Samsung’s Ativ SE running on the Windows Phone OS is available at a price of $199.99 with a contract for two years. It is one of the slimmest and the lightest among the latest Windows Phones and offers an option of a microSD card slot with a removable battery. In fact, it is an every man’s phone.
The phone was released in the middle of April this year and was available exclusively on Verizon Wireless. It is a continuation of the Ativ series and has the same design and theme of the earlier Ativs, namely the Ativ S of 2012 and the Ativ S Neo of 2013. The phone was launched with the Windows Phone 8.0 OS update 3. It is the first Windows phone that features an IR Blaster, which makes it act as a remote for your television as well.
The Ativ SE looks a lot like the S4, but runs on Windows and not on Android. As for the dimensions, it measures 5.42 x 0.33 and is a fraction of an inch more in length compared to the S4, so the S4 cases will not fit it. The screen is the same as the S4, with a 5 inches AMOLED, capacitive touchscreen, which is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
It has the capacity to display 16 million colors and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 p, with a high pixel density of 441 ppi. It is a light phone at 4.8 ounces.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, system on a chip, powers the Ativ SE. It includes a quad core 2.3 GHz Krait, 400 CPU along with an Adreno 330 GPU. The application memory is 2 GB and the storage is 16GB with a micro SD card slot for increasing storage. The device has a battery capacity of 2600 mAh and it can be removed or replaced.
The Ativ SE comes with an auto focus primary camera of 13 MP, with a resolution of 4128 x 3096p. There is no physical button for taking pictures. However, picture quality is excellent.
The Windows phone application for the desktop has to be used for managing videos and photographs as well as music. There is also a version available for the Mac. The application synchronizes the phone media to the PC.
Response and Performance
The Ativ SE offers excellent performance and is very responsive to all inputs. The screen is very sensitive and gets activated very easily. The weakest aspect is that it relies on Internet Explorer for browsing the Internet.
Internet Explorer does not automatically open links in new tabs. You need to press on the link for a while and then tap on the menu option. However, this is a limitation of the Windows Phone 8 and not that of Samsung.
Battery and Connectivity
The battery life is excellent, even for gaming purposes and you can swap out the battery. HSDPA LTE can be downloaded at fast speeds of 42.2 Mbps with HSUPA upload speed being 5.76 Mbps. The phone offers connectivity with Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11 b/g/n, in the 2.4 GHz frequencies and an 802.11 a/ac, with the 5GHz band.
It also offers support for Wi-Fi Direct and for DLNA and can be configured for providing a Wi-Fi hotspot.
If you are considering whether to buy this device, most of the concerns with this phone are to do with the Windows Phone 8 and not the hardware of Samsung or the OS. It is a very light phone and offers features of expandable storage through a MicroSD slot. It is surely one of the best Windows phones from Samsung.
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