Thursday 14 March 2013

About Had It With My Samsung ATIV S Windows Phone 8

Here we are a number of months in since purchasing the new Samsung ATIV S to replace my ageing HTC HD7 phone.

The major killers at this time are:

  • Bluetooth just cuts out. Period.
    • I’ll be on a call when Bluetooth on the phone will seize up. No sound or voice in/out.
    • A full power-down and up is required.
    • I’ve taken to hard power cycling the phone once every three or four days to avoid this.
    • Go figure, Bluetooth just died. :P
  • The camera takes _ages_ to focus and shoot the first time.
    • Can’t count the number of shots missed because of this.
  • Taking video is hit/miss with focus.
    • This one is a real pain. There is no way to focus like the HD7 had by touching the screen. Screen touch is start/stop on the ATIV S.

We’ve seen it said that it is a phone and not a camera.

Well, in my case I use the camera on the phone almost all of the time here in the shop to take product shots, screen shots, build process pictures, and so much more.


The above is a shot of our yard after having 5 or 7 centimetres of snow fall a week or two ago.


This shot is sunrise over the city of Edmonton on my way into the shop.

The camera takes pretty decent pictures though the size of the sensor really limits the quality of the shots.

Call quality wise the phone has been pretty good though at times it takes a long time to pick up LTE from our provider’s tower here at the shop even though there are five bars. This seems to be a regular experience where the phone will show 4G instead of LTE.

Some pluses that Windows Phone 8 does have despite problems with this particular handset:

  • Organizing the tiles by size makes at-a-glance for important items simple.
  • Voice recognition for in-vehicle hands-free is excellent for calls and hands-free texts.
  • Any vehicle that has the ability to tap into the phone’s address book has been flawless to date.
    • When bonding the phone to a rental I use “Delete Me” as a tag just-in-case I forget to remove the phone.

So, while overall Windows Phone 8 is a good step forward this particular handset is a real dog. Whether this is tied to the hardware or the platform has yet to be determined. Since the provider’s warranty is 30 seconds or 30 feet, whichever comes first, we are left to Samsung’s warranty support.

Now we get to see how Samsung performs in the RMA department. :P

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at

Windows Live Writer


Tim Sullivan said...

I just got a Nokia Lumia 810. I have similar problems with Bluetooth: Place a call using voice command, start talking and it just looses the connection. I don't have to restart, but...

Troy said...

I've had the Nokia Lumia 920 for a few months now.

Overall very impressed - photo/video quality is impressive. No issues with Bluetooth.

Have had a strange issue since day one with a flickering screen occasionally. Some googling shows a few other people having the same problems. Not bad enough that i've worried about replacing.

I have had the occasional issue with the handset just completely losing signal altogether. Only after power cycling will it find service again. This could be a network issue as much as the handset though.

Nick Stango said...

Phil, No problems here with my Nokia 920, excellent camera, excellent bunch of Nokia specific apps, just waiting for notifications. An awesome phone. fist time i have a phone where I don't look forward to an upgrade. that's how satisfied I am with the 920

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

So far we have 2:1 for the Nokia phones. :)

I needed to replace my HD7. It was showing its age by not being reliable anymore.

I will see if I can find a white 920 on Rogers. :)



Shayne Kawalilak said...

I enjoyed my HD7 from years back but I had continuous issues with the windows 7 incompatibility and lack of functionality (not sure how you used yours for work for so long).

I switched back to android and am currently on my Nth handset (the Samsung GS3) and really like this one alot. That being said, I am very much looking forward to moving back to windows now that version 8 is out.

I will keep an eye out on these blogs but if Bell carried the 920 I likely would have changed already (did I say that loud enough for you Bell?).

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

I've saved about $40/Month by switching to Rogers for my ATIV S. I am at about $80/Month all-in for phone/text/2GB (might be 3GTB) per month. Bell was at $120/Month with unlimited incoming and a minutes pool for outgoing.

Bell and TELUS both kill the LTE radio setup with Rogers leaving all five bands in place on the ATIV S. Having all five bands is important for those of us that travel into the US or globally.

I will be picking up a 920 in White later on today if scheduling permits and there is one left in #YEG (so far only one found in all of my calling). I will use my ATIV S as a backup phone.

Thankfully the Rogers 920 has 32GB out of the box and in one spot - on the phone. The ATIV S with 16GB on board and 16GB added in is getting full on the SD card!


Anonymous said...

Same issues with BT since day one. I live in Calgary and I am with Telus. I have two Ativ S phones with them.
Although I am still connected I do not hear and I cannot be heard while talking in my vehicle. Same thing happens in different vehicles.
It must be either Telus, Samsung or Microsoft.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

The Bluetooth on the ATIV S was broken from get-go.

My 920 worked really well. My Lumia 1020 once updated to 8.0.x or something like that actually managed to allow text to talk in my 2010 Sierra which really surprised me.

My 1020 now with 8.1 is an absolutely phenomenal phone with Bluetooth working very well.