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Samsung Ativ S (I8750)


JohnTW
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tl;dr

I just packed up my AT&T LG Optimus G Pro to sell because I love my Samsung Ativ S Windows Phone 8.

 

I am on my fourth phone in 2013. I started with the iPhone 5 (which I got at launch in 2012), left iOS behind for Android when I got the LG Nexus 4, and went big with the LG Optimus G Pro. I was falling in love with Android, and wanted LTE and a larger screen. However, I got bored quickly. Even after trying skins, themes, launchers, icon packs, etc... Something didn't feel right. There is nothing standout to explain my experience, but to ponder if Android and the endless customizations were too much for me.

 

I was attracted to Windows Phone 8, but always found the Lumias either too heavy/bulky (920) or screens too small and lacking power (820). The HTC 8X was very compelling in early 2013, but feels dated now due to the HTC One truly showing what the vendor can do. Never a fan of Samsung, they are growing on me. I replaced my iPad mini, Nexus 7 and Asus Vivo Tab Smart with a Samsung Ativ Tab (Windows RT, Snapdragon S4) tablet. I love the device, so I gave the Ativ S phone a try.

 

Blown away. Lightest phone I recall owning and every holding. Plastic is there, but it is unique with the style and texture. This is my first Super AMOLED HD display (AMOLED of any kind actually) and the colors truly do pop on Windows Phone 8. Buttons are responsive and work as desired. I prefer hardware Windows buttons to capacitive. It feels fairly fast and capable. No bloatware as it was an unlocked version sold to be by an importer on Amazon offering Prime shipping :) Although it came seal in the factory box with a EU charger, they included the US adapter separately outside the primary packaging.

 

Windows Phone 8 is what I need in a phone. Superb Exchange integration, trumping all other OS and platforms. (I also enjoy Exchange Active Sync on Windows RT Mail (8.0) and Outlook RT (10.1). Outlook.com email works equally well, and I have my Gmail account setup for both send and receive via my Outlook.com account. Samsung included some apps, that were easily removed and didn't add much value.

 

All together I have installed the following apps (and purchased paid version when available):

  • AccuWeather (perfect small live tile to report current temp)
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Amazon Mobile
  • Battery (great small live tile with nice reports/reminders)
  • Blink
  • Facebook
  • Fandango (not needed thanks to Bing but nice to purchase tix)
  • Flixster (there for trailers)
  • Games:
    • Jetpack Joyride
    • Shuffle Party
    • Wordament
    • Light Guide
  • Here Drive
  • Here Maps
  • Instance (not a bad version on Instagram)
  • Level
  • MetroTalk (I use Google Voice and this is perfect for calls/texts via my Google Voice number)
  • Metrotube (I love it so far!)
  • Microsoft Store
  • NC News (gorgeous live tile and lock screen images)
  • Netflix (so-so quality)
  • Network Speed Test (using an iPhone provision SIM from my work phone, no LTE but getting 10Mbps/1Mbps on average on AT&T)
  • OneNote
  • OpenTable
  • Pandora (very nice app)
  • Photo Editor (only Samsung app I left installed)
  • Photogram (Samsung app I downloaded to add filters and such)
  • Photsynth
  • pod.ding (not a bad podcast app at all, and for a heavy user, it gets it done)
  • Read Later (wish it would fully integrate into a "Share" panel for Pocket sharing from any app)
  • RedLaser
  • Relax Melodies Premium (great for my rain sounds I like to fall asleep too)
  • SkyDrive
  • Skype
  • TeamViewer (access home/work PCs from anywhere)
  • Translator (Bing)
  • TweeterLight (not perfect, but MeTweets wouldn't pull to refresh well)
  • Unit Converter
  • Vevo (decent quality compared to Netflix)
  • Windows Phone Insider (nice to get some wallpaper and ringtone options easily)
  • YouTube (useless official app, hoping for a real update)

First day I was worried about battery life. After a full charge and discharge cycle, day 2 is much better. I came off the charger at 8:54AM, 46% battery left, and 6 hours and 40 minutes reported remaining via Battery. I can live with that type of battery. I use bluetooth in the car with my Ford Sync (works very well and seems to support every feature). I also use bluetooth at home with my various wireless speakers. It speaks just as well as iOS devices, and way better than Android which could tend to skip during WiFi use.

 

I wanted to start this thread with the above thoughts. More to come!

 

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Rovi seems to be the best Twitter client for me. I tried them all, or at least it feels that way. I can save to Pocket (although not as easy as I'd like) but most importantly it remembers my position so I can pick up where I left off.

 

pod.ding is a little buggy but nothing major.

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Great post.  That phone is huge!  How is the camera?  AT&T only right?  I thought this phone was an EU version only for some reason but have not been following AT&T very closely since I'm VZW.

 

I'm only a couple of months into WP8 and enjoying the 928. 

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I bought my Ativs from Germany.  Best phone I've ever had.  I'm using Podcasts for my podcasts... works ok most of the time.  I've switched from Rovi back to the native Twitter app as it works really well for me now. 

 

Really tempted by the new Nokia though... looks amazing!

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Great post.  That phone is huge!  How is the camera?  AT&T only right?  I thought this phone was an EU version only for some reason but have not been following AT&T very closely since I'm VZW.

 

I'm only a couple of months into WP8 and enjoying the 928. 

I bought it SIM/carrier unlocked from Amazon. Popped in my AT&T SIM and was good to go. It appears to be the EU version, but had the ability for all language and region settings to be set to "English (United States)" FYI, the same is true for my Samsung ATiv tab RT tablet.

 

The camera seems very good in normal to bright lighting conditions. Low light hasn't been fully tested yet but is probably lackluster. It feels like the same sensor that is in the Galaxy S3.

 

I like the 925 but didn't want to spend too much on my first WP8 device. I really grew to love wireless charging, but didn't want a 920. I was going to get an unlocked EU 925 and add the wireless charging plate. (I am an AT&T guys as I am one of the few tih excellent coverage and service.) Obviously, I can't get LTE on any of the devices except a 920. But I am OK with that with. HSPA+ and WiFi works for me. 

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I bought my Ativs from Germany.  Best phone I've ever had.  I'm using Podcasts for my podcasts... works ok most of the time.  I've switched from Rovi back to the native Twitter app as it works really well for me now. 

 

Really tempted by the new Nokia though... looks amazing!

The official Twitter app REFUSE to remember my last read position and always just loads new tweets and scrolls to the top. Also, it doesn't load all tweets and constantly gives me a load more button. This again, moves my timeline around. I prefer to read all tweets in order.

 

Also, I need to easily send to Pocket (my current Read It Later service) and Rowi (TweeterLight and MeTweets) all offer that ability somewhat easily. Rowi yncs very well, saving my position and never losing my place. Saving to Pocket is there, as is viewing websites within the app (not kicking out to IE) as well as optionally presenting the page in a text based "Readability" view.

 

I might try Pocasts! although fairly happy with pod.ding.

 

On somewhat annoying issue so far, and it hopefully won't crop up often.

 

Last night, I left the phone off the charger. It had more than 80% when I fell asleep. I woke up and it was off. When I got it back on it, had 68% or so battery.

 

Apparently, this was a fairly widespread issue with multiple WP8 devices on launch last year. (I found Verizon forum posts with people exchanging phones and such). It appears it would go away on its own, and or get better with new hardware.

 

I am going to keep an eye on it, but 95% of the time I charge my phone overnight. I would hate to miss an important work phone call because my phone shut itself off. (I manage an IT Production Support team.)

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  • 2 months later...

My Lumia800 broke and I got an ativ s as a replacement. At first I felt a bit bad about the size, too large. Now I can't go back to a small phone anymore.

I like the Samsung but miss the free Nokia drive and Nokia music apps that I used a lot before.

The screen is excellent and with nice colors and deep black. But it likes to change the brightness a bit to much.

The camera takes ok pictures and I especially like the flash that works much better then on the Nokia.

 

I have found some small glitches so far that I did not have the Lumia. If I open a link in twitter and go to IE I cannot use the back button if I have six tabs in IE. I have to close the tabs and then the back button works. The next issue I have had is heavy battery drainage. The battery goes down fast and the phone gets hot. Once It took so much power that the battery drained even though the phone was connected to the charger. Haven't had this issue in the last two weeks.

 

Now I'm looking forward to gdr2 and gdr3.

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