Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S4 Active smartphone, a water and dust-resistant version of the Galaxy S4, over two months ago, but the device still hasn't officially been released in Australia. When can Aussies get their hands on it?
Officially, Samsung has told us that the Galaxy S4 Active will be released in Australia "later this year", but there's been no word on an exact ETA. Following the global announcement back in June, Samsung offered the following statement.
"Following the global announcement this week, Samsung Electronics Australia is excited to confirm the arrival of the Galaxy GS4 Active in Australia later this year.
We will share more information around local availability of this latest addition to the Galaxy GS4 range soon."
Interestingly, Australian retailers Allphones and Telechoice both currently advertise the Galaxy S4 Active on their Web site, but the phone is listed as "coming soon". This suggests an Australian launch of the device shouldn't be too far away, but Samsung remains eerily quiet. If you don't want to order online, it might be worth a trip to your local Allphones or Telechoice store to check if they have any devices in stock.
If you can't wait any longer, or you have no luck locally, there are plenty of ways to purchase the Galaxy S4 Active online through a retailer. Many online stores will sell the new device through what is known as grey importing, also called parallel importing.
A grey import tech product is one that is imported from another country without the permission of the intellectual property owner, in this case Samsung. This can be achieved by an Australian business that buys the product overseas and then sells it online, or simply an International business that will ship the product to Australia.
Is a grey import Galaxy S4 Active different to the Australian model?
The differences between an Australian model and an imported model of the Galaxy S4 Active are likely to be minimal, aside from any local telco software customisation. The main difference will be carrier branding, often in the form of a telco logo when you turn the phone on and some apps and services.
The model of the Galaxy S4 Active you'll need to purchase is i9295, which will work on all Australian 3G and 4G networks. The phone comes in "urban grey", "orange flare", and "dive blue" variants, though the grey model is the most common and the latter two variants are slightly more expensive.
Where can I purchase the Galaxy S4 Active?
You can purchase the Galaxy S4 Active online from a variety of Web sites, most of them International retailers.
One of the most reputable is MobiCity. It currently lists the 16GB model of the Galaxy S4 Active in urban grey for $719.95, and has the device in stock at the time of writing. Shipping is charged at $9.95 for a regular courier, or $29.95 for express, PO Box or parcel locker delivery.
Interestingly, the orange variant is listed on Kogan at a higher price of $779.95, and is currently out of stock at the time of writing, while the blue model is not available at all.
MobiCity is slightly pricier than other alternatives but does include a 12 month warranty. This is not a Samsung warranty, but is serviced by a company called Australian Warranty Services.
The basic warranty that comes with any MobiCity purchase includes replacement within the first 48 hours if the product is dead on arrival (DOA), an assessment guarantee within 48 hours of receipt and a repair guarantee within 30 days. MobiCity also says that a replacement device will be offered if it is unable to repair the Galaxy S4 Active within the guaranteed time frame.
Kogan also sells the Galaxy S4 Active. It lists only the 16GB urban grey model for $699, along with a standard delivery charge of $22.99 to most Australian destinations. However, Kogan doesn't have the device in stock at the time of writing, and is publishing a shipping time of 2-3 weeks.
Kogan offers a standard 12 month warranty which claims Australia-wide repairs along with phone and e-mail support.
Expansys is another site that sells the Galaxy S4 Active. It lists all three variants of the device, but the blue model is not yet available. Both the grey and orange models can be purchased for $700.96, plus a shipping charge of $18 within Australia, though Expansys advises that "stock is not in local warehouse".
Expansys offers a 12 month repair warranty with an entitlement to a full refund or replacement within 14 days from the date of dispatch in the event of a faulty product, or simply if you've changed your mind. The latter only applies if the phone is in as new condition with no missing packaging, accessories and manuals. Additionally, Expansys offers an optional extended warranty (12 months basic warranty plus three months extended) for an extra cost of $30.
Two of the most popular online stores for tech devices are UK pair Handtek and Clove. Handtek currently lists the grey Galaxy S4 Active for £404.16 (around $695 Australian dollars at the time of writing), while the blue and orange models sell for £424.99 (around $731AUD). Clove lists only the grey model Galaxy S4 Active, charging £405 ($695AUD).
Handtek charges £15.00 for the cheapest International Mail shipping down under ($25AUD), though a DHL Express option is available for £23.90 ($41AUD). Clove will charge £24.00 for the International Mail shipping down under ($41AUD), and £29 ($49AUD) for the DHL Express option.