Samsung yesterday took the wraps off the Ativ S at the Mobile Unpacked event at IFA 2012. The device boasts of being the world’s first Windows Phone 8 smartphone. But before we go into detail about the smartphone, it is important to know a few things. Well firstly, Nokia was supposed to be first Windows Phone partner to roll out a Windows Phone 8 device. But now Samsung has beaten Nokia to it, which is surprising and astonishing as it came out of nowhere since we least expected it. Secondly, this also marks Windows Phone’s long awaited compatibility with dual core chipsets and HD displays. And finally, we can now expect something major from Nokia when it inevitably announces its Windows Phone 8 smartphone with the battle ground being firmly set. Samsung also announced the Ativ tablet which grabbed some eyeballs in the event held in Berlin.
Now for the device’s specs, the moment you’ve all been eagerly waiting for. The Ativ S houses a beautiful metallic body, unlike the plasticky construction of the Galaxy S III with a very thin chassis at a mere 8.7mm. The smartphone features a large 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD display with a pixel density of 306ppi. Powering the smartphone is the dual core Snapdragon S4 chipset clocked at 1.5 GHz which is what runs on the American variants of the Galaxy S III. The Ativ S also packs a decent 8MP camera on the back which is capable of 1080p video capture, and a 1.9MP front facing camera for video calls. As the Ativ S has all the makings of being a power hungry monster, Samsung has decided to pack in a decent 2,300 mAh battery. The smartphone packs in 1GB of RAM space and will be available in 16 and 32GB variants. But storage shouldn’t matter much, as the device also support microSDXC cards, so memory expansion is finally possible (although some WP7 smartphones did support microSD cards in the past). Running down the specs of the device tells us just how evolved Windows Phone has gotten, although a tad too late in the day. The evolution of Windows Phones is finally taking good shape and it seems like the stage is set for the rivals to match this. This can only be a hint of what to expect from the Windows Phone camp.
Developers will also be able to port PC (Windows 8) apps to Windows Phone 8, thanks to the new kernel used in the OS. What this means is that, users can get to see more apps in the Windows Phone sphere. Along with the plenty of new features that Windows Phone offers, this has to be one of them. But what strikes us about this phone, is the body construction. The device features similar specifications as the Galaxy S III in the U.S, but the key difference here would the materials used in its making. The Galaxy S III uses a polycarbonate finish, while the Ativ S here uses an all metallic brushed aluminum finish which is a fresh change from the plastic body. I wonder why Samsung refrained from using similar materials for its Android flagship, the Galaxy S III.
All in all, the Ativ S has all the makings of reviving the Windows Phone OS, but it all depends on the timing of launch. Currently, Windows Phone holds a very small chunk of market share. But with upcoming smartphones like this and a few expected from Nokia, things could change. Nokia is expected to launch a WP8 smartphone with the PureView imaging technology like the one seen on the Pureview 808. So that should be something to look forward to. Information regarding the price and availability wasn’t given out in detail, so a word from Samsung is eagerly awaited.