Samsung Ativ S review

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

Ativ S

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Battery life

Samsung's flagship Android phone, the Galaxy S3, is known for being stellar in the battery life department. This is one place where the Ativ S doesn't live up to the reputation of the brand. While it can easily edge out the underperforming battery of HTC 8X, it doesn't come anywhere near the life of the S3.

Samsung Ativ S review

This is especially surprising since the Ativ S actually has a 2,300 mAh battery, as opposed to the S3's 2,100 mAh cell. Chalk it up to Android engineering, we suppose.

Beginning a day at 8AM with a full charge, the Ativ S was generally at about 60% battery life by nightfall. This is with a day of moderate use, with push notifications enabled, frequent email checking and writing, trips to Facebook, web browsing, and a bit of gaming and call making.

That's nothing to be ashamed of. The Ativ S is easily an all day phone, and the fact that the battery is removable means carrying an extra is a viable option, if not exactly necessary.

Heavy use is enough to get the battery very close to dead before end of day, though. Extended gaming, watching Netflix and snapping lots of pictures will take a chunk out of your charge. We also suspect that all those lovely Live Tiles might be to blame as well. Android Widgets are known for tapping smartphone fuel, so big tiles that report information likely take their toll too.


The Ativ S has the usual assortment of connectivity options, minus 4G. As we've mentioned, it's an 3G HSPA+ phone. Failing that, you'll be on an Edge network with speeds near dial-up. WiFi is dual band a/b/g/n, and there's also Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, A-GPS and Glonass.

It's rumored that the Ativ Odyssey, a Verizon exclusive, will have 4G LTE. If the fastest available data rates are important to you, then you may want to hold off until more is known about that phone.