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Samsung ATIV S: Hands-on with Samsung's first Windows Phone 8 device (video)

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It's taken its sweet time showing itself but we've finally got to handle Samsung's first Windows Phone 8 device, the ATIV S (not to be confused with the similarly-named Windows RT tablet). At Microsoft's launch event for its new mobile OS, the phone's 4.8-inch AMOLED display certainly helps to make the most of those colorful tiles -- this time around a higher resolution (1,280 x 720) screen kept everything looking sharp. Aside from the screen, the hardware doesn't pack a unibody build, but it does offer the power user both a 2,300 mAh battery and the microSD slot -- a combination that's looking pretty rare among debut Windows Phone 8 devices. On the other hand, Samsung's brought its (admittedly divisive) glossy plastic shell of its Android Galaxy phones, although there is some cosmetic differences. We take a tour of the hardware -- and that freshly minted OS -- after the break.

Gallery: Samsung ATIV S hands-on | 48 Photos

Along the base, the central physical button is emblazoned with the Microsoft's newest logo, with the back and search capacitive buttons taking up the rest of the bezel below the screen. Like we said, that HD Super AMOLED display makes the Windows Phone 8 aesthetic really sing -- although we wonder whether Nokia's latest flagship may well beat in outdoor performance. Flip the device around, and there's a brushed-styled (but not finish) battery cover with a grill separating it from the chin. At the top, there's a familiar-looking 8-megapixel camera, flash and loudspeaker setup, Unsurprisingly, it feels pretty similar to Samsung's Greatest Hit of 2012 and that sliver of a profile helped this big-screened smartphone fit our hand -- just about.

We're getting our fill of all things Windows Phone 8 today and the ATIV S gives you exactly what you'd expect from Microsoft's new UI. We spent some time using Internet Explorer, reorganizing and resizing tiles and the 1.5GHz fares well with the OS' initial offering. Oddly, it looks like the app selection is still missing some key titles that already exist on Windows Phone 7, but Samsung's made its own efforts, with preinstalled apps running the gamut from the useful (ChatON) to the less so (Samsung's own Music Hub). At the moment, it's the only Windows Phone 8 device we've seen so far from the Korean electronics maker and we're still waiting for the company to confirm a release date, but if you liked what you saw from the Galaxy S III, the ATIV S might just be the one for you.

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