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Samsung ATIV S heading to O2 UK, available soon

Samsung ATIV S

The Samsung ATIV S in its glory

The Samsung ATIV S is heading to O2 UK, according to the coming soon section of the carrier's website. While no price or dates for availability are provided, it's good to see a UK operator step up and unveil Samsung's latest Windows Phone. Samsung has come under scrutiny by consumers who believe the manufacturer has done little for Windows Phone except release uninspired hardware.

Regardless what one thinks of the company, it's better for the eco-system to have a large brand like Samsung on-board than not at all. Even if the focus is on Android - which is where money is made for Samsung - for Microsoft to have a selection of partners available is good progress, especially for consumers who may prefer Samsung hardware.

Sporting a 4.8" HD Super AMOLED display with GorillaGlass 2, dual-core 1.5Ghz CPU, 2300mAh battery, NFC, DLNA, and with 16GB or 32GB storage (with SD support), it's certainly got a enough power for Windows Phone 8. The design is also unique with a metallic hairline finish and a hardware Windows button.

Samsung ATIV S O2

The Samsung ATIV S is hot, hot, hot

As well as the Samsung ATIV S, O2 UK has also revealed plans to boast two more Windows Phones - the HTC 8X and HTC 8S. It may appear as though networks are almost shy to announce Windows Phones being stocked, but with Windows Phone 8, one could argue more devices are being picked up.

Three UK also plan to stock both HTC Windows Phones, while EE (Everything Everywhere) has chosen the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 for its 4G LTE launch. O2 will be looking into 4G next year with other major UK networks and by Spring 2013 consumers should be able to take advantage of improvements through new hardware and service upgrades.

Source: O2; thanks, Lance, for the heads up!

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Reader comments

Samsung ATIV S heading to O2 UK, available soon

57 Comments

I bought a sd card because it was on sale and windows phone 8 will supports it and this the only high end windows phone that an micro SD slot

So because you made a $20 purchase on newegg you're locked into this phone for the next 2 years? I have no problem with liking this phone, but your reasoning is a little weak.

Well if your main issue is storage space and 32GB isn't enough then the ATIV S is probably your best option. The only other reasonable choice is the Lumia 820's assuming you're willing to give up the HD screen.

I think this phone looks great - not sure why everyone's complaining about it, when the original Android version of this is like the top selling phone of the year...  I'll take a WP variant of a top phone ANY DAY over a "fresh" WP design that's thoroughly lackluster, say with a 480x800 screen and/or no micro SD...

I owned Samsung phones before, and they are very good.  However, compare to my N8 and L900, my wife's Focus has had many hardware related issues. 
The main complain is the battery.  It cannot charge via USB or car charger, and it gets so hot while on any charger, which is causing the battery to lose capacity.  It is also get charged very slowly. The screen will also become total useless under the sun. Also, there are few build related issues.
I hope Samsung fix these issues.

I owned the original Omnia7, have currently the Omnia W (known as Focus Flash on AT&T) and the Galaxy Note - have no hardware issues whats'o'ever! All of those devices performed very well.

The only complaint is their own software offerings. For example, "Samsung Now" doesn't work properly anymore since the last update (live tiles won't update) but then, there are a trillian apps available on the WP marketplace that do the same trick.

I too will buy the Ativ S. Not so much because of the SD card but because of the screen size. Just compare it to the Lumia 900 / 920 and you'll notice that the phone is only minimal larger but offers you a half inch bigger screen.

I am not concerned about the camera either. On all of my Samsung phones, it took excellent pictures with perfect color accuracy.

Would I enjoy the PureView camera of the Nokia even more? Maybe! But then, the camera is only second to me if it comes to importance. Screen and call quality are my top criterias and Samsung excels in both.

you must be kidding with that pentile OLED screen that sucks up power... and i do not feel the call quality is better than any other, if not worse... if you need a larger screen, fine, but your reasoning is just not good..

At leat I've provided reasons whereas you just badmouth a device / brand you probably never owned in first place.

So,
Are the GSIII features a Samsung thing, or Android thing? Such as NFC, sending to Samsung TVs, laptops, etc???

How does it have the best specs hands down if the camera is worst than the Lumia's, the screen is worst than the Lumia's and it doesn't have things like wireless charging as the Lumia has? The Lumia just misses the SD card reader to this.

I think we shouldn't view the ATIV S as a replica of GSIII and label it "uninspired".
This is Samsung's hardware. Samsung's flagship hardware with Android is called SIII, and Samsung's flagship hardware with Windows Phone is called ATIV S.
It is not reasonable to expect the company to come up with totally different design and specs just because the OS is different.
Why would we expect that?

"It is not reasonable to expect the company to come up with totally different design and specs just because the OS is different.
Why would we expect that?
"
 
I only expect that from companies that challenge themselves, take risks, think outside of the box, differentiate and don't regurgitate hardware. Since Samsung is NOT one of those companies, you are correct, we shouldn't expect that from them ;-)

Exactly. Look at Samsung's Android line. The phones look so alike that you can't easily tell them apart.
My original point was that Samsung isn't ignoring WP design-wise, they are just being...well, Samsung!

Oh so like the brand new design used for the Lumia 800/900/920? I remember something called the N9 which looks VERY similar.

I think that a good phone should hava it's hardware made for the software that it is going to use. Just like Nokia has been perfecting the N9 design to make it perfect for WP or HTC that has made all new hardware for their WP8 series.

Your argument would only be valid if there was a functional problem with Samsung Windows Phones, related to their design.
Nokia too basically took the best design they had for Symbian phones, and put Windows on it. Samsung is doing the same.
It's just that Samsung's design is so generic, and has been this way for a long time, so they have ended up with a generic, dated design.

But I do prefer that "generic" design. I had a cyan Nokia for a few days and I could already see that the color would bore me one day. Also, the physical HOME button is something I really like since you actually can wake up your phone with it. It is also better for calling/texting someone with the voice control. You simply don't have to look at the phone with a real button.

It doesn't mean the Nokia is any worse but for me, "generic" just works better. :)

Design is not just in choice of colors. I can't imagine choosing anything but a black phone, but still I like the design to be unique. That's why I am ordering a black Lumia 920.
With Samsung, it's all the same. I don't like that.

It looks by far way better than that big bulky Lumia 920.. I'm getting this phone because I hate heavy bulky phones.. It's very fast too, I have seen videos of the 920 and honestly this phone looks faster.. I have a Focus S and love it with no problems that dude were mentioning up top..

Sure, enjoy the love and support that sumsung will give to your WP8 device... They will launch it just because. By now all they care about is their next Galaxy Sh*t IV.

So,
besides not getting that "exclusive" Nokia apps, what is the difference? Do I need Nokia Maps? Probably not, Bing Maps is on board! Do I need Nokia Drive? Nope, have Navigon that is far more sophisticated. Did I ever have a WP update issue with Samsung devices? Nope! I may have gotten the Mango update a week after the Lumia but I didn't miss any "love and support" from Samsung because the 2 WP devices I had from them just worked.

I am not trying to make the Nokia devices look bad but bring told that my WP experience sucks because I have chosen a Samsung device is just outright wrong!

If you don't need all that, well, that's another story. I am guessing the majority would like to receive better maps, exclusive apps, better music service, etc.
Of course you won't have a horrible WP8 experience, it's just not the best there is. That's all.

Well, it is a matter of personal choice but performance-wise, both phones have the same CPU and GPU and RAM and OS, so it may look like ATIV is faster because you like ATIV better.

From the video of the 920, this phone looks faster? Hello, what? None of the videos have shown anything outside of the basic core functions, in these functions, all three hero devices should be exactly the same speed.

I think this almost tempted me to doubt that I wanted the 8X on O2. However, I do not think that the 4.8inch screen is enough to pull me away from the design and Beats audio. I think...

I am a bit gutted that the Lumia 920 is not coming to o2 at launch, I have been out of contract since september and just waiting until WP8 comes out to replace my HTC HD7.....
 
Problem I have is I find o2 the best network coverage for me, I mountain bike up the Peak district regulary and love having an brilliant signal around Hope Valley, then again I hate having to get my gloves off to use my phone ... hello Lumia 920 ...
 
I find the aesthetics of the new HTC phones much more pleasing than the Nokia's, i just want the features of the 920 on a HTC model....
 
The Ativ S although a decent phone just doesn't inspire me, I want a phone that looks different, not the same old style that samsung/apple bring out at present.
 
I will probably end up with a yellow HTC -X (if o2 stock it), colourful phones just break the mould for me and I think promotes wp8 although i still don't understand why the highend phones bar the Ativ don't gave a SD slot :(
 
My wish is a HTC 8 X in Yellow with Pureview/PureMotion and a Mico SD slot,
 
Us consumers can dream huh? ;)

I'm in a similar situation. I am due an upgrade on Vodafone but so far they haven't announced any WP8 handsets. So my only options are leave Vodafone and go find lumis920 elsewhere or see what phones4u/CPW have to offer like the 8x

Me too. Locked to Vodafone UK purely down to reception. SIM free Nokia 920 for me, unless the UK isn't going to get them due to the Everything Everywhere exclusive. There's just no Nokia UK news at the moment.......

I went in to an O2 shop (UK) yesterday and was told by the assistant that they were definitely getting the 'new Nokia phones' and were just awaiting delivery.
I mentioned that I thought they were exclusive to EE, and she said that it was just the 4G that was initially exclusive to EE as their network was now ready, but O2 would have it early 2013. I pressed her again as to wether she was confusing them with the HTC W8 devices and she said definitely it was the Nokias that they were awaiting delivery.
Now, she was blonde - so I intend to try another shop and see what they say...

You have no clue what you are talking about do you? They make everything their design team wants to make basically. Sure, most of these risks are with low end and mid range handsets like the Galaxy Beam and Galaxy Music, but they are still a lot more creative than the crap anyone else comes out with.

They experiment on mid range handsets and use what works for their high end handsets. Nothing wrong with that.

Just for your information, the GS3 and Ativ S are a lot more different than the GS2 and focus. Unlike the 920 that looks pretty much exactly the same as the 900.

So please, try not to let your biases cloud your observational skills.

Hi
I am not being biased (or at least trying not to be), i just find the Ativ S generic looking, It looks like a nice phone spec wise, it just doesn't appeal to me unfortunately.
I just wish Samsung would embrace the WP8 UI more and deliver something that HTC / Nokia are doing.
The Ativ just doesn't have the 'wow' factor for me by looking at it, spec wise it does but as the Ativ-S, Lumia 920 and HTC 8-X all have the same gubbins SoC wise I am looking for something else to make me want to buy that product ..... I guess some people will like the look of the Ativ-S, unfortunately I don't.
 
 

Oh,  your post was fine. People have their preferences. I was replying to Aubreyq who claims Samsung doesnt try new things when they try more than others.

At least that clears that up then, it was first post on here and thought i had upset someone already, not that I have a habit of doing that of course :)
 

You gotta admit though, although they come up with good technology like Super AMOLED Plus and big, fast memory chips, they don't try new things in their design department.
That has always been my only - yet important - complaint concerning Samsung, and one of the main reasons why I won't buy ATIV S. Samsung has flooded the market with such designs to the point of making their phones downright boring, and I just don't want my expensive phone to look like any other low end Android phone.

Sorry I don't agree with that at all. You are falling prey to the same affliction that Aubreyq has and are choosing to ignore Samsung designs to suit your biases.
 
Here is some easy tests to conduct that will lift these Samsung hating clouds from your eyes.
Test 1. Try and find a phone that looks like the Galaxy Beam or the Galaxy Note or the Galaxy S3. The Galaxy Beam is just weird but very creative and not me too at all. The Note was still in it's own category until the recently released LG intuition. The GS3 is some weird sea shell looking thing that disappointed people during the unveiling because it looked so weird but has now grown on the early haters including myself. Sure the Note 2 looks like it but that is not out yet so it doens't really count. You can also argue that the Ativ S looks like the GS3 but it really doesn't since the Ativ S is much more boxy and doesn't have the sea shell look. The GS3 top corners are not symetrical with the bottom corners for example while I think the Ativ S is.
 
You might not like thier designs but they are defintely different, unlike some people like to insinuate, . the Note was especially bold and created the phablet category..
 
Test 2. Go look at pictures of the international GS2 i9100 and compare them with GS3 pictures. Now do the same for the Focus S and Ativ S, HTC Titan 2 and HTC 8x, Nokia Lumia 900 and Nokia Lumia 920. Now try and be objective about it. Notice anything? The largest differences in design between the updates come from the Samsung phones.
Also, like you said. they are not afraid to use new technology such as AMOLED. It is perfectly okay to hate, but at least be objective about it. A simple I don't like them, or cheap plastic etc is fine. But saying that they rehash designs is just not true.

I just say this: it is hard to not notice that Galaxy Note is a magnified Galaxy S II, or how all the Wave series phones have basically the same look with the difference being in how round or square the edges are.
I can bring you around 20 different Samsung phones, and I am sure even you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

Don't give me Galaxy Beam. Give me a non-experimental designs that actually made it somewhere.
if you are saying ATIV S doesn't look like the S III, then I have nothing to say to you really. Maybe you get into much detail to distinguish designs. From that stand-point, Lumia 920 and 900 are different too. (By the way, the Lumia line is still very young, and the design is desired and praised by people, so talking about abandoning a desired design wouldn't be logical.)

I have to admit though, it's the combination of repetitive designs AND cheap material that drives me away from Samsung. So you might be right there.

Well, I guess there is no reasoning with you. The evidence I gave you is there. The Galaxy beam is a perfectly acceptable example but even if you go with only the sucessful ones, the gs1, gs2, gs3, they are all still different as different can be. Which I honestly cant say the same about the N9, Lumia 800, Lumia 900, and the Lumia 920.  Well the 900 didnt have a curved screen but that's it,
Sure there are some aspects of Samsung phones that look similar but that applies to all companies, not just Samsung.
I can see that it is futile reasoning with you though.
A giant GS2, maybe. But the Ativ S looks nothing like the GS3. Just off the top of my head, the Ativ is not round, home button looks absolutely nothing alike, the screen is curved, has a long speaker grill on the back. 
What else do you need? Those are HUGE fundamental changes especially the shape and symmetry. Saying that they look the same is saying that the 820 and 920 look the same. Sheesh. Haha
 
 
 
 
 
 

I forgot the battery. Thanks. The display is the largest, no doubt. Display quality and tech is a different issue.
So, the ATIV S trumps on screen size, battery size, memory capacity, and thickness. My point is that there is no clear cut, hands down best spec WP8. Each has it's relative strengths and weaknesses.

I think Samsung is confused by WP and is struggling to find a way to differentiate itself. In the android world, maximizing the marketable specs are how you stand out as top notch, but that philosophy doesn't really cross over into the WP world. Nokia and HTC have differentiated themselves through unique design and hardware innovation. Design is subjective, but where is the innovative hardware offering in the ATIV S?

Shame it's on O2, they have comfortably the worst 3g signal in the country...
 
imo steer clear & go for TMobile/Orange for 4GEE.
 
Vodafone charge for tethering & are tax dodging leeches.

Why is everyone hating on Samsung? You'd think people would be happy that there's another OEM in the arena.
The phone has some nice specs. So the camera may not match that of the 920, but if it's anything like the one in the GS3, it will be more than adequate for the majority of folks out there. The 4.8" AMOLED screen is also nice...assuming it's the same used in the GS3.
You've also got a 32GB memory option and an SD card slot to boot.
Looks are a matter of taste. Some people prefer a more conservative look. Others like color. Why dismiss the phone just because it doesn't look like a popsicle without a stick. If they offered it in hot pink, fucsia or toxic green, would that change your opinion? There is nothing wrong with the design. It comes in a brushed aluminum look...so what? If you think it's boring, well, so be it. But there are plenty of others who find it OK.
As far as Samsung using "cheap plastic"... I got some news for you. Most all industrial plastics are cheap. Polycarbonate is also a "cheap plastic". Except all the haters refuse to call polycarbonate "plastic"...they think it's something special because Nokia's marketing wants them to think it is. Maybe Samsung (and others) should start advertising their shells as being "acrylonitrile butadiene styrene". But that doesn't sound as sexy, I guess.
So much hate. I just don't get it.