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Samsung unveils the Ativ S, the first-ever Windows 8 phone

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Last week wasn't Samsung's best: the company came out on the losing end of one of the highest-profile technology cases ever, saddled with an order to pay Apple more than $1 billion for patent infringement. But the court defeat apparently hasn't blunted the company's momentum in terms of new tech: this week Samsung revealed a handset that's both the first dual-core Windows phone and the first ever to ship with Windows Phone 8. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Ativ S.

The phone looks an awful lot like the Galaxy S III, Samsung's current flagship Android handset. It's got a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and an 8-megapixel rear camera paired with a 1.9-megapixel front-facing one. The phone will come in 16GB and 32GB flavors. It's 8.7mm thick, which is thin enough that Samsung felt comfortable calling it a "chic hairline design" at the unveiling.

The Ativ S also takes full advantage of Windows Phone 8's new features, including support for NFC (near field communication, for close-quarters file sharing and mobile payment) and microSD (a physical card slot on the handset allows for expandable storage). Truth be told, no one actually has much information on what else Windows Phone 8 will bring to the table -- and although Microsoft teased the Ativ S in a blog post, it didn't give many details about the software. (The best Microsoft is offering right now, evidently, is the assurance the Ativ S "performs great.")


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