Samsung Ativ Odyssey – Hands on Review

Samsung Ativ Odyssey

Verizon has got a flurry of Win Phone 8 devices and the latest to jump on the bandwagon is Samsung with their Ativ Odyssey. Priced at $ 50, it’s an efficient and comfortable mid range Smartphone.

The build is not very expensive, being made of plastic like most Samsung phones, but it does have the faux metallic finish which gives it a decent appearance. Lightweight and compact, it feels good in your hand, weighing just over 4 pounds.

The capacitive buttons are well spaced to prevent accidental pressing, and the physical buttons for volume control, power and shutter are smooth and responsive.

Samsung Ativ Odyssey

Let’s take a quick look at the specs:

  • Display: capacitive touchscreen,  4 inch Super AMOLED, resolution 800 x 480 pixels, with 233 ppi pixel density
  • 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and NFC capability
  • Removable 2100 mAh battery with life of over 13 hours
  • Inbuilt storage 8 GB, RAM 1 GB
  • GPRS, EDGE, GPS, Bluetooth
  • 5 MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash and 1080p HD video recording
  • 1.2 MP front facing camera for video chat with 720p video recording capability
  • CPU: Snapdragon 1.5 GHz dual core Krait
  • Proximity and accelerometer sensors, compass
  • USB port, MicroSD card slot (expandable up to 64 GB) and headphone jack

The colors are stunning thanks to the Super AMOLED but the PenTile pixel arrangement tends to give brighter colors a slightly fuzzy appearance. Typing is hassle free on the phone.

There aren’t a whole lot of phones running WP 8 out there in the market. The operating system is quick and sparse which revolves around the live tiles on the home screen. The tiles continuously haul info from the web, texts, your social networks and even the stored content on your phone. As the tiles are of varying sizes they are easy to configure.

While call reception is satisfactory the voice quality is excellent; crisp and clear, but tends to get really loud, so you may want to set your volume level a little lower and not max it. The speaker phone is also great and you can easily hear outdoors.

Carriers are not allowed to preload a whole lot of apps onto WP8 phones; so don’t be disappointed if you find the phone with very few interesting apps. Samsung has preloaded the apps Mini Diary (self explanatory), Family Story (for group communication) and Now (weather, news and stock updates). From Verizon there is VZ Navigator (for voice guided navigation), Slacker and NFL Mobile. They have also included Data Sense which monitors your data usage and gives you a warning as the usage nears your monthly cap. There are over 100,000 apps that you can download from the Store.

The camera is pretty decent and the photos have good detail and color; video playback is smooth. The Ativ Odyssey also supports numerous audio file formats and the sound thru the headphone is amazing.

I’d say that $ 50 for two years is more than decent and definitely worth a try for a Windows phone 8 Smartphone. It is expected to be released before the end of this quarter.

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