Verizon officially announces Ativ Odyssey Windows phone

After fist hearing about the Samsung Ativ Odyssey in fall, we'll be able to first see the device at CES.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director / CNET Franchises, How-To, Performance Optimization

Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Franchises, How-To and Performance Optimization teams. Her career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).

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2 min read

LAS VEGAS--Announced earlier this fall at the Windows Phone 8 launch, the Samsung Ativ Odyssey is an important phone for two major reasons. First, it's Samsung's first Windows Phone launch in the U.S. Second, the presence of the Ativ Odyssey solidifies Verizon as a Windows Phone carrier.

The Ativ Odyssey itself is middle-of-the-road. It looks like a smaller, cookie-cutter version of the Galaxy S3, very similar to the Galaxy S3 Mini due to its size -- down to the rounded shoulder, the high-gloss surfaces, and the attractive brushed finish. There are slight differences in the details, of course, but there's no question that the Odyssey is a Samsung smartphone at this particular moment in time.

Ativ Odyssey, Samsung's first U.S. Windows Phone (pictures)

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I mentioned it's smaller and it is, compared to the massive smartphones out right now. It has a perfectly acceptable 4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a WVGA resolution (800x480 pixels.) Powering this Windows Phone is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor; for photography, there's a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash. I do love the compulsory Windows Phone camera button on the right spine. The phone also supports 1080p HD video capture and includes a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.

Since this is Verizon, 4G LTE is a given. Since it's also Samsung, a microSD card slot supports up to 64GB off-board memory. Onboard storage is slighter at 8GB, and there's 1GB RAM. Pop off the back cover and you'll find a 2,100mAh battery.

It's a global-ready phone, which means you can take it overseas to use.

Though we did hear about the phone before, CES will be the first time we'll be able to see the Ativ Odyssey.

Samsung Ativ Odyssey
The Samsung Ativ Odyssey looks like a Galaxy S3, but smaller and rocking Windows Phone. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Originally, Microsoft told us that the handset would launch in December, and since then, all three parties -- Samsung, Verizon, and Microsoft -- have kept mum on details. However, we have it on good authority -- Samsung's to be specific -- that the Ativ Odyssey will launch "soon."

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