In this gallery, we kick off our review coverage of the Samsung ATIV S by offering a visual tour of Samsung's first Windows Phone 8 device. It's a high end device with key specifications including a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, dual core 1.5 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8 megapixel camera, and 16GB of internal storage. It's notable for being the only current high-end Windows Phone device with both a removeable battery and microSD card support.
Samsung ATIV S (click images to expand):
It's.... the Galaxy S III.... with Windows Phone 8 on! In fact, there are a number of subtle hardware differences, including a bigger battery, dramatic new paintjob and - of course - the Windows Phone control keys rather than Android icons.
The new control keys, in standard Windows Phone configuration. The Start button, being physical, can be used to help wake the screen up if needed. The backlights on the other two controls stay on for quite a few seconds after you finish touching the screen, helpfully.
Look very, very closely, and you can see the typical slight fuzziness of a pentile display - but 99.9% of users will never notice, I'd guess.
The curved corners are subtly different from those on the SGS III - just enough of a rectangular emphasis as to fit better with the Windows Phone tiles, perhaps?
Gorgeous brushed stainless steel back. Oh, hang on, it's plastic? Really? Amazing. A terrific magic trick from Samsung's design and materials depts.
The full width grille along the rear, bottom, conceals the mono loudspeaker - this is loudish, but not up to the levels or quality of stereo speakers in the Lumia 920.
The identical 8 megapixel shooter as in the Galaxy S III - very mature unit and image processor - the results are good but not quite up to those from the Lumia 920 (with PR1.1) overall. Only really disappointing in very low light though, especially with moving subjects.
Ah yes, I'm so strong I can bend steel. Or, in this case, plastic!!
Being able to take the back off means also being able to change the battery, either to swap in a spare or replace the cell in a year or so's time when it's 'tired'... Note also that you can add a standard formatted microSD to expand storage memory for media. Nicely done all round, Samsung. The rear cover fits very snugly and there are no creaks or signs of weakness when the cover's in place.
The microSD (I had a 16GB card in, but you can go higher) and microSIM slots.
In the hand, the Ativ S (and SGS III) are big, but not completely unmanageable. A personal choice, perhaps. The large screen's certainly great for media consumption, web browsing and games.