Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

Like the normal S4 - but much more satisfying

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review
The tough cookie of the smartphone world

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Even though the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has seen its camera downgraded from the original handset, it can still capture video footage in full HD, 1080p.

If you fancy capturing some footage head over to the camera app, and unlike previous iterations where you had to switch between camera and video mode on the S4 Active there's a record button on screen next to the shutter key, allowing you to get straight to it.

While recording you can tap to focus if you want the S4 Active to concentrate on a particular object, but if you're not bothered it will auto-focus as you move around.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

If you want to use the LED flash as a light while recording then you'll need to make sure you have the flash turned on before hitting record, as there's no way to toggle the light when filming.

Something you can do while you shoot however is take photos, so if something amazing happens during your filming you can also capture it as a still image at the same time. It's a handy little feature which only makes it onto a handful of devices, so we're pleased to see it here on the Galaxy S4 Active.

You can also zoom in and out while recording, but quality suffers the further you go in thanks to the digital zoom so it's probably best avoided if you can.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active review

Options are greatly limited on the video recording side of things, but you can add the same effects available in camera mode to your films.

Select the up arrow at the bottom of the screen (when held in landscape) to open up the effects window, and from there you can choose between eight options including posterise, sepia and black and white.

The final product isn't too shabby and if you've managed to film in a relatively well lit area then the Galaxy S4 Active will produce pretty decent results, but it can struggle in darker areas and the LED light will only help you so much.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.