New Galaxy S5 Active videos show off ‘Active Key’, optical image stabilization


Last year’s Galaxy S4 Active was marketed by Samsung as a waterproof version of the original Galaxy S4 — but there were a number of subtle differences between the two internally. Buying the Active meant you had to settle for a lesser camera — 8-megapixels versus 13-megapixels — and a TFT display over a Super AMOLED one.

There are going to be some hardware differences between these variants this time around as well, it seems — but for 2014, the Galaxy S5 Active has the advantage over the original Galaxy S5. In addition to a barometer, the device has a customizable “Active Key” and what appears to be optical image stabilization.

We got our first look at a leaked Galaxy S5 Active earlier this week when two hands-on videos were posted to YouTube by TK Tech News. It’s worth noting that this is a prototype device that could change slightly before release — however, it seems to be an almost final version, so we don’t expect any major differences.

The new clips showcase some of the Galaxy S5 Active’s advantages over the original Galaxy S5. The most obvious is the addition of the “Active Key,” an extra physical button that sits above the volume rocker and can be customized by the user. You can set it to launch apps with a short or long press, and use it as a shutter button in the Camera app.

The new Active also has a built-in barometer, which, via a new Activity Zone app, allows users to view things like elevation and atmospheric pressure.

The video below is likely to be the one that makes Galaxy S5 owners jealous the most. It demonstrates what appears to be optical image stabilization in the Active, but at this point, it’s hard to confirm this is indeed a difference in hardware.

The Active could have a better camera — that does seem most likely — or Samsung could have simply improved its camera software since the Galaxy S5 made its debut to minimize excessive shake in videos.

If you haven’t seen all you need to see from the Galaxy S5 Active at this point, there is one more video below, which compares the device to the Galaxy S5 in terms of design and software. While the Active does have a metal frame and a more robust form factor, its sibling does have some advantages here.

The Galaxy S5 has a faster micro USB 3.0 connector while the Active has a traditional micro USB port, and of course, it also boasts a fingerprint scanner, which the new Active does not have. It’s claimed the Active is actually thinner than the Galaxy S5, too — though it certainly doesn’t look it.