Samsung ATIV S ReviewSamsung ATIV S 8.5
Samsung's ATIV S is a strange kind of Windows Phone device. Not because it does anything wrong, but because it really stands out from the first batch of Windows Phone 8 devices. While Nokia and HTC are trying to come up with most lively and cheerful colors, Samsung has decided to go with the strict, business kind of look with the ATIV S, resembling some of the company's old Windows Mobile devices. But can “strict” and “business” go hand-in-hand with “Windows Phone 8” – a platform which Microsoft is desperately trying to market to consumers?
The ATIV S differs from the rest in the WP8 universe with one more thing – in a typical Samsung fashion, it offers a very large display, measuring 4.8 inches. Although there are other options with pretty sizable screens, none is really that big. But the typical Windows Phone customer may turn to be different from the Android one. The ATIV S is a WP8 smartphone that can tell us if Samsung will be able to repeat the tremendous success it has seen on the market for Android devices. Let us examine!
Omnia reborn? Well, yes and no. The ATIV S reminds us of a cross between an Omnia and a Galaxy S III. While the back side has that metallic and heavy look (it's still plastic), the front is a glossy greyish plastic that doesn't necessarily match the style of the back. Still, the combination isn't that bad, and the back is downright pretty.
The Samsung ATIV S is somewhat uncomfortable to hold and operate if you want to use just one hand for that
You can compare the Samsung ATIV S with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
This is one big phone. It's as big as a Galaxy S III, even a tad higher, which makes it somewhat uncomfortable to hold and operate, especially if you want to use just one hand for that. The Home key below the screen is very well made, and the same can easily be said about the other physical keys on the device. The camera key is a bit more protruding that we'd like, though, and it's second step doesn't have that reassuring click feeling.
All in all, the ATIV S has an interesting design with a hint of business style to it, which isn't something that we see too often nowadays.
As you can expect from a Samsung handset, there's a Super AMOLED display somewhere in the equation. The resolution is pretty high – 720 x 1280 pixels, which, when combined with the 4.8” size makes for a smooth 306 pixels per inch. The colors are a bit on the colder side, but just a bit. Due to the not so strong brightness levels, the screen of the ATIV S isn't very easy to see outdoors, but if you have it on maximum (or simply automatic), you shouldn't have that much of a problem to read a short message or a status update.
One of the positive sides of the AMOLED screen technology is that it has very good viewing angles, and the same is absolutely evident on the ATIV S. Basically, everything remains perfectly visible as you are widening the angle, though there's a noticeable color degradation.
Drag the picture or use the keyboard arrows to rotate the phone.
Double click or press keyboard Space to zoom in/out
1. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)
For me when it is Windows Phone it is either Nokia or nothing.
57. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)
That purple phone on the first page is so fat and it looks like an iPod
12. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
Nokia is the reason why windows phones are doing so bad. Samsung and HTC will bring it back
14. JamesHunt (Posts: 37; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
Like they did when nokia did not enter into WP market. Your comment does not make sense, sorry.
21. AmitMajumder (Posts: 109; Member since: 21 May 2012)
Windows Phone gained interest after Nokia entered. Their marketplace have grown much bigger after nokia started to make WP devices
48. RichieRich379 (Posts: 21; Member since: 23 Mar 2012)
I like nokia, but thats complete bull, Window Phone starting getting noticed when Microsoft decided to get serious about WP.
45. x88yunkw (Posts: 77; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)
sorry to say that htc n samsung have produced wp since years ago but nobody aware what is wp phone.
until.... lumia appear in the market.... people start to recognize what is window phone.
interesting is, human remember ' lumia ' rather than ' wp '
56. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
I agree in that I think Nokia doesn't help Windows Phone at all. Sure it's unique but most people don't want a big thick phone anymore. Thin and light with a georgeous big screen is where it's at. AKA Samsung.... and htc too
62. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
not true, there are those that want heavier phones aslong as the trade off is worth it i.e. better camera
not everyone wants thin flat slabs
77. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
Oh I know, of course some people do. That's why in my comment I said 'most'. 'Most' people do want a thin, light phone with a big flashy screen. And I think Lumias are great, but as far as appealing to the massses, I don't think it really does. I could be proven wrong, in fact I hope I am. But as of now I disagree with claims that Nokia put Windows Phone on the map.
80. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
well id disagree with you saying nokia didnt put windows on the map. just like how when people say android most think samsung when you say windows most will think lumia. sure its only starting.
second again you said ''most'' you cant say most as i could say most just want a mid range phone so none of these devices matter to them anyway
83. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
I would be interested to see the statistics, but I wouldn't have thought that most people go for mid-range. Most of the people I know get the best phone that is out there at the time. But regardless, I said that I don't think the big thick Lumias will appeal to the masses. That doesn't change even if more people go for mid-range devices.
85. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
lol so you had to take a stab at the lumia's weight, the note 2 is a heavy phone its doing just fine so weight cant be brought into it. its not a valid problem
second there are many who arent tech knoledgable and just want a all round good phone that wont break the bank and mid range phones are what they get. us on here dont make up the market. the everyday customer is someone who knows little, the basics and just want a phone to get the job done.
how can the lumia's not appeal to the masses. easy to use, stylish ( no one can say they arent good looking phones) excellent hardware, smooth and fresh. people do look for the newest different thing. it comes in colours too which can be marketed to all ages. the lumia's have as much appeal as any other high end phone
87. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
Agreed! I don't know how many times I have to say I think Lumias are good! This isn't about whether they are good or not. I think when a newbie to the market walks into a store and looks at a thin, light samsung phone with a flashy screen, they will pick that over what looks at first to be a bigger, chunkier phone. Regardless of actual goodness. I love samsung, but know all that Nokia offers, I would probably pick a Lumia as well. But a lot of what is great about Lumias aren't right on the surface. Great camera with that awesome image stabilization, Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, exc. But those aren't things that these less knowledgeable people we're talking about would know.
70. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)
46 people that must be from finland hahaha
75. juusitu (Posts: 4; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
It's just BECAUSE of Lumia 920 everybody has starting interested for WP. With only Samsung and HTC it would NEVER have become popular OS. Get the facts, you are only make laughing matter of yourself, stupid kid!!
74. juusitu (Posts: 4; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
It's just BECAUSE of Lumia 920 everybody has starting interested for WP. With only Samsung and HTC it would NEVER have become populas OS. Get the facts, you are only make foolstupid kid!!!
82. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
I'm sorry, I'm not sure if you're referring to me as the stupid kid that doesn't know the facts, but I can see that you are both big Nokia fans, which is great. And its fine we can both have different opinions. I don't think Lumia phones are good enough to have single-handedly put Windows Phone on the map. I believe that improvements that came to the OS with Windows Phone 8 is what got people interested, and Nokia happened to come in around that time. Saying that HTC and Samsung would never help the OS get popular is purely false. HTC and Samsung (mostly Samsung) have built a huge name for themselves on Android, so people like and trust those manufacturers as much if not more than Nokia.
84. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
see obviously i can say your an android if not samsung fan, thing is the everyday average person wont really have much knowledge on wp8 as a whole but will instead connect the os to a manufacture.
like android = samsung the first thing people will think when you say wp8 is lumia or nokia. not saying the improvements didnt help but nokia have to be given credit for giving wp8 traction.
besides even though nokia's not in the greatest position most people still know the name and alot see nokia to mean excellent build quality
nokia should become what samsung is to android
86. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
Okay, I see what you're saying. When I think of Android I don't think of Samsung, I think of the OS. But maybe you're right and most less techy people would do that. And don't get me wrong I like Nokia! I'm very glad they're doing well so far on Windows Phone (I think). I hope it saves there company. My main point was just that I don't think they saved Windows Phone. I think they helped it. This is again my opinion, not claiming it to be fact. But I see where you're coming from.
89. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
i never said nokia saved windows, just there the driving force to bring it to the market and will (if they do it right) be associated and the first thing the average customer thinks when considering a wp8 device
what saved windows phone is the os itself, if it hadnt evolved then no amount of marketing or great device could have saved it. so i get what you mean and wp8 on its own should be given the credit it deserves
27. AnTuTu (Posts: 1010; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)
I know why you didn't mention Samsung here. Because you are A 4 Apple :)
59. bvalde09 (Posts: 173; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Mmm Nokia its fine but I think Samsung Ativ S is a monster
78. yajia1 (Posts: 114; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)
WP did not start getting famous because of lumia. It is because Microsoft became more serious with the OS and created WP8. Stupid people. I don't even see anyone with lumia 900/800 anywhere and I travel a lot. Everybody either has Galaxy SIII or iPhone 4/4s
81. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
you should look harder then, i hardly see anyone with a gs3. seen more notes then them
and lumia 800/900 ive seen many of, dont try to invalidate an entire os by claiming you havent seen them
88. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
Saying that you hardly see anyone with the gs3 doesn't mean anything. Because in pure sales numbers you can see that gs3 was the most successful Android phone ever; it sold over 30 million. Nokia phones, while I think they're very good, have no such numbers.
91. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
maybe but all im saying is just because you dont see them day to day doesnt mean there not out there
if your going on sales, look how many iphone 5's were sold...i still havent seen one person with one
people who write comments like that are only doing it to invalidate an opposing choice to there proffered os and it gets boring
92. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
How can you accuse me of trying to invalidate an opposing choice? I have done nothing even close to that. If you think saying that the Lumia is a great phone over and over and saying I would choose Lumia over other phones is invalidating it then you need to touch up on your vocabulary.
93. CellularNinja (Posts: 303; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)
I haven't even barely mentioned android! This discussion is about whether Lumia put Windows phones on the map or not. I have not tried to convince you that a different OS is better.
94. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
no i ment the original comment not your comments was trying to invalidate
and touch up my vocabulary , no mate i dont im fine as i am thanks go talk down to someone else
2. smallworld (Posts: 446; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
So 8 for the HTC 8X, 8.5 for the ATIV S and 9 for the Lumia 920 ?
Phonearena is so predictable.
16. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3048; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
It's this 8 for the 8X
8.5 for ATIV S
9 for the 820
And 9.5 for the 920!! XD
32. smallworld (Posts: 446; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
It's impossible for the 820 to have 9. More like 7.5-8.5
34. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3048; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
What a small-world!!! Sometimes it's better just to enjoy the joke and not comment something silly!!
41. Adithya7184 (Posts: 317; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)
so true...according to phonearena ativ S's camera and call quality is poor....and then why the hell is gsmarena mentioned it as Excellent...
4. bayhuy (Posts: 312; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)
The only real Windows 8 phones are HTC's and Nokia.
5. Aeires (unregistered)
It's an average sized phone, what's the problem with the size? Note is large, iPhone is small, this is average, don't see why that is a negative.
7. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
I agree with you, the Samsung Galaxy S III did not get any cons for being too large though it is exactly the same size (.02 mm inches shorter -.-), I would, rather, place the GS III and Ativ S in a medium-large category. I think 4'3 and 4'5 is medium sized phone (normally), the Note is just a monster.
42. Adithya7184 (Posts: 317; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)
and also 920 is 10.7mm x 8x is 10.1mm x Ativ S is 8.7mm
so in this comparison ss is winner...why it is not mentiond in this review....
6. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
The Lumia 920 and now Ativ S have both gotten remarks regarding lack of detail in photos. I hope this is not software based (Windows 8 processing) that's pulling a Sony with their point and shoot models (loss and smudging of detail to look better at higher isos). Time will tell.
8. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
How is this too big compared to 8X and 920?
It's almost the same footprint, yet much thinner and a much bigger display.
Add to that the large battery, expandable storage and you get the best WP8 phone
9. Kronic (banned) (Posts: 321; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)
Ignore this review and wait for lumia 920
38. flexile (Posts: 77; Member since: 03 Jun 2012)
Can't agree more with you. It will be hard to get into Nokia's territory.
10. josephnero (Posts: 332; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)
its reviewed by Ray S.thats why its considered big.
11. Leo_MC (Posts: 640; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)
Metal painted plastic?
No, thanks, we all know how quickly the paint wears off.
13. Nikolas.Oliver (banned) (Posts: 1574; Member since: 01 Jul 2012)
The galaxy s iii should have been looked like this
15. JamesHunt (Posts: 37; Member since: 01 Oct 2012)
Yesterday i watched the Lumia 920 review. Some canadian guy was the first person to receive his lumia from Rogers. Great phone ,to say the least!! I m excited about it !
17. pyradark (Posts: 788; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)
Hoping for a sony wp. X1 is there best wp yet
23. -box- (Posts: 3913; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
That's a WM, not a WP, but yes, Sony hardware with WP would be excellent. Really the only company I imagine not making WPs is Motorola, since they're owned by Google.
19. twens (Posts: 702; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)
Not that I hate wp8 but must all windows phone have almost same specs? I guess they all ran same with same speed? That must be boring,there won't be any much difference between a lumia 920,HTC 8x or ativ from Samsung.most difference will be from camera finish. Till there can be a difference in windows phones like the way Samsung is killing it with android I will pass all the time.
24. -box- (Posts: 3913; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
There is something to be said for consistency. Android phones have similar consistencies, and some use the same hardware as the new WP8s. Makes costs lower, development easier, and reduces chances for possible fragmentation.
|Display||4.8 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (306 ppi) Super AMOLED|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Dual core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
1024 MB RAM
|Size||5.40 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches|
(137.2 x 70.5 x 8.7 mm)
4.76 oz (135 g)
|Battery||2300 mAh, 13 hours talk time|