I intentionally skipped the HTC 8XT because this was coming out with better specs, although with a higher price-tag.
**Look and Feel:**
This phone looks and feels about like any other Samsung device, which is expected. No major surprises here. It feels good in the hand for being a 4.8″ screen size, and feels pretty light. It doesn’t feel as brick-like as some of the Lumias. It feels pretty durable, although I’m not about to test my luck – I usually take very good of my phones and avoid anything that would break them.
720p resolution on a TFT screen instead of AMOLED. This is a step up from the 8XT’s sub-par 480×800 resolution. Honestly, I don’t see what all the fuss regarding the TFT screen is about. The screen and colors are bright and clear, and I honestly can’t really tell the difference. Viewing angle is very good no matter how I’m looking at the phone – the backlight seems to help. As I mentioned before, it’s got a 4.8″ screen. I have no complaints with the display whatsoever. Looks nice, man.
The battery is removable on the ATIV S Neo (another plus for this WP8 device), and lasts a pretty decent amount of time. Nothing out of the ordinary for a smart phone. I don’t intensively use my phone for battery draining tasks like playing games 24/7 or Netflix – those are just occasional things. If you moderately use your phone for texting, some web browsing, standard tasks, etc. you won’t be let down. I was able to get a single full charge with moderate use to last me about 2 days with the battery saver on. This is what I’m used to on smart phone devices. Nothing disappointing, but nothing absolutely stellar.
**OS & Other Features:**
Specs are pretty standard. 1gig RAM, 16GB internal storage, 1.4GHz dual-core processor. Nothing that’ll blow you or most windows phones away, but I’d say those specs are about as good as any Lumia 920/x with maybe some very miniscule differences. The performance and Windows Phone operating system on the ATIV S Neo is snappy, responsive, and just works as I’d expect it to. The camera is 8MP, which for me (and most users, probably) is just fine. I don’t need a 41MP camera, as I don’t take pictures that often. Photo quality as far as I can tell is OK – it’s decent. I don’t think it holds a candle to the Lumia low-light photos that they rightfully hold the quality title for, but if a decent camera is just a bonus for you on a phone, the ATIV S Neo’s 8MP camera is certainly good enough. It’s a lot better than the 5MP camera I had on my 3 year old Android phone before switching, so I’m happy.
The App selection on Windows Phone 8 is obviously improving. I’m not a huge app junkie, but the ones I did use on Android were easily replaced on WP8. One final point I’d like to make is that the storage space is expandable via SD card slot, up to 64GB. This is great, and should be a damn standard on smart phones by now. If you gave me a 32GB internal storage device but it wasn’t expandable, that, in my opinion, isn’t as good as 16GB with SD capability.
Now if only it was slightly cheaper to upgrade… $200 out of pocket, with a $50 rebate in the mail. Seeing as how it’s almost the same as last year’s ATIV S, it could have done with a better price, but some of that blame lays on Sprint, not just Samsung.
Let me know if I missed anything… I’d be glad to comment further if someone asks about something or points out something I didn’t touch on.
**TLDR;** If you’re on Sprint and want a WP8 device, this is the one to get. You won’t be disappointed.