Windows Phone 8 – Samsung ATIV S

After two and a half year of struggling with the crappy Android OS on Samsung Galaxy S I’ve finally decided that ‘enough is enough’.

I’ve wanted a small tablet so I can read (blogs and so on) easily so I was a bit into Samsung Galaxy Note II. Along with the fact that this too is an Android phone (OS which corrupts its own system files and lost my whole user data, lags horribly and so on) several fellow colleagues from RONUA (a local programming user group) warned me against as they already are owners.

One told me that approximately 50% of the phone calls he can’t hear the other party nor he can be heard and the other one told me he is experiencing approximately a complete OS freeze once per day. He is only able to restart the device by removing the battery and reinstering it.

I then looked for another-OS, large-display and low-SAR phone in the market. iOS ‘simply works’, I can’t deny but there was no large screen phone available, no low-SAR phone and nonetheless objective-C sucks incredibly bad.
Ironically I found another Samsung, the ATIV S.

Image source : Engadget

Windows development is my main job plus I’ve heard that the apps ecosystem in the Windows Phone marketplace is quite poor. Therefore I thought to myself : ‘maybe I could also write an app for it too!’. Having already tried development on Android and being quite outraged surprised by its quirks.

I bit the bullet and bought the ATIV S from eMAG (a local retailer).

The first thing that surprised me was the curiosity of the shipping consultant (the guy that brings the product’s box, unboxes it and tests it in front of you). He was quite curious and said he’s never seen a Windows phone before.

Nice display, nice case and so on. Tried to insert the SIM card at home from the old phone but, to my shame, I did not pay attention to the fact that I needed a microSIM not a ‘standard’ SIM. So I had to wait till the next day to get to Vodacrap (Vodafone) to get it replaced.

I also found out that the contacts that Android told me that were saved on the Google Account were not. In fact I could not even access them via web. I simply had to manually move once again contacts. Thanks again Google, thank you to Linux (Android, whatever, same shthing).

The phone boots fast (20-30 sec compared to 2min30..3min of Galaxy S) and whatever you do it will not lag AT ALL no matter what. Combine with the fast and fluid animations this does indeed make up a very nice user experience.
The real nice thing is, however, the battery. A 2300 mAH battery combined with the battery saver mode will allow me to talk, text, browse websites, check in on FourSquare, etc etc and recharge it every three … three and a half days.

So far I didn’t had to use a kind of app and not find something in the marketplace. There are even Google Maps. Sure, Instagram is a missing thing for some but not for me. And even for that there is something in development as far as I’ve heard.

In another case, having a pretty quiet week and on average one phonecall per day I managed to go well beyond 5 days between recharges. I haven’t seen another smartphone reach these levels. Well at least not without Mugen Power batteries.

‘Bling’ features include NFC (who has / will use this anyway?), Bluetooth 3.0 and a microSD card slot (had one on the Galaxy S but never had the need to use it..).

The only things that I would consider lacking but by no means a ‘deal-breaker’ would be :

  • A larger than 5 inch screen
  • Easy to find leather cases (I found only one but not in the same city, I had to have it shipped)
  • 4G / LTE connectivity

The camera is just as good as a phone camera can be, IMHO and at least it does have a LED ‘flash’ unlike Galaxy S. Not as good as Lumia 920’s of course but good enough to take some easy photos in the sunshine..

Now I will give Windows Phone 8 development a chance and see how this goes..

  1. All will be nice until you will start to hit the limitations and shortcomings inherent to Windows Phone 🙂
    Nice hardware, great UI, but missing many apps, missing basic phone features – the list is long (using it day-to-day for almost two years now..)

    • And which apps should I feel missing? In this past month I only missed ING’s HomeBank but they have a good mobile website so no biggie.

      I don’t use Instagram (a popular app that’s missing from WP) or who knows what.

      Tell me what exactly you are missing.. since you say it’s a long list you could tell me a thing or two.

    • Which features are missing? I’m a user of WP and not missing any feature…

      And talking about apps: I found everything I need it from the beginning (October 2011) – QR code reader and generator, business card reader, send my contact details through SMS or e-mail, send a contact details (from your contacts list) through SMS or e-mail, several weather apps, WordPress client, enough nice games to keep you busy, etc.
      And yes, you’ll have to pay for Angry Birds 😆

      The best part is that all your contacts and files can be (and you should enable this) saved online (if you’re using your Microsoft account).

      So what are you missing?

  2. How can I explore files in my Ativ s,in order to delete,move,…?!
    (only uninstall the Apps or 4 folders MUSIC,DOCUMENT,VIDEO,PICTURE available to explore)

    • The Windows Phone OS (just like iOS) won’t let an app have complete control over the file system. Only Android does that but it’s more like a big gun that you will end shooting it in the foot.

      However you can do it from your PC. Just connect the phone to the PC and explore its contents from the My Computer / This PC.

  3. Have had this phone for over a year, can’t send attachment, can’t install or run third party apps, very few apps, ms requires that you allow them to track you for every app you might want to down load, do you want more? You said you were a developer, clearly you have not tried to do that for the Ati v s

    • What do you mean by “can’t send attachment”? Take any object (be it a picture, song whatever) and choose “share” select “email” and that’s it.

      I’ve side-loaded third party apps by using a micro-SD card. Or if you mean run Nokia’s apps, I’ve installed Nokia Maps and runs well.

      What do you mean by “ms requires that you allow them to track you for every app you might want to down load”? I do not understand.

      I am a developer and I’ve developed a few mini apps that I run on my ATIV S (exclusively).

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