REVIEW: Samsung's New Windows Phone

Business Insider

Samsung's Ativ Odyssey is another low-price phone on Verizon, but here's a key thing making it noteworthy – it's Samsung's first US phone to run Windows Phone 8.

Click here to go straight to the hands-on >

That said, there's nothing especially new or "cool" here. It makes phone calls. It browses the web. It runs apps. It doesn't try to be anything more than that. Maybe you're the type of person who prefers a more straightforward phone, but if you want something more cutting-edge, this isn't it.

Hardware

The Ativ Odyssey is pretty unremarkable with its physical appearance. It's another rectangular plastic phone. When compared to the look of other Windows Phone hardware, like the Nokia Lumia 920 and its playful colors, it leaves much to be desired.

The phone's 800x480 AMOLED screen isn't going to outmuscle a Retina display or your SG III's hi-def screen, but for the utilitarian who's not concerned with these details, it'll totally do the trick.

Battery life is awesome. Starting from a full charge and several hours of standby time, a one-hour phone call didn't even put a dent in the battery life display.

Software

It runs the flashy Windows Phone 8 operating system, which is a double-edged sword all its own. It's a hot-looking interface, elegant to the end. But my major complaint is that it needs way more apps before people will start to consider it a more practical alternative to Android and iPhone.

All the standard native apps you'd expect are here – email, Internet Explorer, a media player, Bing Maps, and the like. Again, there's nothing too mind-blowing here. If you're perfectly comfortable with your current phone, there's no reason to make the change. If you're tired of it and are willing to try something completely different, give it a try.

Should you buy it?

There's always going to be a population that would really like a nondescript smartphone that simply works the way it should.

It's a decent option if you want to give Windows Phone a try without breaking the bank. It costs $49.99 with a contract from Verizon. Still, Verizon carries the HTC Windows Phone 8x, which we think is the best Windows Phone available. It's definitely worth shelling out an extra $50 for.

But I'm leaning towards dissuading people in general from buying it.

Click here to check out the phone up close >



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