The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and Sony Xperia Z are proving that phones can withstand the elements without sacrificing the quality of the waterproof smartphone. The IP certified devices are both water and dust proof and also offer HD display, fast processors, quality cameras and lightweight designs. In the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active versus Sony Xperia Z battle, which waterproof smartphone is the better buy?

The Galaxy S4 Active and Xperia Z smartphones release just in time for summer, when people flood to pools, lakes and oceans, and pina coladas overfloweth. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is available now from AT&T for $199.99 and Sony's Xperia Z will be available from T-Mobile starting on July 17 for $99 down, The Verge reports.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active vs. Sony Xperia Z:

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

"The Samsung Galaxy S® 4 ActiveTM is ready for whatever comes your way. Control your TV, erase photo distractions with one touch, or preview files without touching the screen. Built water- and dust-resistant, the Galaxy S 4 Active is made to keep up with you," the AT&T website states.

The Galaxy S4 Active was unveiled last month during the Samsung Premiere event in London, touting its survival in water. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is designed with an active lifestyle in mind. It is IP67 certified, meaning that it is water- and dust-resistant. The screen is built to be tough and scratch-resistant. Essentially, the rugged Galaxy S4 Active smartphone can withstand the elements while also embodying much of the characteristics of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4. Let's take a look at the S4 Active specs.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active weighs in at 151 g with dimensions measuring 5.50 by 2.81 by 0.36 inches. The device runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system with a quad-core 1.9 GHz processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 system chip and 16GB of built-in RAM. The 5-inch screen has a resolution of 1,080 by 1,920 pixels, which equals 443 pixels per inch. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active will come in Dive Blue and Urban Gray.

Aside from tech specs that nearly match the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 Active also has high quality camera and video capabilities. While it doesn't quite compare to the Galaxy S4 13-megapixel camera, all of the other custom settings are included. The 8-megapixel camera has auto focus, face detection, geo tagging, panorama, self-timer, effects and more. The Galaxy S4 Active video includes 1,080p HD.

So why buy the Galaxy S4 instead of the latest Galaxy S4 Active? The Verge says "there's really no reason not to get the S4 Active over the S4." While some users may still prefer the flagship phone and find less need for the whatever-proof smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active demonstrates that the future of smartphones may be moving towards waterproof. What about the S4 Active over the Sony Xperia Z waterproof smartphone?

Sony Xperia Z

Sony Xperia Z The Sony Xperia Z waterproof smartphone (Photo: Sony Mobile)

"No one knows how to best pack durability into a beautiful design like Sony. The slim 7.9 mm body, with its reflective glass surface, looks and feels slick, but Xperia Z is crafted to be water-resistant, dust-resistant and tough enough to handle whatever life has planned," the Sony Mobile website states.

The IP55 and IP57 certified Sony Xperia Z waterproof smartphone backs up claims that the phone is water- and dust-proof. The Sony Mobile website also praises the latest T-Mobile flagship for its hardy husk. Aside from being resistant to water and dust, Sony's Xperia Z is built with glass fibre polyamide and durable tempered glass to make it as durable as metal as well as resilient to the shattered spider screen.

In terms of the Sony Xperia Z specs, the smartphone runs on Android 4.2.2 operating system and its dimensions measure in at 5.47 by 2.80 by 0.31 inches, slightly thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. Both the Galaxy S4 Active and Xperia Z smartphones have 5-inch displays with a resolution of 1,080 by 1,920 pixels. The Sony waterproof phone has a quad-core, 1.5 GHz processor with 16GB of built-in storage.

When it comes to camera quality, the Sony Xperia Z trumps the Galaxy S4 Active with 13.1 megapixels and also includes numerous shooting features. Like the Samsung smartphone, the Xperia Z video records at 1080p HD.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active vs. Sony Xperia Z Online Ratings

While tech specs and waterproof capabilities are both quality in the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and Sony Xperia Z, user ratings and media reviews prove to give the edge to the Galaxy S4 Active. According to ratings online, the Galaxy S4 Active is preferred a majority of the time, although the Xperia Z waterproof phone is an extremely close second.

The Verge gave the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active an 8.1 compared to the 7.2 of the Sony Xperia Z. Phone Rocket rated the Galaxy S4 Active an 8.3 and Xperia Z a 7.7. Phone Arena gave both devices an 8.5 rating, but user ratings gave the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active a full 10 compared to the Sony Xperia Z rating of a 9.3. However, Sony Xperia Z has a higher user rating on Amazon with 8.4 compared to the Galaxy S4 Active score of 7.7.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active vs. Sony Xperia Z Bottom Line

The bottom line is that both the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and Sony Xperia Z prove that it is possible to design a waterproof smartphone without compromising many of the preferred qualities users find in popular smartphones such as the flagship Galaxy S4. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has a favored, rugged display, and the Sony Xperia Z has a stronger battery life.

Buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active today for $199.99 on the AT&T website in Urban Gray or Dive Blue with free shipping or in-store pickup. The smartphone box includes a travel charger, USB cable, battery and Quick Start guide.

The Sony Xperia Z arrives online July 16 on T-Mobile for $99.99 down plus $20 per month for 2 years. The web-only special includes a free Sony Wireless Speaker. The Xperia Z is available in black and, for a limited time, purple.

Which smartphone would you rather buy, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active or the Sony Xperia Z? Let us know in the comment section.