Deal alert: Unlocked Samsung ATIV S for just $259.99


Are you one of those who always ask about the availability of a Windows Phone 7.x version of a particular app? One quick way to stop worrying about whether or not an app works is to make the jump to Windows Phone 8. There are inexpensive paths like the Nokia Lumia 520. But if you’re yearning for a device with slightly higher specs you might want to take advantage of the following deal for the Samsung ATIV S.

Over at Expansys USA, they’re selling an unlocked 16GB version of the ATIV S. It’s a device that we really loved when we reviewed it, but we just wish Samsung put a little more effort into marketing the device to consumers. Instead, the limelight was really split between the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 920 when Windows Phone 8 launched last year. Either way, Expansys is selling it flat out for $259.99.

Expansys ATIV S

It’s a solid device and not a bad price at all. In fact it could be considered a steal.

Grab the deal at the link below. Have a Samsung ATIV S? Sound off below with the pros and cons of the device to help your fellow readers out.

Source: Expansys USA

Thanks for the tip Tumultus!


Reader comments

Deal alert: Unlocked Samsung ATIV S for just $259.99


ATIV S is still the best most balanced WP device. Beautiful big screen (4.8), very light and thin (135 gr), massive battery, expandable memory, all screen and min bezel, solid build.
Top notch device. At that price is absolute steal.

Pro- Its a windows phone.

Con- Its not a Nokia. Hmmm that was simple :)

Although it is lightweight if you enjoy cheap plastic feel and easy to break screens it could be for you!

I was about so say how much I enjoy the large screen, battery life, Micro SD slot, and the rather attractive backplate when I realised I was clearly some kind of idiot. Thank you for pointing out my obvious error of judgement!

I liked the big screen whenever it wasn't smashed from a 2 foot drop onto a thick carpet... the back cover is really attractive until you feel its cheapness.

It's the last time I order a phone without using it in a store first!

Have a 920 now, and much prefer it, the screen isn't as big, but it is much nicer to look at and feels soft for some reason?

Sorry to hear about the smashed screen. It's always sad news when someone breaks their Windows Phone. I guess my problem is that whatever HTC or Samsung release, be that a GDR2 release or a cool little app like App Folder, I'm told I should have bought a Nokia. Well I didn't because of all of the reasons previously stated. I do admit that it doesn't feel as solid as my girlfriend's 820. That being said, most breezeblocks don't feel as solid as a Nokia 820, although, much like an Ativ S they don't weigh as much!

It slipped off the sofa onto the floor, I imagine it landed corner down, it's not typically the kind of drop you would expect to break it. I like the extra weight you get with the 920, there are slightly lighter options like the 925, but I like the confidence of knowing when it's in my pocket :-) I also like the flat bottom, so I can leave it standing upright on my desk so I can glance at who is calling without having to pick it up and look to see if I want to answer.

Physically the LUMIA 920 is built better. But I wouldn't go as far as saying LCD>SUPER AMOLED on ATIV S. Clearly that is an Argument you can't win, cause even NOKIA themselves have realized it and all their high end phones now have AMOLED cause...simply put...it just "looks" better.

I don't believe that's an argument I tried to make? I stated that as my preference it looked nicer on the 920. Only a moron would make an argument about how something 'looks' since this is objective. However I do much prefer the 920 screen, partly because I found the ativ s less 'pleasant' to look at, I think the glass itself played a part in that rather than the technology behind it. However I also prefer lcd screens as I imagine much like my friends android Samsung mine would have started to suffer items burning into the screen, in his case it is the clock and signal bars, but with mine it would probably be the big square tiles as I leave it on most of the day at the homescreen, either in the car or on my desk. This wouldn't be a problem for most people, as I imagine most people lock their phones regularly or throw them away before the burn in would be noticeable. But it does show that whilst the reds may be 'redder' with an amoled, it's not necessarily all rosey.

I think the decision to switch back to amoled has more to do with the glance clock that came with Nokia's Amber update. On an LCD screen it would mean your whole screen is always on, which would equal approximately 5 hours of standby time.

It's very tempting, especially for a secondary phone since it is quite price-friendly. But I can't seem to find in its specs LTE capability - does it have LTE?

This is in my opinion STILL the best WP8 device until the 1520 comes out. The 1020 has it beat on the camera but everything else is better in the ATIV S. 

Samsung is second to Nokia in terms of software support for their Windows Phones. They even introduced folders. Don't discount them so quickly, even if they don't seem too invested with their hardware.

Exactly what carriers can we use this on in the US if we bought one... just AT&T and T-Mobile? And what speeds would we be able to use?

Has anyone tried this on Verizon? I switch between my 928 & 8X daily by switching the SIM. I know Verizon isn't full GSM but in theory would the sammy work?

Oh so no LTE - I'd been asking about it from the posters above since there's no mention about it in the Specs Sheet. Still, at that price, very attractive for a secondary phone.

This is the i8750 european/international model. The NAM model is the T899M with pentaband UMTS and LTE but only on band 4 which makes it incompatible with most of AT&T's LTE network. 100% compatibility with TMO-USA though.

Paid $580 for mine in Feb, so this is a great deal. Its not Nokia BUT I previously owned a Galaxy S3 so the ATIV S feels very familar.

great phone
i recently replaced my htc 8 X for the Ativ S.
i like the screen, battery and expandable memory.
it feels really good in the hand.
with all due respect to Nokia at this price its a no brainer

The Ativ-S is probably one of the best phones I've owned (a few notable ones include the l920, Titan, HD1, HD2, HTC One, HTC Universal, Blue Angel, Evo, XDA Flame).

It's slender, big vivid disaply, expandable memory, LTE (with T899m versions), decent battery, gorgeous.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy another one as a backup, it's just one of those perfect phones. 

Have an 820 & love it. But need to get the wife over to WP. Gotta say I'm worried about Samsung's lackluster enthusiasm with WP tho. Wonder if they will take updating it's version(s) seriously? GDR2/3/8.1...

Unlocked ATIV S devices were pretty much the first have GRD2 pushed to them, the AT&T Lumia 920 seems to be the last device to get it.

I haven't had any updates yet. But even with an Omnia 7 I have, Sammy was one of the last one to get 7.8 update. I'm sure it'll come, just not as soon as on most other phones.
My Ativ S hasn't gotten any updates. I'm hopeful I'll get them though...just don't know when. My version is made for HONG KONG, so we'll see.

Man, that price really is a steal for the ATIV...the question is, how fast really is the HSPA+ on it when compared to the LTE on my Titan II and how do the cameras compare. If both are comparable, I will definitely jump on this until my contract is up.

I think the most I've gotten is up to 7Mbs download on AT&T. On average, for me at least, it's been 2-4 Mbs. I'm sure it depends on the area you live, the people on it...too many variables. I can deal with these speeds, but I'm sure if you're into Tech, you want the latest, fastest, greatest..etc.

I have LTE turned off on my T899m (on ATT) reason being it messes up my picture mail when it switches back and forth between LTE and HSPA+. I'm sure there's a proper configuration but I can't pin point it. 

Originally got a HTC 8X on contract then bought an unlocked ATIV S... Absolutely love it. Big beautiful screen, SD card, amazing battery life and doesn't have an other storage problem and the whole cheap plastic is hilarious cause its a solid and professional looking device. Mind you I paid a lot more than this.

Paid 699 @ 1st of year....now a steal....may have to p/u another one with 60.00 month unlimited t-mobile SIM card? Still digging this phone 24/7!

I have the ATIV S. If you guys buy this, please do yourself a favor and buy a SCREEN PROTECTOR! I have never used one, but since I got a deep scratch on my phone and I don't even know how it happened, I'm guessing it just banged against my car door and scratch it. Definitely a Great Device, just a bit sensitive. So, Case plus Screen protector should do the trick.

You should ALWAYS put a screen protector on your screen. An you will always need to until screens are made from diamond.

I never put screen protectors on (I prefer to feel glass instead of plastic) and, wit the exception of the ATIV S I haven't cracked a screen in almost 5 years, (and I used to do landscaping as a 2nd job). 

After I cracked by ATIV, I bought the 920, and it was rugged, however it didn't "feel right in the hand" for me.
So I went back to the ATIV S, and after a few drops it's still going strong (I have reason to believe that my original ATIV S was defective). 

A screen protector does not prevent cracks. It will prevent scratches. As well as glad splinters should your screen crack. Every phone screen, regardless of currently available screen materials are susceptible to scratches from things with a hardness level of quartz and above.

What you say is factually correct, 
But again, I'd rather feel glass instead of plastic, and regardless of how thin the screen protector is, to me, it makes the device less visually appealing.
My device does have scratches, but it's a tradeoff I'm willing to make, 

Indeed a steal. Beautiful screen,fantastic battery life,SD card,good camera,never had other storage problem,got gdr2 6 weeks ago and feels great in your hand.

This is a great price point. But, with build quality at this level, you really get what you pay for 250 USD. Not more. I got mine at 450 USD and I regretted it completely.

- poor signal management (it drains the battery when signal is poor)
- second grade gorilla glass (scratched easily even with fingernails)
- only 16 GB of storage means you are limited to 3/4 big games install at one time
- low quality speakers (seriously, they sound worse than an asha phone)
- poor cameras (both rear and ffc)
- cheap plastic body (standard Samsung phones), scratched easily just like the screen
- no storage management software from Samsung (like storage check from Nokia), in fact there is no useful app from them which is pathetic (maybe App folder is a bit useful)

CAUTION: you may not get GDR3 or Blue with Ativ S. Mine still don't have GDR2.

The ATIV S is awesome. I bought two for my mother and sister because they don't care for LTE. I got them the T899M version that has LTE on band 4 but not 17 which is required for AT&T. 
There is no version compatible with AT&T LTE so I don't have one for myself otherwise I totally would. My 920 sits unused 99% of the time and I just use my Android until I find a good suitable WP device to use. 

I just bought a used Ativ S in mint condition for 270 on Kijiji. AWS version too. I love the screen over my 920. Bigger screen and the colours are more vibrant and the phone is light and beautifully thin. I love the look of the back. There are other trade offs compared to the 920 but anyone who buys this will be happy.

I thought there were no AWS version of ativ s? I really want this phone but I doubt if it'll work on wind mobile canada

Dude what do you think I'm doing with the AWS version. I'm using it on Wind. Works great and because of my 920 Access Point app I got the SMS & MMS settings. Only one issue, Internet Sharing.

The Canadian T899M model of the ATIV S (offered by all 3 big carriers there) has pentaband 3G and LTE on band 4.

I can't find the Rogers page anymore.  I think it's discontinued.  However the Bell Specs say
LTE compatibility
700 MHz

HSPA/UMTS compatibility

850/1700/1900/2100 MHz

GPRS/EDGE compatibility

850/900/1800/1900 MHz

I can't ever say I would buy another Samsung product. Yeah, I am definitely pro Nokia with windows phone since they have proven to care about their users but even if I was in the android team, I would likely go HTC or Sony.

Their products always feel extremely cheap to me.

Disappointed by laggy SGS3 and SGS4 decided to change OS to WP8 (also for fun, bored witn iOS and Android).
Lumia 925 was a total failure (reception problems are wide spread, replacing devices is not my way of life :), that's why I tried Samsung despite being extremely disappointed with sofware-bloated Galaxy line.
I'm very satisified compared both to Lumia 925 (network speeds, voice quality) and Galaxy line (snappy, responsive, no bloatware).

The phone is great but what a shame I still have a Nokia lumia 610 with 256 ram......i think it's time to buy a new device.

  A high end, unlocked WP8 device sold off-contract for under $300.00, that's quite the deal, especially considering it's the only current high end WP8 device with expandable memory.

My wife has the 920 and I have the Ativ S paid $315 on Amazon, I have used both phones and personally prefer the Ativ 16gb + 64gb SD card tons of music video and pictures so plenty of room for those large games, the phone is very light compared to the 920, went swimming for 5 minutes before I realized it was still in my pocket, fully recovered, was accidentally thrown against a wall trying to shake the water out .
No cracks no scratches , a thinner lighter phone will be more fragile in any case. Hspa vs lte both speeds eat up my 3gig data plan just the same, I like the Nokia but the Ativ S is my Choice, who owns a 32gig version?

"the phone is very light compared to the 920, went swimming for 5 minutes before I realized it was still in my pocket, fully recovered, was accidentally thrown against a wall trying to shake the water out ."

I am so glad that ended ok, but DANG that is a funny story.

Not sure why so many comments are referencing Samsung vs Nokia. The article was meant to call attention to a great deal and get feedback for that phone.

Exactly, I am pleasantly surprised at how nice my Ativ S is. It isn't perfect (what is?) but large, fairly high res screen, repalceable battery, & expandable storage are perfect for my needs.

Best Windows Phone right now but almost forgotten.
Very snappy, large 4,8" screen is great.
Looking nice.
I know it's hard to believe it's that cheap.
GSM/HDSPA speeds and voice quality are excellent.
Had Lumia 925 and returned it - awful GSM reception, unusable for me, overrrated camera (good but not as good as advertised),
Very happy with my Ativ  :)