I managed to get my hands on a Samsung Ativ S recently and to play around with it a bit. This post is about my experience.
First, of course I am happy about every OEM that releases a Windows Phone Device. But Samsung achieved something I never thought it would happen to me: I wish they would have not released the Ativ S.
Ok, let’s check the device itself:
If you open the package and see the device, you will see immediately that the Ativ S is a revamped device. It looks identical to the Samsung Galaxy S3. Even the lock screen wallpaper is the same. First bad feeling on that device.
First positive thing: the display. The Ativ S uses Samsung’s AMOLED technology, which is really a good piece of technology. Colors are strong, and the display illuminates very well in the dark as in the light.
As it is a Windows Phone, the social networks integration works as you’d expect. Apps are working like they should, no surprise here.
Let’s check the Samsung Zone in the Windows Phone Store. Samsung has only a few apps they provide. They have a diary app, some photo apps, a RSS reader, their on ChatON app and a Music Hub. The biggest part of the Samsung Zone are Dictionary apps.
I did not test all of the apps, but the apps I tested did not feel spectacular or made me want to use them again.
Even HTC, who also produces also Android devices, has lead me to more enthusiasm for their apps than the Samsung Apps do.
Ok, now let’s take another look at the hardware. The device feels very light-weight in your hand. On the other side, it feels very cheap. They brushed the back cover to look like solid metal cover, but it feels just like plastic.
I had multiple Smartphones in my hands already, even plastic could feel better.
The only advantage I can see is the extreme large battery, which has a very good life time.
Clearly Samsung needed to bring a Windows Phone 8 device to the market as a Microsoft Partner. But they did it in a wrong way.
Using the hardware of one of their Android devices makes sense from the economic view. But they could not expect to be successful with that.
My conclusion: This device will get some attention from Samsung fans, but I doubt it will be one of the top Windows Phones. The only recent news about the Ativ Series (both Windows and Windows Phone) were that Samsung discontinues distribution to certain markets, which is not surprising me after I had the chance to play around with the Ativ S.