Samsung Ativ S vs Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Samsung's new Ativ S Windows Phone takes on the might of the company's own Android-powered Galaxy Note
We take a look at two Samsung devices from opposing sides of the operating system battlefield. The Galaxy Note 2 takes on the Ativ S in a head-to-head skirmish, but who will emerge victorious?
Samsung Ativ S - 137.2x70.5x8.7mm, 135g
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - 151.1x80.5x9.4mm, 183g
The Galaxy Note 2 falls in-line with the rest of Samsung’s recent additions to the Galaxy range, featuring a smooth and curvy outer shell, available in black or white and featuring silver accents.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with the visuals, although they are somewhat generic, but the size and weight of the handset might be an issue for some users as it’s a struggle even for those with larger hands.
One-handed use is simply out of the question, particularly for typing.
While using either hands-free kits or the speakerphone are options the act of making and answering calls with the Note 2 might also feel a bit awkward compared to slinkier models.
There’s also an issue prevalent in many of Samsung’s models. Despite the fact that the build quality seems to be decent – there’s no creaking in the chassis – the plastic used is slippery and has a cheapness to it which is tremendously off-putting in a premium handset.
The Ativ S is effectively a re-fitted Galaxy S3 for the Windows Phone 8 platform, so it does share an overall design language and build quality with the Note 2, but apart from the shape it’s a bit hidden.
Indeed, the whole device is something of an illusion, while Samsung has invested time and effort in making the phone appear metallic with its silvery finish and brushed texture, the handset is actually the same plastic as the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, meaning it’s slippery and tacky to the touch.
In spite of this inherent flaw, the shape does lend itself well to the metallic colouration and the size, weight and usability of the handset is excellent.
The Ativ S is much more stylish than the Galaxy S3 and the Note 2 in our view, though it is disappointing that this visual flair comes at the expense of material quality.
Winner – Samsung Ativ S
The Note 2’s Super AMOLED display is even bigger than its predecessor’s substantial 5.3-inches and now sits at 5.55-inches. However, the resolution is slightly lower at 1280x720 pixels, giving a pixel density of 267 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
It’s still remarkably sharp though, with only slightly less clarity than the Galaxy S3 and Ativ S’s 4.8-inch 306ppi equivalent at the same resolution.
Colour depth, contrast and brightness are equally good on both handsets.
Winner - Draw
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 has a full range of storage options including 16GB, 32GB or 64GB for onboard capacity, plus the ability to use MicroSD cards up to 32GB or 64GB with high-capacity.
The Ativ S is very well equipped compared to other premium Windows Phone handsets with 16GB and 32GB options alongside MicroSD capability for cards up to 32GB.
But even though the storage spec is impressive, the Ativ S is still slightly behind the Galaxy Note 2.
Winner – Samsung Galaxy Note 2