Let's start with the Windows Phone Blog, and while you'd assume Ben Rudolph was given a heads up and has to say nice things about the ATIV S, he also points out that this is just the first of many upcoming Windows Phone 8 devices:
This is just the first in a big line-up of new hardware that’s coming with Windows Phone 8, but it’s a seriously impressive opening salvo.
As we talked about yesterday on AAWP, Samsung's first WP8 device puts down a solid marker that will allow the media to compare upcoming hardware (such as a potential Nokia Windows Phone 8) against a respected baseline.
Samsung defining the Windows Phone 8 space in Berlin at the IFA has done Nokia a favour. Journalists and bloggers now have a baseline on which to measure every new phone entering the Windows Phone 8 space. It's unlikely that Nokia's specs for their new phones will be underwhelming next to the ATIV S (I'm not counting screen size by the way, as that's more a styling issue), so we're going to be able to see, rather quickly, where the new Nokia ranks.
WP Central points out a number of close up PR shots of the smartphone can be found on Facebook. Hands on time with the phone appears to be almost nonexistent from those at the IFA in Berlin. Given Windows Phone 8 isn't released to the public just yet, that makes a certain amount of sense, although at similar events there's an expectation of prototype devices being on the exhibition floor for a few minutes of hands on time in the presence of the PR teams.
Alexandra Chang takes a look at the ATIV S for Wired, and spots two things that keen smartphone watchers were expecting to see in the latest Windows Phone 8 from Samsung. MicroSD and a bit of Galaxy:
And as suspected from Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 reveal earlier this summer, the ATIV S also has a MicroSD slot for expanded storage and support for NFC. From the body alone, it looks very similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S II. It has the same rectangular shape with rounded corners — yes, the very design that Apple sued Samsung for — and is just 8.7mm thick.
Things we don't know about the handset, beyond how it looks, is a long list. We don't know which carrier will be taking on this smartphone, or the price of the handset before subsidies. Samsung didn't even mention the processors, but TechCrunch's Chris Velazco tracked down the part through Qualcomm... it's a MSM8260A:
That’s the same chipset seen in the U.S. variants of the HTC One X and Galaxy S III so the ATIV won’t leave you wanting for horsepower, but it means LTE is definitely off the table.
The Register also looks inside the brushed aluminium casing to check out the rather expansive battery:
Samsung seems to be in the mood to go large with its portable offerings although how long powering such a device lasts remains to be seen, although its 2300mAh battery is a decent capacity for a mobile.
Finally, batting for the home team is Janet Tu from The Seattle Times, who points out ATIV is actually the Latin word for life, backwards. Let's hope Sony aren't looking in the mirror and spotting the Samsung Vita... they might have something to say about that!
Noticeable in all this coverage is the lack of anything beyond the initial press release and first look at the specs. No side by side shots with other handsets, no sample pictures from the camera, no demonstrations of SD card support, or anything that would allow a comparison of the handset outside of the pictures Samsung have supplied.
They might be the first to announce a Windows Phone 8 handset, but I think there's a final bit of polish being added to the OS before it's ready to meet the press and the public without a chaperone.