Not content to dominate the Android market only, Samsung has ported over the basic of their winning formula to the Windows Phone platform in the form of the ATIV S Neo. The ATIV S Neo, now available on Sprint, borrows heavily from the Galaxy design with a large HD display, physical Home key and the overall aesthetics. With Windows Phone software not offering much in the way of manufacturer customization, can Samsung’s relatively muted design stand out in the brightly colored world of Nokia and HTC? Read on to find out!
At a passing glance one can be forgiven for confusing the ATIV S Neo for the Galaxy S III. The two share similar colors, design principles and materials. That means the ATIV S Neo uses the same plastic components that the Galaxy S series has been knocked for in the past. It feels very similar in the hands, if not a bit heftier due to the increased thickness and weight. The plastic bits are indeed not up to snuff with high end devices from competitors, but it is no surprise as this is clearly a design decision Samsung is committed to.
The overall feel isn’t bad though, and the phone is put together well without any gaps or creaks. The usual buttons are around the sides, and like all Windows Phone devices the ATIV S Neo has a physical camera key. Like recent Samsung devices the power key is on the right side, although it is placed further down, closer to the middle which takes a bit to get used to. Around back the 8MP camera is flanked by an LED flash and a small speaker.
Once again, Samsung is trying to differentiate itself with their display. At 4.8”, it is the largest Windows Phone display available, slightly edging out the Nokia 625’s 4.7” panel (the international ATIV S is also 4.8”.) While the 0.1” realistically makes no difference, the Nokia only has a meager 480×800 resolution whereas the ATIV S Neo features a 720×1280 pixel display, resulting in pixel density of 306ppi.
Samsung has changed from the AMOLED display on the ATIV S to a TFT LCD panel for the ATIV S Neo. The display is very good, with excellent colors, brightness and viewing angles. We didn’t have any trouble reading it even in direct sunlight.