The S4 Active is the perfect package for many, rocking most of the same killer specs as the flagship Samsung Galaxy S4 and coupling them with a hardy, IP67 water-resistance and dust-proofing.
Near perfection can be improved upon though, so here are our top tips for getting a little extra out of your Galaxy S4 Active.
Tip 1: Seal it tight
Unlike unibody waterproof phones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is only immune to the elements when its back cover is firmly on.
This might sound obvious, but even if one snap point isn’t secured, your phone is about as waterproof as a sponge. What’s more, Samsung doesn’t cover water damage in the phone’s warranty.
When securing your back cover onto your Samsung Galaxy S4 Active therefore, run a firm thumb and forefinger around all sides and ensure a 100% sealed.
Finally, be sure your microUSB port is sealed tightly too.
Tip 2: Aqua mode
Once sealed, Aqua mode improves image and video quality captured on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active when the phone is under water, but it isn’t as straight forward as it sounds.
Thanks to the way capacitive screen technology works, the screen of the S4 Active won’t be accessible when the phone is submerged.
Instead, you’ll have to use the volume rocker as either the video camera or shutter release control. These can be set on starting up the Aqua shooting mode, depending on whether you’re shooting photos or videos.
So select Aqua mode from the camera menu, decide what you want to shoot, dunk your S4 Active and away you go.
Tip 3: Multi-tasking? Multi Window!
Just like the flagship Samsung Galaxy S4, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active supports Multi Window.
This places two apps side by side on your phone so you can easily multi-task across them.
The first step to activate it is in your notifications bar. Pull it down, expand the quick settings options by tapping the top left icon and make sure Multi Window is active.
The next step is to long press the back button to toggle Multi Window off and on. When Multi Window is active, you’ll see an arrowed tab on the side of your screen.
Expand it, drag and drop two apps within into your main display area and you’re multi-tasking.
The arrowed tab can be moved up, down, and dragged across to the right side of your screen for easier right handed use. Once done, long press the back button once again to toggle the tabbed arrow off.
Tip 4: Simplify your apps tray
For everything TouchWiz adds to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, it makes the applications tray a lot more complicated.
Swiping through screens, opening Folders, pinchable overviews – it’s all a bit much if on the go and itching to get to an app open pronto.
What’s the solution? List your apps alphabetically.
This might sound backwards, but the vertical list of apps on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is coupled with a very intuitive alphabet bar along the right side.
Slide to the corresponding letter and find your app in seconds, a perfect amalgam of old school lists with modern day smartphone thinking for on the go app access.
Tip 5: Long press and double tap
Long pressing or double tapping the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active’s trio of main buttons will offer up some useful alternative functions.
We’ve already covered how to toggle the Multi Window pane by long pressing the back button.
Long press the menu button to pull up Google Now, Google’s personal assistant type service.
To open up the Task Manager, just long press the home button, and if you feel like getting vocal with your S4 Active, just double press the home button to activate S Voice.