Samsung ATIV Odyssey Review - A Good Budget WP8 Phone (Part 2)

3/23/2013 4:21:19 PM

Performance and runtime

Inside are similarly a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor (1.5GHz) and 1GB of RAM, helping ATIV S to compete with more prestigious rivals in the test. This means that Odyssey has its own position, and placed at considerably cheaper segment. The score of 919 via SunSpider was only lost, by a few seconds, to 914 made by Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. The instance is about how far Windows Phone has made progress, let’s check our figures of the predecessor in the mental aspect of Odyssey, Focus Flash: 6842ms. Right, Samsung’s previous budget smartphones has been reduced by 6000ms from this special measure, a quite impressive thing. However, most of the compliments are given to Microsoft for devoting efforts to optimize IE10.

Hands On With Verizon’s Elusive Samsung ATIV Odyssey Windows Phone

Hands On With Verizon’s Elusive Samsung ATIV Odyssey Windows Phone

Other tests created no less impressive result. The average WPBench score of 245 was quite higher than ATIV S, whose score was 241, and much higher than the 820 of Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. However, AnTuTu is another story. Meanwhile it easily beats the budget HTC 8S, its score of 11,190 was not high enough to be on par with these hi-end smartphones, and even lost to Lumia 820 a bit. Despite the fact that it has similar components below the lid; ATIV S got a higher score (by 1000points): 12064. However, you will find difficulty pointing out the difference in daily use. The phone ran as fast as lighting, even when playing some 3D games from Marketplace.

The sole disappointment in our test was actually the battery. In our runtime test (we must admit that it was very difficult) – WPBench, Odyssey could manage to survive after 2h 14min. The only other tested Windows Phone 8 model having such low runtime was Lumia 820, which surrendered after 2h 7min. All of other devices Microsoft’s latest mobile OS was able to last for 2.5h, to the least (and 8S could last for 3.5h). In practice, it could run all day long without any charge, but we of course couldn’t manage to make it last for any second. At the end of a hard-working day, the battery will often decrease down to around 30%.

The call quality was steady but not special. Talks were quite clear, with minimized noise and no disconnection. The inside LTE radio ran surprisingly as you could expect, reaching download/upload speed of 25Mbps/20Mbps during rush hours. When the waves became at NYC, everything was quite steady at download/upload speed of 15Mbps/11Mbps.


Saying the camera is not shining would be an understatement. In fact, it is not a big issue like the battery. The front 1.2MP camera is sometimes useless for any work, except for video chatting, and it was even acceptable. Recorded videos were noised and diluted by the prominent greens, making this article’s author sicker than he may look (or at least it makes himself think so). 1080p video from the primary camera appeared quite useful. During daytime, color reproduction was quite bright with good contrast while microphone was good at highlighting our voice and reducing background noise. As you could expect, because of lack anti-shake system, clip was a bit shattered. However, our caffeine-redundant hands can’t help at all.

The phone’s primary camera

The phone’s primary camera

The rear 5MP camera appears more infrequent. The sensor whose specs are not impressive ran relatively in outdoors and direct sunlight. Image looked vibrant, colors were saturated and it even could deal with some macro shots. Though, when the condition wasn’t ideal, everything dramatically dropped in quality. Moving in shades or indoors under artificial lighting, colors were diluted and a considerable amount of noise became clear. Stepping out at night, display appeared quite useless. Even with street lights and flash on, the borders between objects became ambiguous due to noise. When light was off, camera started taking more time to focus, making it hard to capture changeable objects, such as a cat, requiring a lot of attention. There’re some baked-in filters (some kind of Instagram-lite) helping to cover some of these shortage. But they are buried in camera settings and there’s nothing to complain.

Talking about devices, there’re not many things you could do with here. There’re some basic WB presets, exposures and ISO correction, but you won’t find and HDR or burst-shot buttons. Of course, thanks to Microsoft’s Lenses, third-party developers can add functions via downloaded apps. We would continue promoting adding two-stage capture buttons onto phones that have similar buttons here. Half-pressing the button to focus and arrange a shot before capturing it is visual and satisfying. Ultimately, the camera works similarly to the one appearing in Focus Flash. In fact, we won’t be surprised seeing it as the same sensor. Things that didn’t have much impression by the end of 2011 quickly become unforgettable.


Odyssey is imperfect, but like its predecessor Focus 2, this budget Windows Phone has its own beauty, most of which, acceptably comes from the nice OS but the device itself has many appealing aspects – specifically, the performance is on top. Unlike other companies, Samsung doesn’t hesitating to invest its strength to save cost. 1.5GHz CPU and 1GB of RAM are not only capably but also basic components inside hi-end Windows Phone devices. This is not only Odyssey’s advantage in tests; its power instantly comes in daily use. Even when we ran some hard games, the phone didn’t skip any frame. Clearly, it’s necessary to cut off something; hence the low-resolution camera and display are where Samsung decided to compromise. These options nearly can’t be strong enough to ruin user experience, but the older display technology is showing its age.

Samsung Focus 2

Samsung Focus 2

If you are thinking about HTC 8X or Lumia 920, you may skip Odyssey – this is not the device for you. Or in case you are biasing toward 8S or 820, stop a minute to consider it. Actually, all are your prior matters (we assume that you insist on using Windows Phone OS and looking for a budget model). If you are looking for a powerful camera, there’s no complaint about that Lumia 820 (or 822 from Verizon) is a path to follow. But if you are looking for a performance worth the payment, Odyssey is a serious opponent, not to say the obvious winner. If you are using Verizon network, 8X is only $50 pricier and worth the price.

General info

·         Manufacturer: Samsung

·         Part Number: ATIV Odyssey

·         Product Type: Smartphone

·         Width: 2.5 in

·         Depth: 0.43 in

·         Height: 4.82 in

·         Weight: 4.4oz

·         Cellular

·         Service Provider: Verizon Wireless

·         Operating System: Windows Phone OS 8

Technical specs

·         Service Provider: Verizon Wireless

·         Operating System as Tested: Windows Phone

·         CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 Dual-Core

·         Processor Speed: 1.5 GHz

·         Form Factor: Candy Bar

·         Physical Keyboard: No

·         Screen Size: 4 inches

·         Screen Details: 800-by-480-pixel Super AMOLED

·         802.11x/Band(s): 802.11 a/b/g

·         GPS: Yes

·         Micro-SD Slot : Yes

·         Phone Capability / Network: GSM, CDMA, UMTS

·         Bands: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100, 700

·         High-Speed Data: EVDO Rev A, LTE, CDMA 1X

·         Battery Life (As Tested): 13 hours 39 minutes

·         Camera: Yes

·         Megapixels: 5 MP

·         Camera Flash: Yes

·         Bluetooth: Yes

·         Storage Capacity (as Tested): 5 GB


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