PSA: Don’t install Windows Phone 8.1 on the Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon

Samsung ATIV SE

The preview for Windows Phone 8.1 so far is mostly going off without a hitch. There are a handful of users experiencing the ‘80188309 error’, which prevents the installation, but besides a few minor issues it’s been smooth sailing. There is one device though we’re going to advise holding off on doing the preview, the new Samsung ATIV SE for Verizon.

A few developers, people in our forums and on Reddit have expressed some serious stability issues with the ATIV SE going to 8.1, including freezes, un-responsive touch screens and the camera app causing problems too.

User ‘dabeast622’ commented in our forums:

“I have noticed most of my lock-ups either right after hanging up from a call, or when you go to unlock the phone ... it's almost like the touchscreen just completely stops responding. I have done two Hard Resets, and it still happens.”

Another user on Reddit named ‘TheFiloStrain’ noted

“My phone will occasionally lock, and then the touch screen will be unresponsive and I have to reboot, and other times it will reboot itself randomly”

We’ve also had some developers express regret at doing the update too. Keep in mind, the device is still plenty usable, and a few are just doing occasional soft-resets and living with it, but if you’re thinking of doing the upgrade, at least be aware that things will be a little unstable compared to 8.0.

The problem here is probably the same as other ‘issues’ on the 8.1 preview: firmware. Whether it is you battery life, stability or something not working, it’s almost always tied to the needed firmware that will get the OS to talk better with the hardware. This is, after all, why they call it a ‘Preview for Developers’. We’re confident though that when the official updates begin rolling out in early June, things will get better.

If you do have the ATIV SE with 8.1, for now you’ll just have to deal with the nuisances. Once Samsung rolls out the official update, with new firmware, you can update to that as well, and all should be well again.

If you haven’t installed 8.1, at least know the risks now, so heed caution. When it comes to our review of that device, we’ll try to have it in the coming days, time permitting! For now, you can see our hands-on and first impressions of the ATIV SE or read more in our ATIV SE forums!


Reader comments

PSA: Don’t install Windows Phone 8.1 on the Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon



I experienced it too. Touch is not responding. Afaik. It did trice to me. Restart did make it okay though

My phone restarted its self twice while I was on Vine. Sometimes I have to touch the screen twice to get a response.  I thought it was the screen proctor. Hopefully no other problems with happen.  June will be here before we know it. 

No surprise that your 920 rocks.
This phone weights 2kg!!! It will turn you upside down actually.
And who cares about your heavy lifting equipment? The article is about ATIV.

Have you made sure to disallow apps from running in the background via battery saver? I wound up going through my entire app list and disabling stuff because the update re-enabled a lot of apps to run in the background.

I have, though I have Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype, Instagram, myTube and Deezer (music) enabled on 8.1. Probably that's the reason.

I'm curious too how 8.1 works on the 8X and the Huawei phones. At least we now know it doesn't work well in the Ativ SE but works ok on the Ativ S.

Let's allow others to enjoy their respective experiences on other OEM hardware. Yes we are proud owners of Nokia's offerings but let's remember, we're all in this together as an OS.

To be fair, I believe that Samsung is a poisonous company that doesn't offer a lot of continuous & optimized support to their customers. For a giant like them, especially considering their exorbitant prices, quality control should definitely be a notch higher.

I know this is a preview, but yeah. There's a reason why I'm sticking to Nokia phones :/.

"For a giant like them, especially considering their exorbitant prices, quality control should definitely be a notch higher."

Well, in my experience Sammy has been Hella Better in their quality control than NOKIA. The mass exodus from NOKIA to Apple should tell you something. Even their Biggest Fanboy, Micah, is thinking about switching to iPhone. One of the Moderators or retired Moderators, Ratcliffe, was stating how he replaced like 7 Lumia 920s. I just got rid of it and got an ATIV S. That should sum up how I feel about them. Still, I bought a 520, if only because it was the cheapest WP I could find until I get an official update for my Ativ S or get a 5.2" WP or above from Samsung. Heck, if SONY gets onboard and gives me something around that I may get one of those. NOKIA, or now MS...no bueno for me.

lol samsung will give a bad name to anything it touches, im happy microsoft didnt make a google-like deal with samsung and stuck to nokia

two quality companies to beat the evils-google and samsung

I really loathe when people spew the "we're in this together" BS. It is just a stupid OS for a phone and I 1) don't know you, and 2) have no interest in meeting you. We are not in anything together. I am always happy to help someone with a problem when possible but beyond that, I would be hard pressed to care less if you ran the update and your phone spontaneously combusted or turned into a BlackBerry.

hahahaha ikr my thoughts exactly

after bad experiences with samsung products(tv capacitor issues, microwaves, fridges, "smart phones") id stay away from their products

samsung smart devices, if u dont buy then ur smart :D

Ativ S has problems with camera app too. Always freezing, flash problems and reboots. And when data is on, the battery is consumed a lot faster. I have only this issue with the camera. I hope Samsung rolls out the firmware update, so that we can use our phone's to its fullest.

Mi Ativs's camera works two or three times, and then stop working, after reboot works ok a couple of times, also the flash always turns on even if its turned off

I've had similar issues with my 925. Screen freezes, random reboots sometimes it wont wake when pressing the power button and will have to do a hard reset..... Keeping in mind its only once or twice a day, I don't really mind.

On my Lumia 925(tmo) the only issues I have is when headphones are plugged in only the left side of headphones work after installing the 8.1 dev update

Shouldn't need a hard reset for unresponsive power button. Connect to a charger if one is nearby.

Sorry to hear that bro. I did the 8.1 preview update the morning it became available & to date I've had no issues with my NL925 or my wife's 920.

Wishing I wouldn't have installed on my 925, the alarms not going off bug is a big problem.  I can deal with everything else but I need this to wake up in the morning :/

I have seen a few quirks with my L822.  Hangs or freezes, strange battery discharge that wasn't, but I actually remember seeing that before the DP update on one of the battery apps after an update.  Nothing that has been a deal breaker.


For me I am almost at the end of my contract, now I have to decide Icon, or ATIV SE.  Like everything about the Icon BUT the lack of MicroSD and only 32GB of storage, I can handle loss of Glance.  My concerns with Samsung are about updates etc., and reliability, my L822 has been used hard and put away wet, literally and it keeps working.

Same issue with my 1520. My trick has been to plug the phone in or unplug it. It always lights up that way. But then again,I start to experience the issue when my phone is fully charged.

I knew the first comment would be seems faster. Anyways i noticed that my 920 is a bit laggy. I mean animations are not as smooth as it used to be on wp 8. But works quite ok. Battery issues are standard thing. Overall performance is quite stable. This shows that Samsung produce shity phones :)

lol! seriously. But at least we didn't have to assume he's an idiot, we just know now.

Don't take the "seems faster" comments serious, these comments denote the clowns in the community.

Shity phone or unfinished software? In your words: battery issues, laggy performance.
Such a silly comment from Nokia fanboy who have not used ATIV. And of course doesn't know what is missing.

I'm pretty sure ATIV and Lumia are having the same release version. So it definitely is the firmware problem (Microsoft is not to be blamed) or hardware problem. His last statement wasn't represented well though!

My HTC 8x (Verizon) locks up sometimes after a phone call, only after I put the phone to sleep then unlock it the functionality returns.

I like Samsung but most people here have Nokias anyway. I have a ATIV SE and a 521 and they both reset randomly and freeze with 8.1.

Interesting, my L822 was rock solid after Black. and while there are a few issues with 8.1DP, nothing that is a deal killer.

My Lumia 920 has the problem with the touch screen being unresponsive and have to do 1 or 2 soft resets to fix it.

Same happens with my Lumia 620 when I was trying to unlock my screen touchscreen is not responding. So I don't have other option to reboot it... :(

My 1520 has been sporadically bad. I'll go a few days without any problems, then have a day of random reboots and 'Loading...' going to the start screen, followed by a few more days of smooth sailing.

Same here, had to get mine reflashed through Samsung. Took them 7-10 days so I wasn't stuck using Android for very long.

If you have the i8750 version there are copies of the factory ROM image floating around the internet.


T899M version though you're SOL

The WPCentral app has been closing out of nowhere on me recently. Just immediately kicks me out right when I try to open the app. Then when I reopen the app, it tells me to send an email about a certain bug. Dont know if anyone else has experienced this..

Yea, my 920 gets freezes and random reboots. I'm positive Samsung, HTC and Nokia will roll out firmware post haste once we hit the go live date.

Lol, my Focus S, 2nd one, malfunctioned so I contacted my insurance and it was replaced with a L1020 after I told them I would not except a S3 as a replacement, politely of course. I thought the S would of received 7.8.

Just use seven-eighter, that's what I did on my HD7 as I was getting fed up with my carrier taking their time releasing the update.

Unlocked ATIV S were the first to get update 2 and among the first to get update 3. It's they do roll out updates.

They will do, I've recieved updates for most of the Samsung apps already so I know that the update will be here soon.

I recently purchased the ativ se for me and the icon for my fiancée and both phones freeze occasionally

What is your take on these phones?  My Verizon contract is up in less than a month and I am still debating which one to get.

8.1 working fine on my SGH-T899M. Only issue is the camera app intermittently acts weird. But other than that, all the new features are great!

Our group of 5 friends installed 8.1 all on Lumia not a single issue faced, who said it is mere preview looks optimized for Nokia

Everyday happier to be a Nokia (ahm) Microsoft customer :)
One reboot only, some little glitches but my L1520 is rock solid with the Preview. Maybe they tested it on this phone.

Maybe you are right, but I heavily use the phone and one reboot only in a week (?) is a no-issue for a Preview. I have some wifi disconnections and Skype problems in 3G, all the rest is pure joy.

I'd hate to have such problems and have to Wai for a firmware update. I suffered through the soft and hard reboots with my 822 when I first got it, so maybe this will be the last time I use the preview to update. Done it twice on my 822 and my wife's 928...better not risk it a third time, I'm thinking.
Waiting for the next wave of devices with 8.1 preinstalled...then get one of those or get the Icon on the cheap.

No, simply update when the thing is officially available and stop playing betatester if you're unwilling to -you know- beta test

This has happened in my 1020 several times. Usually right after I pull it off the charger. The screen would just be unresponsive and so was the power button. It was weird. Did it for about a week or so. It would also lock up for no reason after the update in the middle of an app. It would just freeze up. There are still some weird stability issues but nothing as severe as those.

Lumia 1520 with 8.1 isn't any better either. Screen freezes, hardware buttons don't respond some times, touch buttons don't respond upon waking up the phone, really ruthless on the battery, rapidly drains 20-30% battery in an hour. But thankfully, no random device reboots.

My battery was at 100% at 1am and at 12pm while still on standby it dropped to 91%. It's not that bad (for me at least)

Doesn't rapidly lose power often, it happened to me once after I connected my Nokia BH-940 headset over Bluetooth. My phone heated up like crazy. Before updating, I used to easily get 2 days, now I am lucky if I even get through a single day.

My Lumia 520, 925 and 1020 - all rocking WP8.1 like a boss and Cortana understands me accurately 99% since last 1 week even with my thick UK accent. What else does one need in life? ;)

My Lumia 1520 can't be woken occasionally, especially with wifi on. Luckily pressing camera button wakes it and then I can press the start button. But it's annoying. Also battery goes faster.

I have some of the same on my Lumia 920. Occasional random reboots, occasional lack of touch screen response. I've had the occasional ultra-lag, too. It has mostly been smooth, though, so I deal with it.

It may be all Samsungs. My Verizon Odyssey had the same problem. In hindsight I should have endured the lockups because when I did a hard reset the lock-ups ended but so did my data connection. Seems it lost the software radio and hardware radio settings. Neither Verizon technical support nor Samsung technical support were able to identify and correct the problem. So I was sent a refurbished replacement with 8.0. Ugh!

So now I'm stuck with waiting until whenever Verizon gets around to pushing out the official 8.1.


With all due respect, I have to disagree. I waited five days after I upgraded, hoping the condition would clear up after a couple of soft resets. In the meantime, nearly everyone on this site, editors and readers alike, beat out an unbroken litany of "hard reset...hard reset...hard reset...", all the while recommending it as a firmware enema, messy but safe and effective. Which apparently it is for most people.

The worst part is listening to the "I told you so's" from my Nokia-owning wife, who kept saying I should wait awhile before upgrading. Grrr!


True, but factory resets have solved the vast majority of issues for people running the developer preview and that includes me. My phone even downloaded and installed all my apps and preferences after the factory reset as well which means that it's much less hassle to try it.

I've had my some similar problems on my L1520, its not major but the screen has froze up at least 4 times and the power button has stopped working at least twice

I've got it on my Build Lumia 920.  Froze up once yesterday, had to forcibly reboot it.  Battery life is worse, but I just disabled Cortana this morning so we will see if it helps.  I think it is because Cortana uses the GPS a LOT.  With the 8.1 build I've been seeing the "Location" dot appearing a LOT.



It won't help. Cortana uses very little battery. My 920 has terrible battery life after the update and I've literally tried everything. Good luck though ;)

This is too bad for the ATIV SE owners. I have the ATIV S Neo and everything is working great with the WP8.1 preview, however from reading the forums, it sounds like I need to stay away from a hard reset as that would screw me up.

Hopefully Verizon get's the official WP8.1 update out quickly for the SE owners.

Looking forward to the review. Bought the Icon this week, and I love it, bit want to make an informed decision before the 14 day return period is over. :)
FWIW, I installed 8.1 immediately on my Icon, did a hard reset and restored the backup from my 521 (also with 8.1) and I have literally not had a single glitch. Couldn't be happier with this aspect of the Icon. (I didn't have any glitches on my Lumia 521 either).

Lumia 620... Freezes like crazy after the update.. But the love for Microsoft has kept me from changing to iPhone :)

Have had every gdr in a timely fashion and frequent updates to my Samsung apps on my ativ S. Really uninformed comment re: Samsung updating their phone.

Having similar problems with my Icon. I'm dealing with it, because I'm a glutton for punishment, but I won't even think of putting it on my wife's 822 until officially released.

Had my first random soft reset yesterday on my Lumia 1020 with 8.1. I noticed it since I got it 10 months ago happen about once per month. It happened two days ago, so it could be related to 8.1, or just my monthly reset as normal. Not sure. Not complaining though until it becomes a problem.

My lumia 520 had those issue since the amber update ._. and ironically, they almost dissapeared with the 8.1 update, now they only happend on a very few ocasions

I have a Lumia 920 and been experiencing some issues. Sometimes it doesn't wake from the glance screen till I plug it in to the charger. Than when I unlock it it goes to a black unresponsive screen and needs to be rebooted. Kind of annoying but I just figured it something that will get taken care of with the official WP and Nokia firmware updates.

Oh, like Lumias are perfect and have absolutely no problems whatsoever with a Developer Preview!!!!

I've had this same issue randomly on my Lumia 1020. I used to reboot my phone when the touch screen was unresponsive. Later on I found out that we can reactivate the touch by using multitouch quickly. Just move all of your fingers on the screen and it'll wake up.

Well that sux for ATIV SE users. Hope Microsoft give release some patches to ATIV SE. What about HTC? Any developers try on HTC yet?

I believe WP 8.1 is having a lot of issues. Most are minor but this update is a far cry from GDR3. Sure its bigger and more changes, but lets not stop calling a fish, a fish. Also, it would be interesting to see issues compared U.S to rest of the world. Getting our voice heard as non u.s. customers takes some doing (at least in Sweden) and I wonder if Microsoft is getting all the feedback they really need.

My 620 has been laggier, buggier and battery-drainer (that's a word) than before I downloaded the preview. I've disabled Cortana to see if that helps with the battery. But this is just a holding action anyway; the 620 is by far the most buggy phone I've ever owned (and I'm a Windows Phone evangelist in my family and among my friends). I'm figuring out what my next step will be.

I have the exact same problems with my 620! For me the Wi-Fi and Location services tend to drain the battery fastest. I turn them off whenever I don't need them; that helps with the battery a lot.

I had the same problem on my 620 after 8.1 even after a hard reset so finally i hard reset it again without using the backup and it improved tremendously. Battery still drains fast but no more lags or stutters.

Glad I haven't updated. I'm pretty patient and would rather have a smooth 8.1 experience later than potential problems right away. Even though I have a 925 and that's not the focus of this article, I feel its just not worth the hassle.

In my L520, I experience less signal strength! Calls break while speaking! The mobile internet does not response till I off it and on it sometimes! And All the apps which I had blocked in background in wp8, is still blocked in wp8.1 and I don't have the option to unblock it unless I update the app or reinstall!

Man, don't tell me that. Just bought a 520. I think I'ma go ahead and return it. Haven't even picked up the package yet, but maybe I'll put that 60 bucks towards something else.

He's talking about Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview. Your new Lumia 520 will not come preinstalled with this version, so stop bothering and don't install the preview. Wait for the full and official release by Microsoft between June and August.

Dude, I love my Lumia 520! I feel its better than 620, 720 and 820! The only problem is it does not have front camera and has less RAM! But its good in all ways! I am just reporting the problems with windows phone 8.1 so that they fix it in official release! This is why it was released for developers, to check the problems so that they can fix it!

Oh, I sees. Well, in that case, I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the heads up about 8.1...Guess I'll wait for the official update. On another note, this phone is smaller than I expected. All the pics I had seen made it seem bigger. Though for me this is a Plus.


Lumia 720 O2 contract Uk, 8.1 seemed fairly stable using a 1 gb expansion card, after changing to 32gb card 8.1 definately did not like it, store repeatedly reporting wrong location for downloading apps. Some apps refuse to install onto phone not sd card, very slow response times when scrolling screen or exiting apps. Overall 8.1 has been troublesome and plagued with issues on this device, infact it is the worse beta/dev preview Ms has pushed, I actually wish I hadn't installed it
Battery life is short, Bluetooth drops out, WiFi says connected sometimes but is not, failure to copy apps from phone to sd card, lockups and more

The difference is that bugs on their Windows Phones don't have to wait for a new phone to be released!!!

No surprise there. Reboot bug(only happens if you turn off or soft reset phone) and Camera issue on ma Ativ S. I expect this to be fixed eventually. Though for me that'll probably be like this Fall... Just in time for a new phone :\

NOTE: No issues prior to 8.1 though

Im a Lumia 920 owner on Rogers, Canada. Ive installed the update for WP8.1 and ive not experienced any glitches, freezing or rebooting. Everything works great but my battery discharge faster even if i turn off many live tiles. But it still a great update. I really like the 6 row tiles :D What I really dont like is that you cant keep a page on in IE. What i mean is when you lock your phone and you choose to reunlock it and go back to IE, the page you were on closes and reload. More data usage.

That sucks for SE users ... Having to wait for Samsung AND Verizon to push the official update\Frimware in order to enjoy a stable 8.1 ... Good luck guys.

Just for the record, the Developer Preview is working fine on my 8X.

Only major issue I have had so far with 8.1 is after the battery drained 100% it took over an hour on the charger to turn back on. Lumia 1020 at&t

i am using nokia Lumia 925 in India and was thinking to update to windows phone 8.1 preview for developers but after reading some post getting doubt if i have to update it or not. Plz anyone help me.