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Samsung Ativ S review

A lack of 4G holds back an otherwise stellar Windows Phone.

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 14.83 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Thin, stylish design
  • Biggest screen of any Windows Phone 8 device
  • Strong specs
  • MicroSD support

Against

  • Limited WP8 apps
  • No 4G
  • Made of slippery plastic

Battery life

Samsung's flagship Android phone, the Galaxy S3, is known for being stellar in the battery life department. This is one place where the Ativ S doesn't live up to the reputation of the brand. While it can easily edge out the underperforming battery of HTC 8X, it doesn't come anywhere near the life of the S3.

Samsung Ativ S review

This is especially surprising since the Ativ S actually has a 2,300 mAh battery, as opposed to the S3's 2,100 mAh cell. Chalk it up to Android engineering, we suppose.

Beginning a day at 8AM with a full charge, the Ativ S was generally at about 60% battery life by nightfall. This is with a day of moderate use, with push notifications enabled, frequent email checking and writing, trips to Facebook, web browsing, and a bit of gaming and call making.

That's nothing to be ashamed of. The Ativ S is easily an all day phone, and the fact that the battery is removable means carrying an extra is a viable option, if not exactly necessary.

Heavy use is enough to get the battery very close to dead before end of day, though. Extended gaming, watching Netflix and snapping lots of pictures will take a chunk out of your charge. We also suspect that all those lovely Live Tiles might be to blame as well. Android Widgets are known for tapping smartphone fuel, so big tiles that report information likely take their toll too.

Connectivity

The Ativ S has the usual assortment of connectivity options, minus 4G. As we've mentioned, it's an 3G HSPA+ phone. Failing that, you'll be on an Edge network with speeds near dial-up. WiFi is dual band a/b/g/n, and there's also Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, A-GPS and Glonass.

It's rumored that the Ativ Odyssey, a Verizon exclusive, will have 4G LTE. If the fastest available data rates are important to you, then you may want to hold off until more is known about that phone.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
SAR Value0.31 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyAtiv S
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourSilver
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time14.83 Hour
Screen Size12.2 cm (4.8")
Screen Resolution1280 x 720
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density306 ppi
Height137.2 mm
Width70.5 mm
Depth8.7 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameAtiv S Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineAtiv S
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I8750ALABT
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Limited Warranty2 Year