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Samsung ATIV S

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 Samsung ATIV S Available now
30th August 2012

The Samsung ATIV S will be Samsung's first Windows 8 smartphone, and indeed it is the first Windows 8 handset to be announced by any manufacturer that we know of.

The word "ATIV" is the Latin word "VITA" (to live) spelled backwards (for some reason), and the ATIV line is made up of smartphones, tablets and computers all running the Windows 8 operating system. For the first time, the operating system on PCs and handheld devices will be built around the same core, allowing easier migration of applications and also better ways to integrate handheld devices into business environments.

So, although the ATIV S maintains the familiar interface from Windows Phone 7, underneath everything is different because this is yet another reboot of Microsoft's mobile phone OS.

The hardware specification is certainly a step up from the older Windows Phone 7 devices, the ATIV S features a dual core 1.5 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, it comes with a large 4.8" HD display (we think with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution, although this has not been specified). On the back is an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording, plus a 1.9 megapixel unit on the front for video calling.

This is an HSPA+ capable device with download speeds of up to 42 Mbps. The Samsung ATIV S also has all the features that any other type of smartphone would have, including WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, GPS and GLONASS positioning systems plus a wide range of built-in applications such as a web browser and media player, plus a growing range of apps to download from Microsoft's online store.

 Samsung ATIV S Inside is either 16 or 32GB of flash memory, and Windows 8 on smartphones now supports removable memory, so you can use a microSD card as well. There's a large 2300 mAh battery, and the whole unit measures 137 x 71 x 8.7mm and weighs 135 grams.

The market responded indifferently to the launch of Windows Phone 7, but now both Microsoft and Samsung have refined their strategies and this version looks more promising. Windows 8 will be given a further boost shortly when Nokia announces their first device on this platform, but in the meantime Samsung have stolen a march on their Finnish rivals with a complete line-up of devices.

We don't know when the ATIV S will be available, as this will largely depend on how far Microsoft has progressed with their new operating system, however we would hope to see this new handset available by the end of the year. Will it succeed? Our bet is that corporate customers will be most interested in this device at first because of the way that it can integrate with their other Microsoft products, and Windows 8 smartphones could well edge out BlackBerry from this market. From there perhaps consumer acceptance will follow, although it is likely to be some time before we see if Microsoft has a winner on its hands.

Samsung ATIV S at a glance




GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

UMTS 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100


GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA+ + WiFi


4.8" 720 x 1280 pixels (unconfirmed)


8 megapixels (main)

1.9 megapixels (sub)


Medium-large tablet smartphone

137 x 71 x 8.7mm / 135 grams



Memory card:









Yes (plus GLONASS)


Windows 8

Battery life:

Not specified (2300 mAh cell)

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