The S4 Active includes features common to most smartphones, including an 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, 1080 video camera and LTE capability.
Jelly Bean system
It also features the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system. I'm an iPhone user, and this was the first time I spent much time with Android.
While Android and Apple's iOS are similar, each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The features I found most fun were those that detect the user without having to touch the screen.
The Android system can be set to detect the user's eyes. While watching a YouTube video, for instance, look away and the video stops. Return your eyes to the screen, and playback resumes.
In another mode, the phone recognizes the user's eyes and determines whether it should switch to landscape mode when the phone is held horizontally. If you're sitting up and turn the phone sideways, it will turn to landscape mode.
If, however, you turn the phone sideways while you lie down, it detects your eye movement and keeps the phone in portrait mode.
Another Android feature not available on iOS lets the user change screens by swiping in front of — but not on — the screen.
The S4 Active is available for $199 with a two-year contract.