Microsoft's campaign is underway across the board with Windows 8, RT and WP 8 and all eyes are now set on Redmond's allies for a demonstration of fire power. Following some early warning shots from Nokia and HTC, Samsung are now free to fire at will.
Samsung Ativ S official pictures
Their Ativ S was the first Windows Phone 8 flagship announced and, respectful of chronology, the first we're about to properly review. The Nokia Lumia 920, the HTC Windows Phone 8X and the Ativ S are often painted as allies - but that's mostly rhetoric. To a certain point, they have little choice but to unite against the Android and iPhone hordes. On the other hand, these fine smartphones will be sworn enemies fighting over every user drawn close enough by Microsoft's upgraded platform.
And by the way, Windows Phone 8's appeal is easy enough to understand. It is now a consistent cross-device platform that will get app developers interested. Multiple-core-chipset and screen resolution support will help Microsoft-powered devices stand next to their Android and iOS counterparts as equals.
OEMs on the other hand are also giving potential users a good enough reason to be excited. Just look at what the Ativ S is offering to those who are willing to go with Samsung.
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
Quad-band 3G with 42 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
4.8" 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 720 x 1280 pixel resolution
Scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 2 display
8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, 1080p@30fps video recording
1.9MP front camera
Windows Phone 8 OS
1.5GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Adreno 225 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset, 1GB of RAM
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support
16/32GB of on-board storage
Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, file transfers
Impressively deep and coherent SNS integration throughout the interface
Xbox Live integration and Xbox management
Samsung exclusive apps: Music hub, Chat on, Photo editor
App catalog falls short of Android and iOS
Competition has quad-core Krait CPUs already
Costs more than the Galaxy S III SIM-free
No FM radio
No system-wide file manager
No voice-guided navigation
No music player equalizers
No lockscreen shortcuts