Pretty much the only reason the Galaxy S 4 Active exists is to give Samsung a waterproof option to compete with phones like the Sony Xperia Z. That’s why it sounded so crazy last month when we learned that the phone’s warranty specifically didn’t cover damage due to water. While that does make a small degree of sense in retrospect (seeing as there’s no easy way to confirm that the phone was kept within its one meter depth and 30 minute time ratings), it still generated a pretty fierce backlash. Perhaps all that softened Samsung’s resolve, as we’re now learning about plans to exchange GS4 Actives that have suffered from water damage.
While this news first leaked thanks to an AT&T tipster, the carrier has since confirmed the basic premise: if a GS4 owner presents a phone that’s had water damage, but shows no signs of physical abuse, the carrier will allow them to do a one-time exchange for a working handset.
We realize, that doesn’t seem like it goes far enough in making sure that the GS4 Active is able to keep delivering on its big selling point, but it’s a start – maybe if someone leaves their GS4 Active at the bottom of their pool all afternoon, this will remind them to follow the usage guidelines next time.
For now, we’ve only heard of this through AT&T, and it remains to be seen what the case may be for users who bought their phones elsewhere.