Interface

Well, it's not too often that we have two handsets with almost entirely identical software. If you are reading this article, we assume that you already know what Windows Phone 8 is about, but in case you'd like a refresher, feel free to read our HTC Windows Phone 8X Review, or Samsung ATIV S Review, where we take a more in-depth look at the platform experience.


So, is there anything that differentiates these two devices? Well, yes, there is! It's HTC's own hub/app, which... is nothing really special. It gives you the current weather and a weather forecast, it provides stock information, and it also has a news section powered by a variety of sources over which you have almost no control. With other words, the HTC hub is something that we could easily live without.


To counter the HTC hub, though, Samsung has the Now application (or hub, or whatever it is). It also provides weather information courtesy of AccuWeather (same as the HTC), as well as news and stocks. On both handsets you get pretty much the same stuff. Samsung has also preloaded its ChatON service for those who'd like to use it.

Messaging

As you can imagine, the ATIV S has a bit of advantage due to its bigger display size, making all keys slightly larger. We're sure that both handsets will deliver a satisfying typing experience, but for those who really type a lot, or have larger hands, the ATIV S might be the better option with its roomier 4.8” screen.



Processor and Memory

With Microsoft having extremely tight control over the specs of Windows Phone devices, it's very hard for manufacturers to differentiate when it comes to hardware as well. It all becomes quite obvious when we see that both the Samsung ATIV S and HTC Windows Phone 8X feature exactly the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus dual-core chipset clocked at 1.5 GHz and Adreno 225 GPU.

Additionally, they both have 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage, but Samsung has managed to escape from the grip and add a neat microSD card slot at the last minute, allowing its customers to easily increase the storage space.

All in all, you can expect the same kind of buttery-smooth performance out of both devices.

Internet

The browser works quite predictably on both the ATIV S and Windows Phone 8X, meaning that it's very capable.

Although the 8X has a crisper screen, making text more legible, this is successfully countered by the ATIV S's larger real estate. It's very hard to pick a clear favorite in this respect, but if you value stuff like true colors, then maybe the 8X will deliver a more pleasing experience for you. At the end of the day, both will get the job done in a timely and satisfying manner.


Obviously, the network speeds will vary depending on the carrier and network you use the phones on. As far as specs go, the international ATIV S lacks LTE, but we're sure that when it hits Verizon later in the form of the ATIV Odyssey, LTE will be part of the package. Other than that, both devices feature HSDPA 42.2 Mbit/s, and HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s.

If you'd like to know more about the browsing experience in Windows Phone 8, please take a look at our Samsung ATIV S Review.

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