Consumer Reports Tests Samsung's Galaxy S7 Active

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 19:21:48-04

Plenty of smartphones have been ruined when dropped. Samsung's Galaxy S7 Active for AT&T has claimed to survive the rough and tumble of life, but when Consumer Reports checked out the claims for the $800 phone, it failed.

In its commercials, Samsung's Galaxy S7 Active promised to survive drops and dunks by even the biggest klutz.

Consumer Reports brought the phone into its labs to see how well it held up. Engineers dropped the phone from five feet onto a flat surface, according to the phone's specs.

The phone did well after dropping on concrete.

Samsung also claimed the S7 Active was water resistant enough to handle up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes, so Consumer Reports submerged a different S7 Active in a pressurized tank to simulate five feet of water. This time the results weren't good.

It failed the test with an obvious screen malfunction.

A second S7 Active was dunked in the tank. It also failed. Water was visible in the front and rear camera lenses on both phones, and there was water in the SIM card slot on the second. After several days, the phones were still not working properly.

Consumer Reports contacted Samsung, which said the Galaxy S7 Active has been "one of the most rugged phones to date." The company went on to say, “There may be an off chance that a defective device is not as watertight as it should be."

Other Samsung Galaxy phones, the S7 and S7 Edge, made the same water-resistance claims. Both passed Consumer Reports' dunk test and were at the top of its smartphone ratings.

Samsung said it’s investigating the issue with the S7 Active. 

AT&T has still been offering the earlier version of Samsung's "Active" phone, the Galaxy S6 Active. 

That older phone passed Consumer Reports' dunk test in 2015 and was still among its recommended phones.

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