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Samsung ATIV Odyssey (Video Review)
What's hot: Compact design, fast and fluid experience.
What's not: Features and specs don't wow us for the price vs. the Windows Phone 8 competition.
Reviewed February 16, 2013 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
The Samsung ATIV Odyssey is the manufacturer's first US Windows Phone 8 smartphone. Available on Verizon Wireless for $49 with contract, Samsung obviously wasn't shooting for a flagship device, and they've yet to bring the higher end ATIV S (equivalent to the Samsung Galaxy S III in terms of hardware) to the US. The ATIV Odyssey is akin to the Galaxy S III Mini and it has a colorful 4" Super AMOLED display running at 800 x 480 in a very compact form.
The smartphone runs on the standard Windows Phone 8 internals: a 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with a gig of RAM. It has just 8 gigs of internal storage with approximately 5.3 gigs available, but don't lose heart: it has a microSD card slot on the side that's compatible with cards up to 64 gigs. We loaded 32 and 64 gig cards with music and videos and the content seamlessly appeared in the music and video apps.
This looks like a Samsung smartphone: it's clad in slippery and shiny plastics and the gray striated back goes for that same faux metal look as does the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T Windows 8 tablet. It's nonetheless durable and the good news is the back is removable so you can swap the ample 2100 mAh battery and gain access to the micro SIM card. The phone has 4G LTE on Verizon's network along with 3G EV-DO Rev. A and world GSM roaming capabilities. Call quality is very good and the earpiece is louder than average.
The phone has dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, a GPS that works with Bing Maps, VZNavigator and even Nokia Drive Beta. There's a front video chat camera that works fine with Skype and an average quality 5MP rear camera with LED flash. The phone has a removable battery (a plus vs. the more stylish and also more expensive HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 920 whose batteries are sealed inside). The phone's biggest problem? The Nokia Lumia 822 on Verizon is now free and it has a larger display, a better camera and more internal storage.
Above: the Nokia Lumia 822, Samsung ATIV Odyssey and the iPhone 5.