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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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
Top of the ATIV S. The big circle is the 1.9MP camera
Back of the ATIV S. I love the giant flash on this phone.
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.
Same set of phones in profile. The ATIV S is the super thin one on the right.
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Gorgeous. Can't wait to see what else they come up with. Still waiting for something in the 5.5" range with Windows 8 OS.
You missed the Omnia 7!
This looks like a delicious device for sure. Go Samsung.
Wow! Just WOW! I had to look up the thickness of my current Samsung Focus...9.9 mm, this is over 1 mm thinner, more than 10%! My phone already felt crazy thin, I can't wait to see this in stores! Speaking of which, I'll be the first to ask, no pricing or availability??? $200 on Oct 26th???
Crap, it's a rectangle. Back to the drawingboard!
Is there any fear that the ATIV S will be banned from being sold in the US because of its similarity to the iPhone (following the patent wars)?
ChristobelP: Not going to happen. Apple and MS have had a cross licencing deal for years. With a WP8 you can have no fear of later updates disabling features you had when you first purchased your phone. Unlike Android, with a WP8 you're guaranteed support for 18months after purchase! WP8 FTW!
Awesome :D, but I still want to see a WP8 LUMIA :O
Cant wait for the rest of the devices :D
This looks actually pretty good. I was worried after seeing the first renders show up on The Verge but then they thought it had a faux brushed Aluminum plastic back. Seeing these pictures I might consider buying that thing. I'll still wait and see what Nokia and HTC bring to the party. The Lumia and HTC One series are still a tiny bit above this in my view but a great device nonetheless - way to go Samsung.
I am waiting for a Windows phone on Verizon for almost a year now! This phone looks gorgeous but I have the same concerns as CristobelP's. gwydionjhr: MSFT and Apple may have agreements in place but Samsung and Apple have already locked horns. :(
Beautiful, finally Samsung put some metal at the back of these devices. I would still prefer something around 4.3", I doubt 4.8" won't be uncomfortable to hold.
But, wait, no NFC????
Everyone just looks over the high end phone. Each companty forgets about a good handy midrange WP8 phone. :( If any OEMs bring a good WP8 device within $300 then I'm sold!
Many of the problems Samsung had with the Galaxy Line was due to TouchWiz and Android. Those are not an issue due to the patent agreement in place. The only real problem could be with the device's design.
We still need to note that Apple could have easily added the Samsung Focus to the original proceedings as the device was already on the market then. They did not which I take as a sign that they are not going after Windows Phones.
No mention of NFC, do you know anything about that?
NFC support?!?! Also, I hope we can see a full spec sheet to know what Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities it supports.
What cell phone provider(s) will be offering this?
No Omnia 7? :( I love mine to bits. As much as this sounds amazing the look of the phone puts me off. It's... Rounded. I like the squareness of my Omnia. I think it's much more sleek and modern and goes much better with the square live tiles. Looks a bit too much like a galaxy front on as well :/ and the entire body should be a single shade, not grey/black like that. Call me picky :P will be excited to see what else Samsung have up their sleeves though!
Just Awesome!! My Hunt begins for the new WP8 phone here in India :-)
Lovely. Now where's the SDK? ;)
This looks absolutely divine... Will it have at least a 720p screen?
Good looking phone, but what carriers are getting this and how the hell do you pronounce the AWFUL name?
When can I expect to get hands-on one of this in India...
gwydionjhr: So you're saying Android doesn't have the update/support guarantee? Android has exactly the 18 month update/support guarantee from the day the phone is announced. And so it is with Windows phones.
GoodThings2Life: It's pronounced "ah-teev"
BRi7X: Since it's an HD screen I'd say it's definitely 720p. My concern is which variety is it going to be? 1280x720p or 1280x768p. Pixel density is over 300 either way for those who are interested in that kinda thing.
Finally something to get excited about! I wonder where in Samsung's WP8 line this ranks. If it's in the middle, I can't wait to see what the top of the line model looks like.
MS/Apple licensing aside, Apple didn't go after anything above the Galaxy II if I remember correctly. I'm not the least bit worried about support on Samsung WP8 products. Hell, I've got the original Focus now upgraded to WP7.5. AT&T is the one blocking the patches Samsung released after 7.5; not Samsung. I hope MS centralizes the update process so nothing will be held back going forward.
@ Larry Schaibley - You're not alone. 5.5" screen would pretty much eliminate the need of a 7" tablet plus 4LTE would be built in...no tethering fee like at&t charges.
For those that keep asking if it'll get banned or if sammy will get sued...the answer is no bc windows phones are protected bc Microsoft and apple have an equal agreement not to sue
Apple didn't go after anything above the S2 because they sued back in 2011 when there was nothing newer then the S2 to sue about. It simply takes that much time before those things reach the court.
As so many people asked about NFC. At least Samsung showed NFC support as a bullet point on their slides at the IFA.
Gee, it looks like an iPhone. I guess I'll be the wet blanket this time. I still have the original Focus--and it IS a great unit--but has since been replaced as my primary phone by the Lumia 900. But I absolutely learned my lesson about literally being the first person in town to buy the first Windows Phone released. Samsung has NOT adequately supported their devices, and has not pushed AT&T to do THEIR job, either. The ATIV S just looks boring to me and has uninspiring specs. I don't really care about the processor--that's just to placate the idiots who think the processor is the be-all for a device. And this is the first one off the block. I expect the first rollout of WP8 and any devices running it to be as poorly completed as WP7 was, which is sad to say considering I have been one of the top enthusiasts of the platform from day 1. But I have to acknowledge the facts. I just spent good money to get the Lumia 900. It's an incredibly awesome device and has received unparalleled support from Nokia that I am now a Nokia fan. Samsung just can't compete.
I love WP7. I've not been impressed with what has been revealed about WP8.... I DEFINITELY hate the new start screen. Basically, the only feature I like is the support for card storage (something I still love about the Focus). Outside of that....meh. I will wait for the second gen WP8 devices.
I like it! It looks much more premium than any Samsung windows phone and more premium than the Samsung Galaxy S3! I see now that they got sued by Apple (and lost), they might just be taking Windows Phone more seriously.
I currently have a Focus and the ATIV S makes it look so obsolete.. This looks really beautiful.
I'm with you on this one you've said it all
I would be excited, but Samsung has a lousy reputation for reliability of their products.
Better wait for Nokia W8 Phone next week wednesday.
A Samsung would not be suitable to participate on the Nokia phone throwing competition.
@oggyb, yep Omnia 7 is rly good device.
Can't wait for new windows phone 8 devices
As amazing as it looks, the loyal early adoptors have contracts ending before the 26th October (Windows 8 release) and therefore will probably not be able to get this. My own contract is up on the 24th October. My upgrade is two weeks away. Bit of a shame really.
The successor to my Samsung Focus is here. I want one!
Love that it's got an aluminum finish. Dual core should be more than I'll ever need. Them Androids keep boastin' dem fancy quad core's and who-be-whatty, but my single core Focus has kept up with the Jones', I'm looking forward to this new device!
@Ikorai - Seriously?? Your upgrade has an expiration date? Granted, I've been on Sprint since way before the smartphone wars began, so I don't know from experience how other carriers do it.. but on Sprint, once my upgrade window opens, it stays open until I finally use it. When I got my Arrive, they'd been sending me "friendly reminders" that I was due for an upgrade for months, but I kept holding out for the phone I actually wanted...
@Ikorai , just because you have an upgrade, doesn't mean you have to use it now.....your contract remains intact (at the same pricing) perpetually. Once the new phones launch in October, and you use your upgrade, then you have to extend your contract out another 2 years.
According to GSM Arena, it does have NFC: www.gsmarena.com/samsung_ativ_s-4960.php
Sadly the first devise wasn't Nokia
Chances are that the device will support all 50 languages. Samsung currently is the only phone manufacturer to support all of the Windows Phone languages. You should get this phone. I hope the model number should begin with SGH-I9XX, not SGH-T8XX, because I wanted to make this phone to land on AT&T, not T-Mobile.
Adding this model to the list of W8 phones to check out before I upgrade. Well done Samsung.
Patiently waiting to see what Nokia, and HTC bring to the table... As for me?? My upgrade isn't until May 2013, so like Scuba I'll probably be waiting for 2GWP8D's... Just imagine if this device was unveiled a year ago!,, 2012 would have been a different year for WP. But, overall I'm pleased with the progress that was made this year, and guess what guys... It's not over yet!
I do agree with C63AMG Blacks... Samsung does appear to be taking WP more seriously. They did a great job of boasting about WP8 at the unveiling of the ATIV S....
@Scuba - Have to agree with you completely. I have been completely and utterly unimpressed with everything that's come out about Windows Phone 8 (or, maybe, we should call it what it really is: WinRT Phone). Unless Nokia shows something that is so amazing as to make me stop in my tracks, I'll be waiting to see what the second generation of WP8 devices look like.
I don't agree with the patent lawsuit business going on, at all, but Samsung hasn't really inspired me in either Windows Phone OR Android markets. Frankly, Samsung has proven to be a terrible OEM partner for Windows Phone in the past. It's evident that they're not even really trying anymore since they're just slapping Windows Phone on top of existing designs. When I saw this I immediately recognized it as a rebranded Galaxy S3, NOT a Windows Phone.
I wonder if this phone can disable auto rotate.
I see two concerns, one being the metal back seems to scratch easily and two the ear piece is mis set. I hope this does not make it to production models. Other than that what a sweeet phone!!!
That is one sexy beast. Nokia definitely has their work cut out for them.
Anyone know what carrier this is going to? I'd like to dump AT&T along with my iPhone.
I usually buy HTC, but I vote with my check book. Since Apple sued Samsung, I will buy a Samsung phone next. This is a vote against unnecessary ligation.
This is a beautiful looking phone. Definitely on my watch list for this fall.
However, I'm eagerly waiting to see what Nokia brings to the table next week.
i'll also be waiting to see what Nokia announces next week, but overall this isn't a bad high end device from Samsung even though it IS a Galaxy S3 rebranded as others have mentioned.
I do like the new start screen, at first i wasnt sure i would but i've been messing around with that "W Phone 8" app to try and get a feel for it and it's not bad. I hope the Live tiles display more info and hopefully push notifications are faster in WP8.
No LTE? Must be heading to T-Mobile....
@scuba @cap.... What the heck is this hating the new start screen? What's wrong now? You don't like what we did, or you wanted more, or what?
I personally think the new start screen is a good compromise between the old single-size squares and complete anarchy like you have on Androld phones, and since the tiles are live, it beats iPune all to heck.
It looks nice but I hope it doesn't violate some of Apple's hardware design patents. That is the only thing that would scare me from buying this model.
Beautiful :) But can't beat LUMIA
I'll wait for more details on Nokia Maps/Drive implementation in all WP8 devices before buying a non-Nokia Windows Phone. Other than that, this looks pretty good. Nice to see an upgraded design from the Galaxy S3 rather than the hand-me-down we were expecting.
And Samsung does it again! Despite the lawsuit!
Why does it have to look like an iPhone? What's with the bottom centre (for those who don't get the point: iPhone like [so what if square]) centre physical key? Just see how it looks here: windowsteamblog.com/.../4338.IMG_5F00_5530_5F00_thumb_5F00_3B8159D6.jpg
Why can't it just be capacitative like other two? Hmmph! Don't they get the point?
1.5ghz processor? Thats faster than my Windows XP Netbook with Pentium M! Which is running at 1.4ghz with 512mb RAM! When/If it comes out in the UK I might sell my netbook for this sleek looking and a faster processor than many netbooks of the time! Its epic!
How can any of you say this looks like an iPhone?? It looks nothing like an iPhone. If its down to the fact it's a rectangular phone with a touch screen then I guess all rectangular touch screen phones are iPhones......
You're all blind
Awesome :D! Nokia, now it's your turn... Surprise us!
Beautiful phone (except the raised button, I personally prefer a complete capacitive screen). Although I'm in the UK, I have a fully unlocked Focus S ala AT&T USA. I'm holding out for Nokia's new Lumia with PureView. But if it does not float my boat (I'm certain it will though) this will be my very next choice for Windows Phone 8 :-) Well done Samsung Mobile, now support it the way Nokia does with its Lumia products and not the half hearted way you did with earlier phones.
Love IT!!! To Bad Sprint wont have it!!
Since the demise of Windows Mobile I have tolerated various ios and Android devices, knowing that one of the two was the best of a bad bunch but never deciding which one. I am now quite excited about Windows Phone 8 and think it could be the best OS when it is launched. I just hope the app developers come back on board quickly as Windows Phone has a lot of catching up to do there to say the least.
As for the Ativ, it is gorgeuos but I had the Samsung Galaxy SIII for a couple of months till I decided I could no longer put up with the screen's poor performance in sunlight. I fear this screen will be the same so this handset is not for me but I am excited at the prospects for Windows Phone 8 generally.
Its just me going crazy, or its JUST THE SAME DESIGN AS AN APPLE'S IPHONE? why can't samsung be different like Nokia? really, I like samsung, but if i'm supposed to buy things exactly as an Iphone, I will buy at Apple, hahaha' so, for me, I will stay with Nokia ^^
Nokia and everyone else making Windows 8 phones need to make a CDMA version. Not everyone wants to use AT&T or T-Mobile.
The Windows phones are cosmetically getting better and better. I'm excited to see all the Windows 8 phones that are coming out. Definitely would like to know if there will be any NPC support in any of these new phones. Love the raised Windows button, as well, one thing that I've always wished for. Can't wait for the end of the year!
@Leigh...the original Start screen was perfect the way it was! Now what's been done is CREATE chaos. It looks horrible. It use to be clean. Every time I see a demo of the new screen it just sickens me how cluttered it looks. I can tell you this much, if the start screen is the only thing added to 7.8 then I will NOT be updating my Lumia 900 to it.
I have samsung focus, and it works great,, waiting for more phone to upgrade to a nice WIN8 phone, this phone looks great.
The start screen in WP8 can be configured with only medium sized tiles. The only thing missing would be the blank edge to the right. Why don't you just configure it this way to clean up your WP8 startscreen? Hell, it might even look cleaner than the original! Just an idea........
@Rodney E. Jones:
You're forgetting that the WP8 medium tiles are much larger and you can only reasonably fit 6 on the screen instead of 8. The lack of negative space creates a cluttered feeling. Negative space is important in good design. That's why it was there in WP7, and that's why you see a lot of it on Metro W8 apps.
I don't know anything about design, but I always thought the negative space was a waste. I'm planning on having a row of 4 small icons (phone, messaging, email, etc.) then six medium tiles. So, i'll have 10 live tiles, instead of 8.
This is a great form factor. The brushed metal is much better than the plastic-y stuff that Samsung has been releasing in the past. Can't wait to see the Nokia phone and make my decision on which to get.
@ gfunk84 & Scuba
I'm not saying that one design is better than the other, I'm just saying that there is a way to have a clean start screen with WP8. The negative space is gone so there's no reason to dwell on what we cant fix, although we can take scubas route and refuse to update our devices.. IMO although very important, the start screen isn't everything in an OS, but the WP7.5 SS is a major selling point for WP. WP devices definitely have the best SS and overall design of any device out there, but this may be subjective when considering the opinion of some. One thing is true about the new SS... like it or not it's still a much better solution than the competitors, and that's what counts. I'm willing to work with it, and with time I'm sure we will all get used to it.
Actually,, I do already miss the negative space, but at the same time I cant help but love the functionality, and looks of the new start screen. That's just my opinion.
Oh, if you want negative space on the new SS you could just load all black tiles to the right of the screen. LOL... See, there's always a fix! LOL Just joking.......
This looks great, I have the Samsung Omnia 7 and I love it. Waiting for the other WP8 devices and upgrade!
Gorgeous Phone. Now I'm ready to make the jump from my original Samsung Focus.
So Microsoft is rumored to launch WP8 on Oct. 29? That would a mistake once again cause people are sick of waiting and waiting for new MSFT products while the competition always beats them to the punch. Get it right this time please!
The Windows Phone era is here, move aside Android & iOS! We're taking over your lead in the marketplace.
Great phone. looks amazing, specially this button in the middle.
Here are some more info: forum.owindowsphone.pl/.../1827-Specyfikacja-techniczna-zdj%C4%99cia
Can. Not. WAIT! Great Camera too. Amazingly thin, Very Powerful and topped off with very, very, very Good Looks!
I really like the looks of this phone, and have liked it more, the more I look at it over the last few days. I thought the GSIII was a beautiful phone already, and the minor modifications here only enhance that.
Since I'm giving up hope of having another physical keyboard, I guess I'll embrace the large screen, big enough to use an on-screen keyboard functionally, especially with resolution high enough to really make it all work.
That said, WHY can't we have all three main buttons be physical?? I am SO SICK of accidentally brushing against the search or back buttons while typing, texting, gaming, you name it... I played with my niece's 710 the other day, and the physical buttons on that phone made it SO nice to use. The middle button on this one is great, how about all three? PLEASE???
@gfunk84 has it exactly right. We also know it as "white space". There is judicious use of it in the current start screen. With 7.8 and 8, even with choosing the current tile sizes, it's all crammed together. It's just horrible. I'm sorry, but it really is.
Well, like I said, my next outlay of cash will be for the Surface Pro, so I'm going to pass on the First Gen WP8 devices. I'm just not enthusiastic at all about WP8. I'm much more excited about Windows 8 and Surface....MUCH more excited.
This phone looks plain awesome. I can't wait to see what Nokia will have to offer, but this device makes me wanna check ATIV S out AS WELL before I head to get the Nokia. Pretty exciting to see really cool offering for WP8 starting to come out!
Looks like an awesome phone. Hope they're available UNLOCKED so I can use it on Straight Talk. Otherwise I might hafta stick with WP7, maybe the 2nd generation Focus.
I loved it, this is the first walk to Windows Phone 8 which is different and amazing OS. Than Microsoft thanks SAMSUNG. Samsung with WP8 is really super smart phone. I'm waiting for Nokia too...
Am I the only one that thinks that it looks like the IPhone, and the rumors of the "IPhone 5" (being made by Samsung)?
For everyone saying this looks like an iPhone...lawsuits...etc...just remember that BEFORE there was an iPhone...there was Windows PC Phone's. HTC had a version for T-Mobile that looked just like an iphone, but in silver (I still have it in a drawer somewhere). It had a similar 'center' button, rounded corners, etc. Soooo, did Apple steal from them?
Bottom line...don't read too much into the Apple/Samsung lawsuit. There has been rounded corner phones before iPhone, and there have been touchscreen (no physical keyboards) before iPhone too. It's one of the reasons I went straight to iPhone after it came out was because Windows phone manufacturers staring adding small keyboards (to be like Blackberry) which was a nightmare to use (before, it was an on-screen keyboard).
The future of Samsung Windows Phones? I found out that the Ativ S will support T-Mobile. I am predicting another similar model to land on AT&T sometime in 2013.
Samsung Ativ Note: 5.5" HD Retina Super AMOLED display (1280x768), LTE (AT&T), expected release date Q2 2013, S-Pen compatible, NFC compatible
"I am waiting for a Windows phone on Verizon for almost a year now!" (aqueous)
In case you were unaware, Verizon does offer one phone with Windows Phone installed on it. It is Windows Phone 7.5 though, not Windows Phone 8, if that is what you are looking for. The phone is HTC's Trophy. That is the phone that I use. They also have a vast assortment of Android-powered phones.
Hey I just buy a new Black berry Curve. - http://www.bankinfoonline.com/
Is this better than the Nokia 920,, the Nokia Lumia 920 is thicker
the problem with this companies is that they don't say the date, price, always they launch, and arrive in to another countries to late, and always when one buy the longed product, after 6 months or 1 and half year, they just to time to (announce) another product.
they must work like Apple in the announce (keynote) they say the, price, when will be launched and when reach all other countries
Mixing capacitive buttons and physical buttons is a usability tragedy. Since I took the time to sign up to make that comment, I'll also mention about WP8 that the search button has way too much prominence since I only use it occasionally, whereas I really need a forward button for when I accidentally bump the back arrow on the home screen of an app (quite often), without which I now have to re-launch the app and relocate wherever I was within it. Finally, the on-screen keyboard desperately needs arrow keys.
Yay! I'm glad to see Windows is making a comeback! I'm guessing this Samsung brand won't be affected by the current apple suit going on?
I have always owned Samsung Omnias because they have the smallest DAS of the market. THIS is the most important feature for me. This is for instance the reason why I will probably never buy a Nokia.
What is the ATIV S' ?
I am an original Samsung focus buyer and still use it. I don't like the raised center button shown. My phone stays in my pocket at work, and this looks to be a problem for people like me. I love windows phone and want to see Apple on its arse lol.I will wait for other wp8 models to come out before I make the jump to another model just yet
I have now for almost 2 year the Samsung Omnia 7 .Never any problem. Very fast with connecting. F.i. I had my song allready playing while the androids where busy connecting, But not populair in Holland. I don't know why. In Holland there was no appstore no Dutch on the phone. (I bought mine in England with a English account so I could reach the English appstore) I think the ATIV will be a very good sucessor. Ihope also that for my Omnia there will be a upgrade to Win 8. He is still in very good shape.He has only no msdslot. The Ativ has!
It looks just like the galaxy s3!
you should change the interface of windows 8 and you should make windows market
all the next generation in must be for windows
and how match price of Samsung ATIV S