The camera is one area where the Ativ Odyssey skimps on quality compared to its Windows Phone 8 competition, packing in a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera as opposed to the 8-megapixel ones typically seen in this space. As a result, photos offer less clarity in general, and typically show a bit more visual noise, particularly in backdrops.
As such, Samsung's Windows Phone 8 offering probably won't replace your point-and-shoot camera, unlike the Nokia's Lumia line – but it does take pretty solid snapshots, assuming you're not doing more than sharing them with pals and posting them online. And thanks to the OS-standard physical shutter button, pulling up the app and snapping photos is a breeze.
The Ativ Odyssey also shoots video from within the same app, and the results there are a bit more positive, as the 1080p footage we shot turned out clear and nicely detailed. The autofocus feature can take a bit long to adjust between targets, though, especially while moving, but for everyday clips it'll get the job done.
Expectedly, the device also has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats and self-shot photos, and considering the specs, it's neither designed for nor well worth using for much other than those needs.
Battery and connectivity
Considering the ways in which the device undercuts some expectations, it's actually quite strong in the battery department. The robust 2100 mAh removable pack offers enough juice to get most through the day with regular use, including web browsing, phone usage, and streaming audio or video.
And less-frequent users who will keep the phone in a pocket or purse for most of the day can look forward to not having to charge the Ativ Odyssey every single night, as the sizeable battery retains its charge well when not being consistently prodded.
Beyond the 4G LTE connection, which we found stellar for both calls and data usage, the Ativ Odyssey supports Wi-Fi a/b/g/n connectivity, along with Bluetooth 3.1. It's also Mobile Hotspot enabled for up to eight devices, depending on plan.