Samsung Galaxy S6 active review: Tough, but software lags

MILWAUKEE -- Smartphones are known for being delicate. Many of us use screen protectors, cases or bumpers to protect our investment. But the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active lets you toss your worries aside – it’s a tough, water resistant smartphone that basically comes with a built in case.

Pros: The phone has great form factor, with a grippy, rubbery exterior that makes it tough to accidently drop. It’s a bit thicker than your typical smartphone, but that’s because it packs a giant battery. It lasts all day long – but if you need to charge it, you can do it really fast through the included cable, or you can use wireless charging.

Also, the camera is simply amazing. It takes great pictures every time, without much effort or thought.

Cons: The software. It’s super laggy at times – I found myself needing to restart this phone pretty much daily. It was frustrating at times, but I have confidence Samsung will address this in a future software update. (I have zero similar issues with the Note5, which runs an updated version of similar software, so I know Samsung can do it)

The only other con is the storage situation. The S6 Active only comes in one size – 32 gigabytes. That should be enough for most people (and double the base model of the iPhone), but it would be nice if you could add extra memory or chose a 64 GB model.

Bottom line – S6 Active is a great choice for parents and anyone who doesn’t want to worry much about their phone getting messed up from a drop or the elements.

Note: I did some extreme tests of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active – totally submerging it in water, both fresh and salt water. None of that is recommended. In fact, what you need to know about the S6 is this is not meant to be an underwater camera. It’s mainly built to handle everyday splashes, quick accidental dunks and spills.

I took this phone on my vacation to Hawaii to put it through the paces – and the pictures are just stunning. Click the picture below to see them!

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is currently exclusive to AT&T.