Samsung announces the ATIV S

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Today at IFA in Berlin, Samsung announced its first Windows Phone 8 device, the ATIV S, with 8.7mm brushed aluminum chassis and a huge 4.8” HD Super AMOLED display. Under the hood is a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB of onboard RAM, and an 8MP autofocus rear camera, plus 16GB or 32GB mass memory and MicroSD expansion. Particularly impressive is the inclusion of a big 2300mAh battery. Some more details and photos below.

From the Windows Team Blog:

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.

In many ways, the ATIV S is the counterpart to Samsung's Android flagship, the Galaxy S III, with near identical form factor, display and most specifications. The SGS III has been selling very well around the world, though Windows Phone devices arguably sell to a slightly different demographic and it remains to be seen whether the target audience for this, still perceived as a 'new' OS and ecosystem, is ready to accept a phone which is so large in the hand. 

No doubt Samsung has other Windows Phone 8 devices up its sleeve, so watch this space for what will probably be a 4" or 4.3"-screened entry into the Windows Phone world. Note also that we haven't seen Nokia's big Windows Phone 8 launches yet - these are scheduled for September 5th in New York in a joint event with Microsoft.



Here's the quoted specification in full:

  • Network - HSPA+ 42Mbps 850/900/1800/1900MHz Quadband
  • Processor - 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Display - 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED
  • OS - Windows Phone 8
  • Camera - Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel Camera
  • Video - Codec: H.263, H.264, WMV, MP4, M4V, MOV
  • Full HD(1080p) Playback & Recording
  • Audio - Codec: MP3, WMA, MP4, M4A, AAC
  • 3.5mm Ear Jack
  • GPS, A-GPS & Glonass
  • Connectivity - Bluetooth 3.0
  • USB 2.0
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Channel Bonding
  • NFC
  • Sensors - Proximity, Accelerometer, Geomagnetic, Ambient Light, Gyroscope
  • Memory - 16/32GB User memory + 1GB RAM
  • microSD (SDXC support)
  • Dimensions - 137.2 x 70.5 x 8.7 mm, 135g
  • Battery - Standard battery, Li-ion 2,300mAh

ATIV S camera