Whoever said anything, but Samsung has a lot of chips, which are then, often after a long period of time, introduced by Google in new versions Android. Remember at least a split screen for launching two applications at once.
The device was purchased in perfect condition externally, but with an internal malfunction, with the aim of subsequent restoration. The total price with all expenses, including shipping and repairs, was 11 thousand rubles. But this is a special case. If you look at the prices for new hassle-free devices, you can easily find a phone for $ 370 – $ 410, which is 22-24 thousand rubles at the current exchange rate.
Russian prices are slightly higher, but the risk of buying the recovered ones is also higher. Whether it is a lot or a little, everyone decides for himself. Moreover, for this price you can buy a more powerful Chinese, but he will not provide such a camera quality and will not be protected from the environment.
A few unpleasant moments
But there is a fly in the ointment in any barrel of honey. One of the biggest disappointments of the entire Galaxy line since its appearance in the Galaxy S6 for me is the fingerprint scanner, and Active was no exception in this parameter. The scanner is slow and often makes mistakes. I don’t know what it’s connected with, but the fact remains that there are many false positives, and this is annoying. At the same time, comparing the quality of the scanner even with the budget ones Xiaomi, you understand that Samsung is lagging behind in this matter.
On the one hand, I use fitness bracelets on a regular basis and always set up a smart display lock. When the phone is paired with the bracelet, the screen is not locked. As soon as the connection with the bracelet is lost, fingerprint or password lock is enabled, so the use of the fingerprint scanner is minimized. On the other hand, there are applications where you cannot do without a password or fingerprint, for example, banking services. And if I'm not ready to give up banking services and tolerate false positives, then I had to abandon the use of Samsung Pay in favor of the faster Google Pay. There are no complaints about the service from Samsung, but there are complaints about the implementation of the payment tied to the scanner – it is long and inconvenient. You need to pull out the card on the screen, then activate the payment either by fingerprint or by entering the code, and only then bring the phone to the terminal (catching a couple of fingerprint scanning errors). In the same Google Pay, everything is much simpler – unlocked the screen, and that's it, you can pay.
Conclusions instead of conclusions
At the moment, 'Active' suits me completely and meets all my requirements for a mobile device. There is a protected case, a capacious battery, wireless charging, a capacious battery, and an excellent quality camera. There is perhaps no IrDA (which is very frustrating). Given the totality of its characteristics, I am not ready to change it for anything, and for this reason I refused to sell, which I planned immediately after the repair.
I'm waiting for the Galaxy S9 Active to be presented to think about buying. However, judging by the design trends of the Active line, which includes displays with rounded corners and a scanner on the back, I will not like the S9 Active.