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4 things you'll love about the Samsung GS6 active (and 4 things you'll hate)

Al Sacco | July 23, 2015
Samsung's latest 'ruggedized' smartphone, the Galaxy S6 active, is an evolution of one of the best Android phones available, and it's particularly well-suited for business use — though the device falls short in some areas.

What enterprises might hate about the Galaxy S6 active
1) No fingerprint reader for Galaxy S6 active

Both the standard GS6 and GS6 edge have fingerprint scanners built into their home buttons that can be used for user authentication. Unfortunately, the GS6 active lacks such a scanner.

In addition to unlocking your phone, you can use the GS6 finger scanner to access KNOX containers (which separate and protect work and personal data) and authenticate purchases in the PayPal app. Samsung plans to roll out its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, "this summer," and GS6 users will be able to authorize purchases with their fingerprints. GS6 active owners will still be able to make purchases with Samsung Pay, according to Berne, but they'll have to enter a PIN code.

The lack of a fingerprint reader is close to a deal-breaker for me, because I love using a long, strong passcode but hate having to manually enter it. The thought of typing a password every time I want access to my phone seems so ... 2012. And I'm sure I'm not the only business user who feels that way.

2) Galaxy S6 active is available only on AT&T
AT&T is the only wireless carrier in the world that currently offers the Galaxy S6 active, and Samsung's Berne says he doesn't know of any other carriers that plan to sell it. So if your company is on another carrier and you don't want to switch or purchase a set of devices at full price for your staff and unlock them, you're out of luck. The same is true if your company is located outside of the United States. 

3) Galaxy S6 active won't win any beauty contests
The standard GS6 and GS6 edge are gorgeous. They have lots of curves, sweeping lines and they're made of glass, metal and other reflective materials. The Galaxy S6 is, well, kind of ... ugly. It's boxy and boring, and it's made mostly of plastic. Two extra "physical" buttons on the home screen, in place of the standard GS6's on-screen app-switch and return keys, make the active look a bit outdated. The extra bulk also makes the device feel significantly longer and wider than the other GS6s.

And that camouflage rear cover. (Oh, the camo, the camo.) The active is available in three colors: camo blue, camo white and plain ol' gray. If you're a fan of camouflage accessories, power to you. Unfortunately, the camo GS6 active just isn't very professional, and as such the blue and white options will probably seem out of place in the average boardroom.

All of that said, enterprises rarely prioritize form over function, and Samsung was at least wise enough to offer a boring gray option with no camo.

 

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