This is the Samsung ATIV S, the first of many amazing Windows Phone 8 devices coming this year

Today at IFA in Berlin, Samsung lifted the curtain on its first Windows Phone 8 device, the ATIV S. This is just the first in a big lineup of new hardware that’s coming with Windows Phone 8, but it’s a seriously impressive opening salvo. Samsung built the ATIV S with the latest and greatest technology, especially for anyone who want a superphone that’s equal parts powerhouse and head turner.

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Specs

Inside the crazy-thin 8.7mm brushed aluminum chassis is a huge 4.8” HD Super AMOLED display made from Corning Gorilla Glass 2 (read: tough to break, but still light)and a rundown of killer specs: 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of onboard RAM, and an 8MP autofocus rear camera and 1.9MP front-facing camera. You’ll have the choice of two storage capacities – 16GB or 32GB – and both models have a MicroSD slot for expanded storage. Backing all of this up is a massive 2300mAh battery to keep you rocking all day.

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Look & Feel

Samsung did a heck of a job packing the latest and greatest tech into the ATIV S, but what’s even more impressive is how great the phone feels when you pick it up. Despite having a 4.8” display, which makes the ATIV S one of the bigger phones on the market, it doesn’t feel that big. I attribute that to three things. The first is that the ATIV S is impossibly thin – obvious, yes – but still important. The second is more subtle; Samsung made the bezel of the ATIV S an oblong hemisphere (hello, Art History degree, I missed you). In English that means that the bezel actually bulges out slightly, then tapers more acutely to the back. This makes the ATIV extremely comfortable to hold and keeps your fingers off the screen when it’s in your hand (smart!).

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The third, and in my opinion most important, is weight and balance. When designing a handheld device engineers walk a fine line – too light and the device feels cheap, too heavy and it’s cumbersome. Samsung’s ATIV S walks this tightrope with ease; it’s solid but not heavy, and it’s perfectly balanced so your hand doesn’t get fatigued. I’ve been using mine for a few days and not once did I have to do to the “I-need-to-put-this-thing-down-and-shake-out-my-hand-because-my-fingers-are-going-numb” thing.

Final thoughts

The ATIV S is flat-out beautiful, and it has the guts to match. But what’s impressed me most about the ATIV S is Samsung’s attention to detail. To get to your Start screen, you hit a raised physical Windows button, not a capacitive one. The speaker bar on the front and the back, as well as all of the buttons, are aluminum, not plastic. And the display glass has just the slightest of rounded edges. It all adds up to a device that looks great, feels great, and performs great.

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More photos of the ATIV S below, including a few of the new device next to Samsung’s Windows Phone 7 family.  Let us know what you think!

Oh, one last thing before I go….be sure to check out Blogging Windows on Friday, August 31st for a look at the rest of the cool new devices being announced at IFA this week.

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Top of the ATIV S. The big circle is the 1.9MP camera

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Back of the ATIV S. I love the giant flash on this phone.

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The entire family of Samsung Windows Phones (minus the Focus Flash, which I accidentally forgot to include!). From left to right, the original Focus, the Focus S, Focus 2, and the new ATIV S.

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Same set of phones in profile. The ATIV S is the super thin one on the right.

 

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