The Samsung Ativ SE ships in a bright red box with Verizon Wireless branding. Inside you will find the handset, a microUSB cable, an A/C adapter, and a few booklets.
A stereo headset would have certainly been a welcome sight out of the box. However, such practice is still rare among US carriers, unless it is a premium or music-centric device we are talking about.
Ever wondered what the Samsung Galaxy S4 will look like with Windows Phone navigation buttons instead of the Android setup? The Samsung Ativ SE is the answer to the question - it is a near carbon copy of the Samsung Galaxy S4, save for the speaker design on the back and the shinier paintjob.
Speaking of, the handset's plastic body features a striking brushed aluminum finish. The latter is not unlike the much talked about LG G3 styling, though, to Samsung's credit, the Ativ SE beat the LG flagship to the market.
The Ativ SE build quality is stellar. Like the Samsung Galaxy S4 whose underpinnings it inherited, the Samsung Ativ SE is solidly built and ready to take on the rigors of daily life. Love it or not, the plastic finish of the device has proven to be quite sturdy. The same goes for the Corning Gorilla Glass-covered display.
The physical measures of the smartphone are 137.7 x 69.9 x 8.4mm, while it tips the scales at 135.8g. Curiously, the device is a tad thicker and heavier than the Galaxy S4 (7.9 mm and 130 grams). We reckon the difference might be down to the newcomer's different finish.
Like its looks, handling the Samsung Ativ SE is a familiar experience. Curiously, the handset even feels compact next to today's batch of Android flagship devices.
The brushed metal finish of the smartphone handles fingerprints really well.
The display of the Samsung Ativ SE is the well-known 5" FullHD Super AMOLED unit, which made a debut last year in the Samsung Galaxy S4. The screen has a PenTile matrix and a pixel density of 441ppi.
We've always believed that AMOLED displays and Windows Phone make for a perfect marriage and the Ativ SE's unit shows why. With infinite contrast, punchy colors, and superior viewing angles, the display is still as solid as it was when it first came out.
The brightness levels of the Samsung Ativ SE are not very high. However, due to the screen's low reflectivity, this doesn't affect its outdoor performance.