Samsung ATIV S finally gets an in depth hands on video [Fixed]

We’re not sure where GSMArena managed to get a Samsung ATIV S, especially with no obvious handlers interfering, but they did and they have a nice 3-minute video tour of the phone. The video has some excellent production with ample light, allowing us to finally see the long missing Samsung Windows Phone.

The video also highlights what should be obvious: that 4.8” Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 2 is quite massive and not in a bad way. The device is clearly super thin (by comparison to other Windows Phones) but just a monster in terms of how big the view is on it.  For some users, that’s clearly a selling point and we could only imagine how nice it must be type on such an ample on-screen keyboard.

Tiny Elvis says: "Man check out the size of those that sucker is huge"

The rest of the device is quite standard from what we’ve previously seen with a heavy focus on plastic for the body, but we don’t think that deters from the device in any way. But clearly some of you have strong opinions on that (versus the more robust polycarbonate shell).

Windows Phone 8 also gets demonstrated a bit in the video though we can’t say any new features leap out. We’re not aware of what build of the OS it is running, though it is presumably either final or close to it. One thing is for certain, that OS hauls pretty well when being pushed by that dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU and with that huge 2300 mAh battery on board, we’re sure the ATIV S will do quite well in the power department.

Unfortunately, Samsung has yet to either secure or announce any US partner carriers for the ATIV S. We’re not sure what Samsung’s strategy is exactly for Windows Phone 8, but so far it seems as if they just don’t have one. (In case you’re wondering, Samsung has never once reached out to this site regarding this phone and has so far shown very little interest in the Windows Phone community).

Recently in a Windows Phone Central reader poll, only 5% of you were seriously considering the ATIV S over other Windows Phone 8 devices. Part of that is due to the lack of carrier information but a lot of it has to do with perception of the company. That’s a shame as this video clearly shows the ATIV S, while not for everyone, is a sharp looking phone.

Related: See our Windows Phone 8 comparison guide.

Source: GSMArena; via Windows Phone Daily

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Man, that look huge. I don't know. I really wanted to go with Samsung again because I like my Omnia 7 a lot. But the device seems too big. I wish they can make a 4" inch version.
  • Compared to Lumia, the screen is bigger but it's thinner and Lumia is wider as well. So really overall it's smaller than Lumia.
  • This is literally the Galaxy S3 running a different OS ROM. It is the same internal hardware, same dimensions as the GS3. It is funny to see the Windows Phone community shun a phone which is essentially the most desired, best selling Android phone.
    Galaxy S3 = (5.38x2.78x0.34 in) 133g
    ATIV S = (5.40×2.78×0.34 in) 135g
    The WP8 weighs slightly more because it has a slightly bigger battery.
    The specs are all the same for the US version of the GS3 and the ATIV S. They literally took their Galaxy S3 and loaded the Windows Phone 8 ROM onto it then made some extremely minor cosmetic changes.
  • I like the phone. I am disappointed Samsung has only one wp8 announced and it is literally the same phone as galaxy. I would have liked to see them improve upon the galaxy and offer 2-3 devices at launch. The reason I would go HTC or Nokia is because the lack of support for the OS.
  • Iis it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  • To me it looks  better than the S3 - with less rounded shape and metal finish. I feel it will do very well and may even pull many people who like the S3 but are not so cozy with Android OS. What will seal the deal for Samsung is if they have it available on all 3 carriers like the S3. I understand everybody loves Nokia for their commitment to WP, but you don't have to hate the other carriers - this phone is good enough for me, in fact beats the lumia in size, weight, battery and uSD support.
  • True, the overly curved and legally sound shape of my GS3 is starting to erk me already. The thinness and the way the sides bevel is really good though, I can get a firm grasp on it with one hand and I have no issues scraping the tacky plastic backing along the table (as I grab it) because I can get a new one off ebay for cheap. Since the battery is bigger, does that mean WP8 is more of a power guzzler than Android?
  • The Ativ S doesn't really use the same CPU as the GS3. Windows Phone 8 devices is gonna be using the S4 Plus, with the Adreno 305. Which is faster than the GS3 Adreno 225
  • No it's the Adreno 225. It is exactly the same phone as the GS3.  All of the high-end WP8 devices are using the exact same Qualcomm processor.
  • This phone offers different value than other win8 phone. Thinner
    Larger screen
    Removable battery
    Micro SD support
  • Does it have MicroSDXC support ?
  • As Nokia pukes down the front of their shirts with their midrange garbage at Verizon and T-Mobile and as HTC has decided to copy the shape, locked battery and lack of SD card like the Nokia (and lack of gaming gyroscope), suddenly the Samsung ATIV starts looking more and more attractive.
  • Hmm its kinda cool how they put the same wallpaper for the slide screen as the s3... We'll be sure to trick some android users into wp8 with that! ;)
  • Cool or lazy on Samsung's part? Take your pick ;)
  • HTC have done the same thing with those sense 4.0 wallpapers for the HTC 8x and 8s
  • So...the same question for HTC ;)
  • Pretty much! Haha XD still I like the look of htc's wallpapers
  • I love that screen...the size and the fact that it's a Super Amoled HD. But Samsung's lackadaisical attitude towards Windows Phone is telling.
  • Yeah, a PenTile screen, awesome...
  • I just what to know what are the hours for talk time on a 2300maH battery that is not a battery hog OS like Android.
  • Lazyness lol but hopefully it'll contribute to increasing WP8 popularity, they'll be vulnerable to the flower wallpaper ... their sheep are sometimes just as bad as apples lol
  • Is it me, or did this video just reveal quite a bit of what Microsoft has planned to announce in the coming weeks? Wallet, Kid's Hub, settings... etc.
  • Wallet was revealed already in the Summit as was IE10 and some other things. Still, GSMArena may have had the device under embargo and slipped up. We'll see if the video disappears or not. 
  • All that may be true, but I didn't know about the swipe to the right thing to log in as a "child". Actually that feature is awesome. In theory this feature could allow more users to "log in" to your phone without fear of digging through your stuff (different user profile&data). And W8 should incorporate it, too. Instead of re-typing your username and password you would just swipe to the right, find your username, type in your pass and you are in!
  • It was blocked :(
  • All of that has been seen before.
  • Man the phone is huge! The coating looks nice but look how the back cover bends when he took it off, that looks cheap lol.
  • The video was taken down before I had a chance to check it out, but a bending back cover reminds me of my Samsung Focus. I rarely have to remove the back cover, though.
  • That's a GS3!! lol.. Samsung got lazy on their design but hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it! lol
  • That's a GS3!! lol.. Samsung got lazy on their design but hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it! lol
  • Get it on Verizon and you'll get a lot of pickups from people who want high-res screens on their phone and are 'worried' about HTCs financial future as a company. Samsung might not be 'all in' on Windows Phone, but they aren't going anywhere, either. I don't know if I feel the same way about HTC.
  • I doubt many buyers will pass on a brand because they are worried on the brand's "financial future", but Verizon will probably do well selling the ATIV S, if they get it as part of their WP8 portfolio.
  • How can something look so plastic, yet so metallic? Nice paint job Samsung but this has to be my least favorite of each WP8 device announced.
  • It looks metallic looking because the phone has metallic part. At least that's what Samsung says on their website.
  • I'm pretty sure Samsung's website had some flowery language for essentially saying "we painted it metallic".
  • It's got an aluminum "sticker" on the plastic case back. So it "IS" a metallic piece a sticker, hence the bend. Cheap nonetheless. 
  • That's the main reason I want an option to turn the side gutter on/off... The medium square tiles are so gigantic on bigger screens. The smaller squares don't give you the same info, so they're not a direct replacement. I don't necessarily want the black gap, I just want the tiles to be the same size as WP7
  • The Galaxy SIII recently became the #1 best selling phone on T-mobile and its nowhere near as good looking as the Ativ-S,,,I think this phone is perfect for those people looking for a nice clean looking phone with a large screen and a good OS.
  • Problem is T-MO will not get this device.
  • @jabtano - how do you know tmo won't be getting this device? It was reported long ago that tmo was set to carry a new Samsung WP8 device, and so far this is the only phone Samsung has announced for the new OS.
  • I am the only person in my family with tmobile, as they have Verizon. I am willing to give up my venue pro for wp8. If verizon don't pick up l920, I might consider getting this just because of the big screen, i feel like i willl type better with little typos and there will be no vertical qwerty phones anytime soon for wp8 =[
  • Surprised that no one is noticing that nice little app in Xbox live and music and movies... So I'm guessing that smartglass is going to be baked into the os.
  • I'm not a fan at all of thr new music and video hub logo I mean live tiles = nice but the green and logo? Horrible I prefer zunes
  • I was pointing out that I saw the Xbox smartglass app in those two hubs. If you look close, they only show it for a second.
  • Whoops, sorry skim read ur comment :/ but smart glass looks cool just a shame the tiles R ugly :/ oh well
  • Somewhere a Samsung representative has stumbled across this video, and saying "When did we make this??" lol...
  • +1 lol
  • I hope this goes to all carriers, but seeing how At&t already said it will sell the ATIV tab , they might just get it
  • No thank you...
  • I must say, kids corner is a WOW!!!!! Thank you MS!
  • i wonder what the Family Story app does... and yeah I saw the xbox smart glass app on both music and xbox app
  • I have a Samsung TV and it has a Family Story app. It is meant as way for family members to leave short notes and photos for the others. Sucks. Nothing special, ignore it
  • I know everyone will not care about this but I am really excited about kids corner!  I can finally let my 2 year old have at my phone and not worry about him doing something crazy.  This is a GREAT idea!
  • I care since I plan on using WP for the foreseeable future and it will come in handy once my daughter is old enough to control her hands.
  • wow sure seemed like explorer launched really fast
  • No thank you Samsung.
  • 0:52 - 0:55 says it all...
  • Meh....ugh....
  • After seeing kids corner in action, I might just use it for a quick hub.
  • I thought about that, in theory, could enable some basic fuctions if you just wanted to use it as a MP3 player or video player or whatever.
  • that OS hauls pretty well when being pushed by that dual....
  • Did i just hear him said "Too bad they still dont have wallpaper feature.."
    Why ppl need wallpaper when u hav gorgeous live tiles that constantly changes pictures? It's just plain stupid to put wallpaper to be block by ur tiles or app icons. Having the wallpaper as lockscreen is good enough, it's like do u need skin or wallpaper when u r in ur camera app? it's just redundant, i guess ppl just simply greedy and getting too used to be spoilt even when things r not necessary.
  • -1
  •'s ok, but i still dont find any necessary for the wallpaper behind the tiles, it's just silly. There's a saying of "adding limbs to a snake" where suggests people r too used to the fact of limbs for almost all creatures, but when uadd it to the snake basically it will not be a snake anymore...
    cheers :)
  • Oh great, now I'm going have nightmares about snakes with arms :P
  • Wouldn't it be just a lizard? :P
  • A skink to be precise.
  • the background wallpaper is just an old relict from older dumbphones, now on iphones and android phones :) but thats the past. The windows phone is the future with its minimalistic style. Minimalistic but still rich on information!
  • +1
  • +1
  • +
  • +1
  • As a designer I would like the option to put something behind the tiles. There is PLENTY of space to create a cool design that could work its way around and through the tiles, highlighting certain tiles, etc. I agree that a photograph behind the tiles is not necessary, unless they allowed you to make the tiles see through, but the option of designing something that specifically fit my phone and my tiles layout would appeal to me, and I'm sure others as well.
  • When the reviewer flick off the so-called "metallic" cover to expose the battery module and bend the cover lightly, I m completely turn off. It goes to show how cheap & plasticy the build quality is. Plus the S3 wallpaper... I dun think Samsung is serious about WP. Its a half-ass effort LoL !
    Still love my 900 and lusting the 920.
  • on the inside every lumia looks like cheap plastic :) they just look out not cheap. Bit in the end it is all plastic = polycarbonate = samsung back cover. All the same just a little bit different. And i must say i have now a metallic back cover which is heavy and want now a plastic one but like this one on samsung with a aluminium 1mm thin coating.
  • the more it looks like a GS3 the better it will do. The average person wont notice the difference, pick it up, and then get excited with WP8 OS
  • "The fat hobbit trickses us" *starts playing with OS* "Myyy precioussss."
  • Im still leaning towards this Samsung. 32GB plus option to add 64GB card to it. I will have to see the Lumia screen, but it doesn't look as black as these AMOLEDs. The Lumia 900 had a nicer screen then my Samsung Focus. But in pictures and videos I can tell the 920 doesn't get nearly as black with that IPS screen.
    Then secondly Samsung apps suck compared to Nokias. Oh the wait to hold and see these in person is killing me. Im on a 2 year old Focus, sigh
  • I'm sure there are people who would use the additional storage, but since I don't really load huge things such as movies or anything like that to my phone, the 25GB storage on SkyDrive is more than enough as long as I can fully backup to my computer. I really like the specs of the lumia 920, and Nokia has really worked hard to differentiate their Lumia brand with Windows Phone and nice exclusive apps. HTC?... Well... I have had a few htc phones in the past, they are not bad IMO, but their screens look so washed out. I think that can change with their new line of devices, and the new design looks very good. I will go play with the different options at the store, but will probably just go with Nokia again.
  • Sorry, I meant the on-board storage on the phone plus the 25 GB on SkyDrive.
  • This thing looks pretty nice.. I'm just not into Samsung as much as I used to be. Curious to see who will carry it though.
  • And finally we have a video tour that the phone actually exists. I just spoke about this no less than 12 hours ago. Wow.
  • Kids corner is pretty cool. My daughter is always wanting to play games on my phone. Also, I know WP runs pretty fast, but Wp8 looks to be instant!
  • Oh never mind. Not even a real hands on video. Just some boring, lifeless tour through the phone. Samsung isn't showing enthusiasm at all.
  • This video is made by GSMArena, not Samsung.
  • Figures because GSMArena is not enthusiastic about WP either. But neither is Sammy. I think it took Sammy just a few seconds to present this phone then never mentioned it ever again anywhere.
  • "I think it took Sammy just a few seconds to present this phone then never mentioned it ever again anywhere."
    Very true, although we'll have to see if Samsung "ramps it up" after the October 29 WP8 press conference. If Samsung doesn't promote the ATIV S much after that, then we'll know they don't care about Windows Phone, period.
  • Oh but that just solidifies my point. Samsung didn't make the video. Samsung hasn't made ANY videos or any attempts at really showing off the phone. Their presentation was an afterthought and beyond boring. HTC and Nokia each had a launch event that displayed the features and differences in their products. We don't know what separates the Samsung Ativ S from the competitors and Samsung has done a great job NOT promoting the phone. Poor effort.
  • Guess they haven't learned their lesson from android yet. They have a chance to be a leader in WP and they are squandering it badly.
  • Anyone notice game marketplace and photo editor app?
  • The plastic back makes it light and durable. I thought my focus was cheaply made initially, but it has held up well. In fact, it has proven to be more durable than the Lumia phones, considering all the Lumia owners complaints about scratches on their screens. I've had my Samsung Focus since it's first introduction, dropped it several times, no screen protector,no case, in pocket w/keys, not a single scratch! Until we can say the same about the Lumia series,we shouldn't be questioning the quality of the Samsung WP devices.
  • The Focus is just as vulnerable as any other phone in regards to scratches and breaking.  My Focus screen broke a looooooong time ago.  I've had my Lumia 900 much longer than the Focus.  They're all good phones, even the Iphone 5 and HTC one.  But I prefer the WP8 UI.
  • i'm the only one who hope we can use other functions rather the "family corner" with the right slide of the lock screen?
  • I would also like to use left swipe for something else. Seems kind of odd Microsoft would use such a wanted and sought after feature for something like Kids Corner. I mean does everyone have children? Seems silly. No disrespect to the parents here.
  • It seems GSMarena hid the video, it seems that it wasnt up for release yet, seeing that there is nothing about this on the front page either lol.
    Kids corner looks like a nice feature, is that Sammy specific?
    Other than that, the back cover is a total turn off, could never consider this phone.
  • Kids corner will be included as a new feature on all WP8 devices.
  • "This video is private" ? ='(
  • Looks like the video has been taken down. I have tried to watch this on a few different sites but no joy. Guess by the comments though I'm not missing much.
  • Video is now private
    Here's a link to the video again
  • Removed also...
  • Actually it worked for me.
  • Thanks.  I enjoyed the video.  I dont have any issues with the platic used by Samsung  my focus is still me backup phone.  This phone is a contender for next phone I hope its coming to all carriers including my carrier ATT   I hope the phone is relatively cheap off contract  as I currenbly am on contract with the L 900.
  • Thanks for the link! I was able to watch the video.
  • The video will not play.
  • Man I really like that physical home button on the front.
  • I'm glad I saw this video because now I'm more sure than ever that it's the 920 above all for me, followed by the 8X!
  • Not sure if im the first one here with this idea... But im gonna rename my kids corner to "Xbox Corner" and use that second start screen for pinned Xbox music + games ^.^
    It would be like my mancave, but on my phone!
  • My phone will be like a mullet.... business in the front party in the back ;D
  • +1
  • That is a pretty good idea, plus it didn't seem like too much of a hassel to switch back, power off then back on and unlock to your original start screen.
  • Exactly. I mean you can use it however. Its essentially a second start screen. So if you want to have all your documents there pinned, have at it. If you want to make it like a glorified contact list with your favorites pinned there, you can do it. It opens up a lot of possibilities. Its marketed as kids corner but you can use it however. It clears up space for you to put more stuff on your default start screen and use that second start screen for another function
  • You are absolutely correct. Microsoft just gave us a second start screen.
  • Here's the vid -
  • Its not found....
  • That's garbage! I didn't get to see the video..
  • ..... Try this (mobile only)
  • 'Kids Corner', 'Children Corner'... this may offend my curious coworkers when they mess with my new yellow Nokia 920. How about 'VIP Suite' or 'Hello Mr. ____!' (prep. required). I'll tell them about the facebook-connected face recognition feature, just to mess with their minds a bit.
  • The video problem may be with Youtube, or WPCentral. I just watched the video on Metrotube. But the copied link doesn't work from here..
  • try here video_tech
  • here is a copy of the video:    Also please add me as a friend on FB, so we exchange such findings
  • hey folks, what's this? video taken using ativ s?
  • Nice find. Thanks!
  • The battery plays a big factor for me. It has a 2300mah battery yet it can still can die fast cuz of the screen. If it has the longest battery life I might get it over the 8x and lumia 810
  • I much as I like the design of the gs3 I wish Samsung would've put in more effort and designed something original for WP8, one can only hope that they create a suite of apps for it much like Nokia has to drive enthusiasm for it but I'm not holding my breath. It seems like Samsung takes the old Ronco Rotisserie approach and "just set it and forgets it"  I'm going for the L920 but I want as many choices for WP8 as possible to drive market share and awareness of the platform, it just doesn't look like Samsung cares either way.
  • This will attract all the android folk
  • This maybe true but I have two friends at work that are currently using android devices and they are more exceited about the L920, I think the pureview camera is the bigger selling point vs an sd card slot but only time will tell. As long as the platform grows its good for everyone.
  • Samsung's "set it and forget it" mentality will ultimately come and bite them in the ass. People will eventually "forget" Samsung when there are better designs and colors to choose from. People pay attention to that stuff; it draws people in. The ATIV S just screams "laziness" on Samsung's part. Zero effort by them. Zero.
    Also, forget about Samsung creating a suite of apps for the ATIV S. Samsung just doesn't care about WP anymore.
  • Well, in Sammy's case, they don't really NEED to put massive effort into WP8.   They are raking in the cash from Android and so they can start slow and wait and see how WP8 takes off.  Nokia and HTC need their devices to sell and sell right away.
  • Gorgeous phone. Prove you care about WP8 by bringing GS3-style extras and a "Next big thing is here" campaign for it, and the ATIV will be a success. Don't, and it won't.
  • I hate these big phones with 4.8 screen. Samsung is not getting my money this time. I'm gonna sell my old Focus and buy a beautiful unlocked grey Lumia 920 as soon as they available
  • The form factor of the ATIV S is actually about the same size as the Lumia 920:
    ATIV S: 137.2  x  70.5  x  8.7
    Lumia 920: 130.3  x  70.8  x  10.7
    The ATIV is a bit narrower, much thinner and only 0.27 inches longer than the 920 and you get a larger screen.  Samsung knows how to make the best use of their hardware's real estate.  Compare this to what HTC has done (all that space above the screen).  This is as close to an edge-to-edge display as you're going to get with WP thus far.
    Since this phone was introduced so long ago I had almost forgotten about it, but the more I look at it again, the more I like it (except for that goofy non-capacitive home button).
  • Samsung just loaded WP8 onto a nicer looking GSIII. So It's not as flashy as the 920 or 8X but it is still a Nice phone... Hopfully they will do the same with the Note II... load WP8 on a better looking Note II...
  • The micro SD slot makes this my front runner (its the only way I can get rid of a separate music gadget) but it's hard to give up on the cool factor of the 920's features. So glad Rogers will have both to choose from.
  • damn!! I've missed the video.. it's been made private now.. :(
  • You can watch the video on daily motion..
  • Here's a new vid link since it's set to Private.

  • I love this phone and they will get my money, forget Nokia big bulky phones I don't like them..
  • Well, if this phone had wireless charging or a backplate add on, I'd seriously consider it.  I like that it has NFC, 32 gig, and a micro sd slot.  The screen size also apeals to me.  If I can't get a 920 variant on Verizon, I might consider this one.  It will boil down to what actually feels good in my hand though I guess.
  • From the front, just replace the windows button with a circle, and that's an iPhone 3gs.
  • Here's a 720p video here of it...