1. diego15nets's Avatar
    I'll be coming from a 928 that recently broke, and instead of purchasing a 928 in good condition for $180-$210, decided to give the Samsung ATIV Odyssey a chance for $85 in brand new condition (off of ebay). It's probably the cheapest option for anyone that wants Windows Phone 8 on Verizon. I had a Samsung Focus WP7 as a media device in the past, and it was a solid device. The build on this looks almost identical (I know, typical Samsung), but as a temporary device I care more about functionality rather than looks. I know I'll be missing the Xenon flash and nice screen from the 928, but won't be missing all the bugs and problems I had to deal with. Once the Lumia Icon drops to sub $300 (used off-contract) in the next few months, I'll be upgrading.

    Anyways, I'll post a mini review sometime next week. I'll most likely update it to WP8.1 with the Developer app, but will use it at least a day with only the verizon released software updates.

    I'll comment on:
    1. hardware (screen, buttons, general feel of device)
    2. battery life
    3. camera quality (front and back)
    4. volume (ringtone and speaker phone)
    5. software transitions
    6. general likes/dislikes based on my previous WP experience (Samsung Focus, Nokia Lumia 822, and Nokia Lumia 928).


    If there is anything else anyone wants me to comment on, let me know.

    Update 6/2/2014

    Received the phone today, here it is:
    wp_20140602_007-1-.jpg

    First Impressions
    The phone is small compared to what I've had lately (Lumia 928), 4 inch screen vs 4.5 inch. However, screen is very well lit, and colors are vibrant. Text size on messages was too small for my liking so I immediately went into settings and ease of access to increase the size. Keyboard is comfortable to type in portrait with one hand, with two hands it's better to use it in landscape. Camera is decent in well lit environments no flash, but dark environments come out poor as expected and flash doesn't improve it much. Camera aside, I am liking everything else, including how fluid the OS operates.

    Here's a picture with default settings no flash at highest resolution (4:3 ratio)
    wp_20140602_024.jpg

    Setup
    I immediately wanted to get my Gmail working to transfer my contacts, but received an error. The solution was to have my phone updated, so before anything make sure to go to settings > phone update and check for updates so you don't have issues setting up your Gmail accounts if you have any. In addition to the windows updates I had several Samsung updates installed.

    I currently have the device running OS version 8.0.10517.150 and will be testing out 8.1 later.

    Edit: I wanted to add a caution that some updates make take longer than other to install, so don't be alarmed if the spinning gears are taking up to 15 min, just make sure your phone is at least 75% charged.

    Hardware and Feel of Device
    The Odyssey has a removable back cover that houses a removable battery and the micro sim card underneath. Although the device is your typical plastic from other Samsung devices, the device feels solid and the back cover snaps on firmly. The volume rocker, power button and camera button all have a nice sturdy click operation. The micro sd slot is on the left hand side with a cover. The backlit buttons are well lit unlike most Lumia devices. The micro USB port is on the bottom and the oem charger connects very securely, will have to depend on this connection unlike the wireless charging capability I had before.

    Software/ Operating System with Windows Phone 8 (version 8.0.10517.150)
    OS is fluid and very responsive to each touch selection, camera button goes immediately to the camera app. So far I've made phone calls, sent text messages, MMS, checked e-mail, used the WPCentral app, no issues so far. Haven't had a chance to play games. If there's anything in particular you want me to test let me know.

    By the way, HERE Drive and HERE maps can be downloaded and installed so that's a big plus, although you cannot download other Nokia apps like Nokia Music.

    Volume (media, ear speaker, and speakerphone)
    Media volume for music is actually pretty loud for such a small device, the quality is decent as expected.
    The ear speaker is clear through phone calls and microphone works fine as well according to the people I've called.
    Speakerphone is decent, not the clearest or loudest even at high volume but it does the job.

    I'll keep testing things here and there as well as updating to 8.1 tonight and will post more findings tomorrow. Until now, I can say it's a solid backup device for those who want to buy a mid-range windows phone 8 device in the $50 (used) to $85 (new) price range. The biggest things you may be disappointed is camera quality and screen size, if you're coming from 4.5 in or larger.

    Updating to 8.1
    As you know you must have the Preview for Developers app enabled to install WP 8.1. The phone will first install a couple of 8.0 updates to prep your phone, restarting each time. The 8.1 download will take a little to download and install. After the main 8.1 update you'll get two more updates, one is for the battery improvements, and the other one was the one just released yesterday that's supposed to add the quiet hours option without cortana.

    Battery Performance with 8.1
    I've had my phone on for over 7 hours from a full charge, and the percentage is currently at 85%, so a 15% battery drop in 7 hours is pretty good compared to my experience on the Lumia 928 with 8.1. I haven't performed many tasks though, so I'll see how the battery holds up once I'm at home and use it to browsw the web, use apps, etc.
    Last edited by diego15nets; 06-06-2014 at 09:50 AM.
    05-30-2014 09:21 AM
  2. Muessig's Avatar
    I'd be interested to hear your opinions. Also bear in mind as far as I'm aware if you do decide to take the leap to 8.1 there's no way for you to go back to 8 - you can't reflash like with a Nokia device.
    Guytronic likes this.
    05-30-2014 12:03 PM
  3. diego15nets's Avatar
    Thanks Muessig, that's good to know. Most likely, I'll still update it to 8.1, since I had already became accustomed to several 8.1 updates, notably the notifications swipe from the top, quick launch buttons, and using cortana for setting up my alarms. And I guess have 8.1 installed will also differentiate previous reviews done on this phone.
    05-30-2014 03:27 PM
  4. Bosgarage57's Avatar
    please keep us updated. Im trying to decide if I want to take the plunge with with an ICON or ATIV SE on contract, or buy an odyssey for about the same price on ebay. I have 2 upgrades available, but don't really want to use it for these, if something else is coming out soon.
    diego15nets likes this.
    05-31-2014 11:02 AM
  5. diego15nets's Avatar
    See the first posts for my first day impressions. I personally think this device will hold me up at least for a few months until I save up for a higher end device. My biggest drawback is the camera quality, which is decent but not great like the one on the ICON or lumia 928, and everything else is working great.
    snowmutt likes this.
    06-02-2014 10:17 PM
  6. diego15nets's Avatar
    16 hours since this morning's full charge and it's now at 40%. I used it a lot more this evening, watching videos on metrotube app and using the facebook app as well as downloading a map for Nokia drive. I didn't expect such good battery performance especially for WP 8.1. I have to add that the facebook app runs very smooth. Camera woes aside, this is a solid windows phone 8 (8.1) device and recommend it for those that want to wait out for a newer device.
    snowmutt and neo158 like this.
    06-03-2014 10:55 PM
  7. Bosgarage57's Avatar
    THanks, keep us updated. Not sure if I can handle a 4" screen since I have a note 2 (5.5"). I really want to try WP, but am gonna hold off on newer phone releases and I really wanna see the LG G3 as well.

    This is a dumb question, but it has 4g correct?

    Another question, why did you go with the Odyssey vs the Lumia 822?
    Last edited by Bosgarage57; 06-04-2014 at 12:03 PM.
    06-04-2014 11:34 AM
  8. snowmutt's Avatar
    As a side note, one of my friends daughter had her iPhone fall and shatter (shocker, huh?), and the Verizon rep gave her the Odyssey for a two week loaner while they waited on her replacement parts. (They are long time customers as a family.) She immediatly called me to help her set it up.

    Nice, simple low end WP. I won't fall all over myself recommending it, but she enjoyed it for a two week period. I found shutter speed to be slow on the camera, and the screen seemed a little "blah", even for a mid tier Samsung. But otherwise, it was a fluid worker and left my friends family impressed.

    Not enough to leave their iPhones, of course. But I do think for a go between device it is a fine option. Also, good device for a younger child's first phone.
    mary beth hale and xandros9 like this.
    06-04-2014 09:23 PM
  9. diego15nets's Avatar
    Yes, the phone does have the LTE signal from Verizon. Although if you use it on a different carrier you would only get up to 3g speeds.

    I had a Lumia 822 for awhile before owning the 928, so I decided to go with the odyssey to try something different. For me its been a good choice based on these couple of days, battery easily lasts me all day which I couldn't do with the 928. I still have at least 30% left.

    Contrary to the slow shutter speeds you encountered, I found them to be the fastest of any WP device I've used. Will try to post a video with 8.1 so you can see how it works.

    I wouldn't downgrade from a 5.5" screen but coming from a 4.5" screen on the 928 it's bearable.
    06-04-2014 10:51 PM
  10. Bosgarage57's Avatar
    I picked up an 822 for dirt cheap yesterday. Waiting for it to come in. Seems like they dont come w a charging back, but its capable of it. I'll mess with it a bit and decide if I want to continue w WP and look for a flagship phone at a later date. Thanks again.
    06-05-2014 11:21 AM
  11. diego15nets's Avatar
    I picked up an 822 for dirt cheap yesterday. Waiting for it to come in. Seems like they dont come w a charging back, but its capable of it. I'll mess with it a bit and decide if I want to continue w WP and look for a flagship phone at a later date. Thanks again.
    Good choice going with the Lumia 822, it's a solid mid range device as well (micro sd expansion, 4.3" screen, but like most non high end phones the camera isn't great). I think you'll like Nokia's glance feature.

    I'd highly recommend you update to 8.1 through the developers preview app to get the extra features. WPC should have an article with instructions. But basically 1. create a free account at https://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/join , 2. download WP8 app and install 3 sign in through app 4. go to phone settings and check for phone updates.
    06-05-2014 02:00 PM
  12. Bosgarage57's Avatar
    Thanks for letting me know how to get 8.1DP. I planned on it, just wasn't to sure on how to go about getting it. I'll do the normal updates on it (amber/black) then update to 8.1. I'm pretty excited about it, although I just rooted/rom'd my note 2 so its a killer phone, just looking to mix things up.

    Anyway to get around the $19/yr for developer fee? Bummer.
    Last edited by Bosgarage57; 06-05-2014 at 04:49 PM.
    06-05-2014 04:37 PM
  13. Nogitsune Micah's Avatar
    Thanks for letting me know how to get 8.1DP. I planned on it, just wasn't to sure on how to go about getting it. I'll do the normal updates on it (amber/black) then update to 8.1. I'm pretty excited about it, although I just rooted/rom'd my note 2 so its a killer phone, just looking to mix things up.

    Anyway to get around the $19/yr for developer fee? Bummer.
    It's free
    06-05-2014 04:56 PM
  14. diego15nets's Avatar
    Yeah, it's free to sign up for an account, and that's all you need to do before downloading the "preview for developers" app and logging in with your account.

    Very simple process, I contemplated for awhile since I thought it would require a lot of effort and was surprised at how easy it was.
    06-05-2014 06:22 PM
  15. Bosgarage57's Avatar
    ah thanks guys, I thought you had to actually sign up to be a dev. I think im signed up already since I recently bought an Asus T100 Win 8 Tablet. I used my gmail I believe instead of creating a Microsoft acct.
    06-05-2014 07:40 PM
  16. neo158's Avatar
    16 hours since this morning's full charge and it's now at 40%. I used it a lot more this evening, watching videos on metrotube app and using the facebook app as well as downloading a map for Nokia drive. I didn't expect such good battery performance especially for WP 8.1. I have to add that the facebook app runs very smooth. Camera woes aside, this is a solid windows phone 8 (8.1) device and recommend it for those that want to wait out for a newer device.
    That's the thing I found with my ATIV S is that aside from Camera issues Samsung devices seem to be solid performers with WP8.1 installed, that's not a dig a Nokia or HTC but it just seems as though Samsung devices seem to have far fewer issues with the DP.
    mary beth hale likes this.
    06-13-2014 08:47 AM
  17. Bosgarage57's Avatar
    although I haven't really messed with my Nokia 822 tooo much, I do like it. I threw 8.1 on it and seems to be stable. I am unfortunately back to my Note 2 as WP doesn't offer a "tethering" app :( I love my Samsung note 2, and not sure why people are so "Nokia is #1."
    06-13-2014 05:42 PM
  18. AndyCalling's Avatar
    WP has tethering built in. If you can't see it blame your carrier's branded, modded firmware. Reflash with standard firmware and drop your carrier. My 820 tethers just fine. Remember, the 822 is a carrier specific modded version of the 820 and you have to ask yourself why. I'm sure the hardware is fine, but carrier specific firmware branding is just horrid.
    JamesPTao and xandros9 like this.
    06-13-2014 06:03 PM
  19. JamesPTao's Avatar
    Unfortunately it is common for carriers to do this. Up until At&t switched to their mobile share plan they would cripple tethering in every phone they carried. I had two phones that tethered from the manufacturer but the same phone from at&t wouldn't be able to. Major reason why up until recently power users would always buy their phone from the manufacturer and not from the carrier because you always got way more and better features even on the same model.
    06-13-2014 06:39 PM
  20. Tokyudo's Avatar
    I have the ATIV Odyssey through US Cellular updated to 8.1. I must say for mid-ranged phone I am surprised by it's good performance. The best thing I've seen so far is the battery life, it's amazing. I'm getting way better 7.5 hours, I would say with moderate use I'm getting about 15 hours (I disabled most everything I don't want running in the background). The only issue I have is a camera bug that has surfaced with the 8.1 preview update where the camera just stops working until I restart the phone. The camera is only 5 megapixel and not that great to begin with anyways but I knew this when I chose this phone (previously had a Galaxy S3). Overall, it's a solid phone for the value.
    06-24-2014 09:17 AM

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