Image: James Martin/CNET
While the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active has rugged good looks and a shatter-resistant display, it has the same IP68 water- and dust-resistance of the Galaxy S7 models. However, your Galaxy S7 might do a better job of keeping out the champagne than the S7 Active.
A couple of weeks ago, Consumer Reports posted that the S7 Active failed its water-resistance test. I was skeptical of the findings since only two devices were tested, but then the folks at CNET tested four devices, and two of those failed. Thus, there does indeed appear to be a problem.
A few days ago Samsung responded to the Consumer Reports testing and stood by its water-resistant claim. We heard the rest of the story Wednesday, when Samsung stated it found a manufacturing problem that was corrected one week after Consumer Reports’ test failure article.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is only sold in the US on the AT&T network, with all of these devices made in the same facility in Asia. Philip Berne, a Samsung public relations manager, stated, “We found a problem in the production line that we were able to correct.” Phones shipping now should retain the rated water resistance.
If you currently own a Samsung Galaxy S7 Active, and it suffers water damage, then you can go to the store where you purchased it or to Samsung to get a free replacement. Samsung is not replacing all existing phones or recalling the S7 Active, and it is not pulling existing phones from store shelves. Samsung believes the water damage issue will only affect a small number of devices.
I don’t own a Samsung Galaxy S7 Active, but if I did, I think I would perform my own dunk tests now, while Samsung is actively replacing defective products. We don’t have any details on what the manufacturing problem was or any way to identify defective phones.