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How does Verizon and Samsung's latest Windows Phone entry hold up? Read the Windows Phone Central review of the ATIV Odyssey.

While Samsung was first out of the gate announcing their Windows Phone 8 device, the ATIV S, the company seems to be struggling down the stretch.  With delays in the ATIV S's release and a rather limited market, the Samsung ATIV Odyssey might change the tide with Samsung's Windows Phone lineup.  At least in the U.S. market.

The ATIV Odyssey joined the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 822 at Verizon Wireless giving the company a little more diversity in their Windows Phone lineup. The ATIV Odyssey may not have the pop of the Nokia or HTC devices but it's still a decent Windows Phone.  But at a release price of $49.99 (free at Best Buy), it may struggle with the competition and in keeping Samsung's foot in the Windows Phone market.

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We just got our hands on the new Verizon Samsung ATIV Odyssey and it makes a nice first impression. The Windows Phone has a familiar feel to it that reminds us of the Samsung Focus 2 or maybe a thicker version of the original Samsung Focus.  The ATIV Odyssey joins the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 822 on Verizon's Windows Phone lineup.

The 4" Super AMOLED Screen looks nice and the Odyssey feels comfortable in the hand. The Windows Phone is powered by a 2100Mah battery and driven by a 1.5Ghz Dual Core CPU. Add NFC support and a 5MP rear camera and the ATIV Odyssey comes across as a decent mid-level Windows Phone.  The only downside that jumps off the paper is the Odyssey only has 8GB of storage. However it does have a microSD expansion slot and while 8GB may not sound too great, memory shouldn't be an issue.

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Verizon has tossed up the official ATIV Odyssey page for those who would like to purchase online (and presumably in stores too). In addition, the large CDMA carrier has a neat Flash intro to the device, highlighting three main features including the 4” Super AMOLED display/Gorilla Glass 2, its long-lasting battery (2100mAh) and NFC tap-to-share.

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Samsung has released a rare exclusive app for their scant Windows Phone 8 offerings today simply called “Beauty”. The app features Windows Phone 8 Lens support and promises to “…remove all the imperfections on your subject's face such as wrinkles, blemishes and moles”, presumably through some nifty photo manipulation algorithms.

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Samsung has confirmed the ATIV Odyssey will be launching on January 24th, and will be available both online and in stores starting tomorrow. @evleaks recently published a tweet detailing the rumoured date, which has turned out to be spot on. So what will you be looking to pay should you wish to pick up the Odyssey on Verizon?

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Samsung hasn’t been giving Windows Phone a lot of love since the latest version dropped back in October. Here in the US, you still can’t walk into a carriers store and get an ATIV S or ATIV Odyssey. With recent remarks from Samsung about their timid feelings towards Windows RT, a lot of people started suspecting that the relationships between them and Microsoft was beginning to sour.

You can set aside some of those wild theories, analysts are painting a different picture of the situation. Who is to blame? Apparently, the carriers.  

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The Samsung ATIV S is making its way around Europe and beyond, but the 32GB version is yet to be made available, leaving the 16GB as the only option for consumers who are looking to adopt Windows Phone 8 early. The Windows Phone (sporting the latter amount of storage) was previously delayed in Italy until this very month.

We previously looked at the handset when it was made available here in the UK (again, 16GB), but Expansys in Italy have now listed the 32GB variant of the ATIV S. Unfortunately pricing is yet to be unveiled for the new version. Not only that, but the 16GB units are reportedly discounted in preparation for the more advanced variant.

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Here is some good news for everyone on Verizon who can’t wait to get their paws on the Samsung ATIV Odyssey, it could be a week away. This little nugget of information comes from Twitter leakster @evleaks, who has a solid history of being accurate. He (she?) has shown off things in the past like these renders of the Lumia 920 or these of the Lumia 822 and charging pad.

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This is a rather interesting way to test the sturdiness of the Nokia Lumia 920. One that sports fans may find on the appealing side.

Pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S3, the two smartphones attempted to play catch with a fastball shot out of a pitching machine. The Samsung didn't fair to well, shattering the case and screen on impact.

The Lumia 920, on the other hand, performed like a Major Leaguer.  The video captured the fastball impact and continued to record after being knocked off the stand. The screen survived and the casing was left unscathed.

I wonder how the Lumia 920 would have faired if it were strapped to a bat?

Source: NokiaUS Youtube via: wmpoweruser

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Cissa Magazine, a popular Brazilian retail website, has announced that they will be getting a plethora of Windows Phone 8 handsets. In this case, a plethora means the Samsung ATIV S and Nokia Lumia 920, 820 and 620. According to Cissa Magazine's comment on WindowsPhoneBrazil's page, the phones will be available in early February...

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It appears that Samsung will not be launching the companies Windows RT tablet, the ATIV Tab, in the U.S. market and the future doesn't look bright for other markets as well.

The reason behind the cold feet? Feedback from Samsung's retail partners indicated demand for Windows RT tablets is modest at best and the investment to sell the importance of Windows RT's benefits was too great.

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Just when you thought the Samsung Focus Flash had vanished into thin air, AT&T has started pushing out the Windows Phone 7.5 (a.k.a. Tango) update to the tiny little phone.

Windows Phone Tango brings a handful of small fixes to the OS that includes multiple images in MMS, send ringtones via MMS, more reliable push notifications, new wallpapers and a few other performance optimizations.

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Yesterday we shared some of the advertisement data from cross-platform developer network AdDuplex. Now the full post is available on their blog and with it, much more data to comb over. In contrast with the mostly US-centric data yesterday, the blog post gives a worldwide perspective. Keep in mind, these numbers are from an ad network, the most popular Windows Phone ad network of its kind, but still not official numbers from Microsoft. That said, it’s still fun to look at the graphs and get some insight to the Windows Phone ecosystem as a whole.

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It looks like Samsung was okay with bringing out their recently announced ATIV Odyssey for Verizon Wireless, which was announced today at CES 2013. The phone features a 4” Super AMOLED display, 1.5 GHz dual core CPU, 5MP rear camera and in short feels like a hybrid Focus 2 with a touch of the ATIV S aesthetics on board.

Look, we loved the Focus 2 and we dig some of the chrome of the ATIV S so the ATIV Odyssey, while not for everyone here, is a sharp little device that feels “just right” in the hand. Sure, the specs won’t blow anyone away but they’re not meant too and while it’s not as visually stunning at HTC or Nokia are doing these days, we wouldn’t call it ugly.

Look for the Samsung ATIV Odyssey in the coming weeks on Verizon. Check out our hands on video and a few more pics after the break...

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Well, it’s official. Verizon and Samsung today have announced the ATIV Odyssey Windows Phone coming to the CDMA carrier “in the coming weeks”. The 4” device is expected to fill in the entry-level range for Windows Phone 8 on Verizon and will also be a “global phone”.

The phone will be on display at Samsung’s booth during CES when the floor opens tomorrow, which means of course we’ll get some hands on time with it very soon (we may be even able to sneak in a peek later tonight at PepCom).

Head past the break for the full presser.

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Although Verizon and Samsung were not able to release the Odyssey on the network for December as had been expected, we’re quite confident we’ll finally see the device in the coming weeks, including a sneak peek at CES next week.

The specifications for the device have now come to our attention via an internal data sheet for Verizon. While some were really hoping that the Odyssey will be Verizon’s version of the ATIV S that unfortunately was never our understanding and the specs reflect that notion. The device instead will be positioned as entry-level, reportedly going for free on contract when it finally hit shelves.

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Are you looking at new Windows Phone 8 devices for 2013? The Samsung ATIV S is available from O2 on contract from free when taken out with a plan worth £57 a month, or for £179 with an accompanied £16.50 plan. The high-end flagship Windows Phone is packed full of features that make the price point well worth the investment. We've taken the ATIV S for a spin for just over a week and have been impressed with what Samsung has produced.

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In 2012, Samsung became the largest phone manufacturer in world, selling over 420 million handsets. According to an article in the Korean Times, they plan on increasing that number by over 20 percent, to a whopping 510 million phones, in 2013. The Korean electronics giant says that 2013 will be the year that they stand out from their biggest competitor, Apple.

Samsung saw huge success with their Galaxy line of phones, powered by Android. And while they will surely continue down that road, it appears that they will also be adding some more Windows Phone 8 handsets to the mix.

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