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 (opens in new tab).

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
Editor-in-chief

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

307 Comments
  • Looks Samsungier....
  • Which is a good thing. The reviewer constantly praised the looks. As much as I love my ATIV S without a camera button it's a NO BUY.
  • Bezile looks like my old 3GS from the front. I got to go with the Nokia. Kinda like a Volvo Boxy But Good. They do have one thing in commaon (spelling purposful) though XBOX Music sucks.
  • How so?  I've been using Xbox music for years (even back when it was Zune) without any issues.  The ability to share with other family members and download anything and everything available for offline use is awesome.
  • Boy I sure agree about Xbox Music.  It's hovering at 2 stars out of 5 now and it just keeps staying the same. It runs very poorly on my 920
  • Has some compelling features. I will consider it to replace my L920 if it comes to AT&T.
  • How i wish nokia had put sd card slot and a bigger and replaceable battery into the 930..
  • Don't forget to add an IR blaster, it would be useful when I'm not on my tv with the Xbox one and Kinect IR blaster :P
  • India doesn't have Xbox one yet, so IR blaster isn't a big deal for me. And USA isn't getting the 930..
  • All the more reason to have an IR equipped phone.