The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is a fantastic phone. In an era of glass-coated devices that crack from a small drop, the mildly rugged (but still usable) S8 Active is a beacon of common sense.
Unfortunately, it’s also an AT&T exclusive, which is a real problem for anyone subscribed to one of the other big three carriers. No official announcement has come yet, but a recent leak from the ever-reputable Evan Blass suggests it’s heading to T-Mobile soon, and possibly Verizon and Sprint in the future.
Blass has seen marketing documents for a T-Mobile S8 Active, available in the same grey and gold colors that you can get from AT&T. Release timing is uncertain, but the lack of any FCC filing means it’s probably not days away.
The fact that it hasn’t been filed with the FCC also throws up one interesting possibility: The T-Mobile Galaxy S8 Active might be compatible with Band 71, T-Mobile’s shiny new 600MHz LTE network. The S8 Active has a Snapdragon X16 modem which is technically compatible with B71, it just needs the right certification and software — which could explain the delay in FCC filing.
T-Mobile has already confirmed that a B71-compatible device is coming from Samsung by the end of the year, and this would be reasonably logical. No other big Samsung announcements are expected this year, so a B71 device would have to be this S8 Active, a mid-range smartphone, or some kind of tablet.
Blass also suggests that the model number naming could mean that a non-GSM version of the phone (read: one that works on Verizon or Sprint’s CDMA networks) could come sometime soon as well.