Samsung ATIV SE for Verizon – Unboxing and tour of this sharp looking Windows Phone

Over the weekend, Samsung and Verizon launched the new ATIV SE sporting Windows Phone 8.0 with Update 3. We sort of forgot about this phone, since the 8.1 news became the main focus for us. But we decided to pick one up and give you a full on tour of the device.

As I mention in the video (which turned out longer than I had anticipated), the ATIV SE is a really sharp and elegant device. Sure, Samsung tends to give Windows Phone the cold shoulder, but even when they seem to be not trying they make compelling devices. The ATIV SE is no different and so far I’m quite impressed with it.

Let’s take a closer look

Samsung ATIV SE (Verizon)

  • Windows Phone 8.0 with Update 3
  • 5-inch 1080P Full HD AMOLED Display; Gorilla Glass 3
  • 2.3 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage; expandable micro SD slot
  • 2600 mAh replaceable battery
  • Micro SIM
  • LED notification (for charging)
  • 13 MP rear camera with LED light; 2 MP front facing camera
  • IR Blaster
  • 4G LTE for data; CDMA for voice
  • 4.79 ounces
  • 5.42” (H) x 2.75” (W) x .33” (D)
  • $199 with two-year contract; $599 off-contract

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon camera

I won’t pull any punches: the specs on the ATIV SE are impressive. The Snapdragon 800 ensures that the ATIV SE is very modern, since that processor kicks the hell out of the Windows Phone OS.

What I find most impressive with the ATIV SE is how it’s actually thinner, lighter and more powerful than the ATIV S Neo on AT&T. That phone was released only a few months ago. Yet, this phone has all the right numbers, including much better processor, more RAM, larger camera (13 MP vs 8 MP), greater battery (2600 vs 2000 mAh), grander display with higher resolution and an IR blaster to boot.  It’s also 0.3 ounces lighter and 0.03 inches thinner.

That’s kind of awesome.

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon hand

Sure, I get not everyone likes Samsung. Some cite the plastic feel, others for political reasons (Samsung doesn’t try very hard with Windows Phone). But this is a pretty handsome device and so far, it represents Windows Phone well.

Is it better than the Lumia Icon? The Icon does have a better camera (20 MP, OIS vs 13 MP), wireless charging and 32 GB of internal storage. Plus, it’s Nokia, which does matter. While I’d probably prefer the Icon, I don’t feel like I’m settling with the ATIV SE. It’s just different, and people have diverse wants and priorities. Choice is good.

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon Sample 3

Even the camera is pretty decent. No, it’s not a PureView, but it is a step up from Samsung’s previous efforts (although it oddly only shoots in 4:3 at high resolutions instead of 16:9).

Anyway, watch the super hands on video, check out the photos of the device and even a few sample photos. We’ll see about doing a full review if you folks are interested.

Find more information on the Samsung ATIV SE direct from Verizon.

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon back

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon Sample 2

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon vs Icon

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon LED

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon thin

Samsung ATIV SE on Verizon Sample

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.