Samsung Ativ Odyssey review: Pocket journey
Retail package at the bare minimum
The Samsung Ativ Odyssey comes in a small, Verizon branded retail box. Inside it, you will find a charger and a USB cable to go with the usual set of booklets.
As usual, headphones are omitted from the retail boxes of most carrier-branded smartphones in the US and the Samsung Ativ Odyssey is no exception. You will need to get a pair on your own dime.
Design and build quality
The Samsung Ativ Odyssey is hardly a looker due to the relatively large bezels around its already small display. On the front, it looks like the Samsung Focus 2 for AT&T, while the back of the device resembles a shrunken Samsung Ativ S. The Ativ S however appears a lot more elegant due to its longer body, while the Ativ Odyssey it like a chubbier sibling.
You can have the handset in any color, as long as it is Titanium Gray - the same hue, which graces every top shelf offering from Samsung ever since the Galaxy S III was introduced in 2012.
Build quality is rather good as usual for a Samsung handset. The Hyperglaze coated plastic body is certainly up to plenty of abuse, and so is the Gorilla Glass 2 covered display.
The measures of the Samsung Ativ Odyssey are 122.4 x 63.8 x 10.9 mm, while its weight tips the scale at 125 grams. Save for its considerable thickness, the handset looks and feels extremely compact due to moderate screen size of only 4 inches.
The Ativ Odyssey's 4" WVGA Super AMOLED display should be familiar to anyone who has taken a remote interest in Samsung's smartphone lineup over the past three years. With its infinite blacks, vivid colors, and superb contrast, the screen complements the Metro UI of Windows Phone 8 perfectly.
However, with a PenTile matrix on board, the display doesn't look as sharp as those on the current trend-setters. You can easily discern the individil pixels with your bare eyes - especially when reading a small-font text.
Above the display, you will find the earpiece, the front-facing camera, as well as the ambient light and proximity sensors. A Verizon logo is keeping them company. Below the display is where the usual trio of capacitive key for navigating through WP8 are.
The volume rocker and microSD card clot are located on the left side of the Samsung Ativ Odyssey. The power/lock key and dedicated camera button are on the right.
The 3.5mm audio jack is on top of the device. A secondary microphone for active noise cancelling keeps it company. The microUSB port and the mouthpiece are located on the bottom.
The 5MP camera with its single LED flash are located on the top of the device's back. The loudspeaker is on the bottom.
Under the battery cover, you will find the 2100mAh battery, as well as the microSIM card slot. No surprises here.
The beefy battery, combined with the small and energy efficient display found in the Samsung Ativ Odyssey helped the handset achieve the whopping endurance rating of 57. This means that the handset will soldier through well over two full days if you use it for an hour each of telephony, web browsing and video playback daily.
Handling the Samsung Ativ Odyssey is a pleasure. The 4" display allows for seamless one-handed operation, while the thick body of the handset actually makes it feel reassuring against unwanted drops.
Following next is a look at the Windows Phone 8 experience which the Samsung Ativ Odyssey has to offer.