Samsung Ativ S review

A lack of 4G holds back an otherwise stellar Windows Phone.

Ativ S

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The People app is your one stop shop for any and all information about your address book. From its attractive photo-flipping Live Tile to the way it displays contact info and social network activity, it's one of the best features of a Windows Phone 8 device.

Samsung Ativ S review

Visiting a friend's page in People show's the basics like their email and phone number, as well as recent social network activity.

There's also a tab called What's New which is basically a Facebook feed. It's no replacement for everyone's favorite social network, but it's very attractive and lets you make a quick check of what's up with your friends without having to dive into a seperate app.

Contact importing is all very well executed. Thanks to WP8, the Ativ S plays nice with Outlook, Facebook and Google contacts. Everything ends up nicely merged without annoying duplicates.

From our previous experience with Windows Phones, we already had a Live ID, so setting up our Ativ S took no time at all. It even imported our text message history.


Android fans may bemoan the lack of smart dialing, where entering a number or two brings up a prediction of possible contacts you may be trying to reach. Nicely integrated contacts, history and a fast search function more than make up for it, though.

Samsung Ativ S review

The dial pad is stark and attractive, and we especially liked how Recent People tab didn't just show people we'd called, but people we had been looking at in the People app. It makes sense that if you're seeing what someone is up to you might be calling them soon.

When you get a call, the callers profile pictures bounces on the screen, vying for your attention.

There's also visual voice mail, with a nice layout that makes it easy to scrub through messages and get to the important bits.