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Samsung ATIV S Review

Samsung ATIV S 8.5

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Call quality:

Samsung ATIV S Review
Call quality on the Samsung ATIV S is a mixed bag. Incoming voice quality is so-so, with very good loudness and mediocre clarity. On the opposite end, things are a bit worse, as the mic of the ATIV S doesn't really do anything to improve the experience. Thankfully, there's a second mic for noise-cancellation which does a good job of eliminating the ambient sounds around you.


The Samsung ATIV S is equipped with a 2300 mAh battery, but unfortunately, the manufacturer hasn't disclosed information about the stand-by and talk times that should be expected out of the phone. During our testing, we noticed that that phone wasn't so quick to drain the battery, in spite of the large screen (though we were using it at medium brightness). Our guess is that users will be able to get about two days out of the ATIV S, with moderate usage. As always, super-heavy users will have to charge the phone each day. Still, this is a pretty decent achievement for such a large-screened smartphone.


There's a lot to love in the ATIV S. It's not the perfect smartphone, but it has a large and eye-catching Super AMOLED screen, as well as decent exterior and stable performance. It may not be particularly pretty, but it sure does stand out from the rest of the WP8 offerings.

Where it falls a bit short is the camera and call quality departments, but if this isn't such a big issue for you, we believe you won't regret investing in the ATIV S.

Overall, it's clear that there's still a lot of work to be done on Windows Phone 8, but the platform is beginning to assume a quite competitive stance. Using it is definitely a joy, and the ATIV S is only contributing to this compelling experience. It's a feature-packed smartphone for heavy users, which can easily go toe-to-toe with other top-shelf smartphones in almost all areas, except for the app catalog.

Software version of the reviewed unit: OS 8.0.9900.568, Firmware 2424.12.09.7

Samsung ATIV S Video Review:


  • Very large screen
  • microSDXC card slot


  • A bit too big for some users
  • Camera and camcorder could be better
PhoneArena rating:
8.5 Excellent
User rating:
9 4 Reviews

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posted on 01 Nov 2012, 09:21 47

1. TheLibertine (Posts: 484; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)

For me when it is Windows Phone it is either Nokia or nothing.

posted on 01 Nov 2012, 09:25 12

3. smallworld (Posts: 499; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

And then Windows Phone is doomed.

posted on 03 Nov 2012, 21:59

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

posted on 01 Nov 2012, 09:56 17

12. ajac09 (Posts: 1482; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

Nokia is the reason why windows phones are doing so bad. Samsung and HTC will bring it back

posted on 01 Nov 2012, 10:11 39

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.

posted on 01 Nov 2012, 12:36 27

21. AmitMajumder (Posts: 178; 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

posted on 02 Nov 2012, 17:18

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.

posted on 02 Nov 2012, 09:38 1

45. x88yunkw (Posts: 124; 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 '

posted on 03 Nov 2012, 17:00 2

56. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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

posted on 06 Nov 2012, 16:51 1

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

posted on 16 Nov 2012, 23:44

77. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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.

posted on 17 Nov 2012, 09:20

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

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:37

83. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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.

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:45

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

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:53

87. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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.

posted on 10 Nov 2012, 20:09 1

70. ajac09 (Posts: 1482; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

46 people that must be from finland hahaha

posted on 12 Nov 2012, 19:47

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!!

posted on 12 Nov 2012, 19:38

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!!!

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:33

82. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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.

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:40

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

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:49

86. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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.

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:56 1

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

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 07:02

90. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


posted on 01 Nov 2012, 15:15 5

27. AnTuTu (Posts: 1580; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)

I know why you didn't mention Samsung here. Because you are A 4 Apple :)

posted on 04 Nov 2012, 20:02

59. bvalde09 (Posts: 188; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)

Mmm Nokia its fine but I think Samsung Ativ S is a monster

posted on 17 Nov 2012, 08:59 1

78. yajia1 (Posts: 151; 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

posted on 17 Nov 2012, 09:22

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

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 06:56

88. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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.

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 07:08

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

posted on 18 Nov 2012, 22:11

92. CellularNinja (Posts: 306; 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.

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Samsung ATIV S

Samsung ATIV S

OS: Windows Phone 8.1 8
view full specs
Display4.8 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (306 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
Size5.40 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches
(137.2 x 70.5 x 8.7 mm)
4.76 oz  (135 g)
Battery2300 mAh, 13 hours talk time

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