Samsung announces ATIV S Windows Phone 8 device, looks like a Galaxy S III

Samsung announces ATIV S Windows Phone 8 device, looks like a Galaxy S III

Summary: Windows Phone 8 announcements are expected from Nokia next week, but Samsung got the jump on everyone with the ATIV S announcement at IFA today in Berlin.

Samsung announces ATIV S Windows Phone 8 device, looks like a Galaxy S III

The Samsung Galaxy S III is a fantastic device and appears to be doing well on all major carriers in the US. Today, Samsung revealed the ATIV S Windows Phone 8 device (Windows Phone Team Blog) that looks like a Galaxy S III running the latest Windows Phone OS. It has a very similar form factor to the GSIII, which is to say it looks like a great Windows Phone device.

CNET post on the announcement

The ATIV S (how do you say that word anyway?) includes a raised Windows button in the bottom center, similar to the hardware button on the GSIII and I am a fan of that for easy unlocking and return to the home screen. Specifications for the upcoming Samsung ATIV S include:

  • 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display made from Gorilla Glass 2
  • 1.5 GHz dual core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB integrated memory with a microSD card slot
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 1.9 megapixel front facing camera
  • 2300 mAh battery

CNET's report states that it will launch with HSPA+ 42 Mbps support, which means it is likely coming to T-Mobile first. As a T-Mobile customer looking for the latest and greatest Windows Phone, I would gladly trade in my GSIII for an ATIV S.

If you used Windows Phone 7, you will know that specs don't mean a whole lot since the OS flies even on older hardware. However, it is nice to see Samsung launching a device with current hardware. We don't have any details on NFC, pricing, or availability, and there are not yet any photos or videos of the new OS in action. I know I can't wait to try out Windows Phone 8 and look forward to seeing where this device launches.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Samsung

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  • Rather not have a raised hw button. And 8M cam at the end of 2012?

    Come on sammy, yes youre known for your crap build quality but even you can do better than this. Weak.
    Johnny Vegas
    • Gotten better this year IMHO

      I think the GSIII is built fairly well and I also like the Note. Yes, they have lots of plastic, but they still feel quite solid.

      I think 8 megapixel is just right for a phone since you can still share full size without hitting your data limit. Why do you need more? It is more about optics and Samsung phones do a pretty good job in this area.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
    • Don't fall into the megapixel trap

      8MP is perfectly high enough to capture required details and print high quality pictures. If anything, I'm glad this is smaller since the bigger the MP, the longer it takes to write the picture to memory. If anything, 8MP is already too high for your average smartphone picture taker. It was only a few short years ago when your average professional camera only did 8MP and those pictures were just fine in the "dark" ages of the late '00s.
      • So does that mean Nokia WP8 phones will be bad?

        Nokia said that their line of Windows Phone 8 phones will have Pureview technology in the cameras. The Pureview is a Nokia phone that has a 41 megapixel camera. So if Nokia has a lot of megapixels in their WP8 phones, does that make them bad?
        • Why Nokia pureview phones are not bad

          Not necessarily. The problem with having more than 8 in the Ativ is that by increasing the number of pixels, you need to either increase the sensor size or decrease the pixel size. Decreasing the pixel size leads to decreased image quality, wheras a bigger sensor would not fit in this phone - therefore it is pretty much at it's limit as far as resolution goes.

          The Nokia pureview on the other hand has a massive sensor. In fact, each of its 41 million pixels is about the same size as each pixel in the samsung, so the quality of the pixels is just as good and there are more of them, hence a better image results. The other thing the Nokia can do isthe pureview mode, which uses an algorithm to shrink the 41MP image to either 8 or 5 MP. This basically has the effect of making an 8MP sensor with massive, super accurate pixels. So no matter what mode you use, it wins out over the 8MP image of the samsung.

          As an aside, the other advantage of pureview is that you can do lossless digital zoom. Normal digital zoom at for example 8MP would just take a portion of that 8MP image (maybe 3MP depending on the zoom factor) and 'stretch' it out to 8MP, producing poor image quality. Because pureview has so many nice big pixels you can zoom and still be using 8 true megapixels, giving excellent image quality.
        • The problem is physics

          When you have an 8Mpixel camera on a 1/3.5" or so sensor (which is the ballpark of most of these cameras), you need about an f2.5 lens, or the camera will be diffraction-limited (eg, at f3, you have roughly the resolution of a 5Mpixel camera, regardless of the number of sensor cells, unless you either lower the f-number or increase the pixel size).

          Nokia may have some phones with their 41 megapixel sensor in it. But check out that N808... it's about twice the thickness of an average smartphone. That's a huge sensor, and it needs a correspondingly large lens, with the same f2.5 or so, since it's got pixel sizes about comparable to the average 1/3.5" 8Mpixel sensor. That also increases the necessary focal length, not just the size of the lens, making it larger still.

          And on the high end, thickness matters even more. That's the primary reason most smartphone cameras have settled down at 8Mpixel or so.
    • 8MP on a tiny little sensor is more than enough.

      MTF on these things is horrendous.
  • Can you clarify?

    "If you used Windows Phone 8, you will know that specs don't mean a whole lot since the OS flies even on older hardware."

    Is this a typo and you meant to write: If you used Windows Phone 7...?

    If so, we can't use WP7's performance as any indication on how well WP8 will perform since the 2 are completely different OSs.

    If not, how is anyone trying out WP8 on older hardware? I didn't think it was compatible.
    • Missing the point of his comment

      What he is say is that you don't have to worry about how WP8 will run, as WP7 (yes, I know he put 8), runs extremely well, even on "dated" technology. A win for optimization. All in all, you can expect no slow down on WP8 with the hardware in that phone.
      Fuhrer D
      • It's not so much optimization

        as it is legacy. Windows 7 Phone is based on WinCE, an kernel made for 100MHz PDAs, ages ago. It hasn't changed much. And Windows 7 Phone hasn't been around long enough (and with Windows 8 Phone coming, never will, since there's no downward compatibility) to get any really big, heavy, apps. And the GUI's not changed all that much, in the computations needed, since the Zune, which ran initially on a 350MHz processor. So even with the slowest GPU still on the phone market, yeah, the Nokia 900 at 1.5GHz or whatever flies.

        Windows 8 Phone is based on the same Windows NT kernel we all know and love from Windows NT, Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. It's not designed or optimized for very small devices. That's why it's not being allowed on the Windows 7 Phone hardware -- Microsoft knows it would be unusable. The new hardware will be, minimally, 2x as fast on CPU, certainly faster on GPU (the GPU on the Lumia 900 is slower than that of the iPhone 3GS), and the UI isn't getting that much more complex -- still less work to do than on Android or iOS. But there's no guarantee it'll be as fast, and plenty to suggest it'll be a little bogged down. After all, while both Android and iOS are also based on cut-down desktop OSs, nothing's been more x86 tuned than Windows. And we probably all recall how well Windows runs on Netbooks... which are as fast, perhaps a bit faster, than current (late 2011/early 2012) smartphone hardware, at least until you go 4-core.
  • great one samsung

    Its alreadt over for Nokia!! They surely cant make something better than this!!!
    Abdul Hameed 1989
  • Have at it

    This is an experiment that needs to be run. Put WP and Android on similar, reasonably current hardware and let them duke it out side-by-side on the store shelves. If you're Samsung, you don't want either one to win... you want to be able to play Google and Microsoft against each other, forever. That's what was missing from the PC business.
    Robert Hahn
    • That thinking is totaly wrong

      That's not what business wants. What Samsung wants is for both to be winners, that people buy both models in great quantities, not one or the other, like you proposing

      You obviously forgot about Apple - any missed sale for either device is a possible sale of an iPhone.
      William Farrel
      • Read before write

        I think you are answering a post I did not write. My saying "don't want either one to win" does not, as you imply, mean that I am proposing that one should win.
        Robert Hahn
    • Missing from the PC business?

      There was nothing missing from the PC business. Windows battled Linux and OS X in the PC business. Both Linux PCs and OS X PCs were absolute failures when placed on the shelves next to Windows PCs. People have always had a choice of Windows, Linux, or OS X and people chose Windows and rejected OS X and Linux 9 times out of 10.

      The war of the desktop OSs was won a long time ago by Windows and the losers were OS X and Linux. The mobile OS war is just beginning. Apple has an early lead thanks to the release of the fantastic iPhone 4 and iPad 2 but it is undeniable that Android and WP8 are now the technically superior OSs. Fortunately for Apple, technical superiority can be trumped by a legal department that runs to the patent office early and often.

      Has Apple erected enough anti-competitive barriers to entry? Time will tell. I think yes, they have. I think the technically inferior solution is going to win this as long as Apple can sue often enough in Cupertion courts. I think anyone rejoicing about Apple's monopoly is short sighted and ignorant, no offense.
      • Point of view

        Oh, I think the hardware OEMs (Samsung is one of those) do indeed think that something was missing from the PC business: profit.

        As you have stated so eloquently, Microsoft has other views on the matter. I'm told that Intel does as well. The hardware OEMs have plans for them too.

        I do not share your views on whether Apple has a monopoly, so I could not say whether anyone is rejoicing over it. Last time I looked, Apple had less than 30% of the smartphone market, so any monopoly-rejoicing would appear to be premature.
        Robert Hahn
        • I guess you can make up facts any time you want

          Your made up facts aside though, OEMs have profited greatly over the last 20 years thanks to Windows or are you suggesting that they would have stayed in a business for 20 years without making any money at it? I thought only evil monpolists like M$ did that? In fact, the ONLY reason they've profited is thanks to Microsoft. There was a short period of time when OEMs profited from Apple's licensing of MacOS but then Apple stabbed them all in the back, a little fact that is conveniently left out of the Apple Astroturfing Script of the Day.

          Apple does have a monopoly in tablets, that much is undeniable. One can argue that when you control nearly 100% of the profits in the smartphone market that you effectively have monopoly like powers and that the free market is failing. We already know from Apple's involvement in the eBook cartel that they are not above using their monopoly powers to harm competitors, reduce consumer choice, and drive up prices.
          • You're clueless or delusional, you pick

            If the PC business was so profitable why have some many disappeared or merged for economies of scale? Need a list?

            IBM, Compaq, eMachines, Packard Bell, Gateway, Micron, DEC and only a year ago HP was planning to exit the market, because it's not very profitable.

            Good thing you don't run a business, it'd be buried in no time.
          • Go, Power!

            Cylon Centurion
          • So anything less than a 100% success rate is failure?

            Yes, some haven't made it, and it has gotten tougher lately as the market has matured. But you are clueless or delusional (you pick) if you are trying to convince us, as Robert is, that there has been no profit in this market for the last 20 years (which was my statement, and the one you are disagreeing with).

            Billions upon billions upon billions of dollars in profits in the last 20 years completely and utterly destroy your post.