The dual-core, 1.5 GHz processor of the Odyssey provides respectable performance that’s basically on par with the Lumia 820 and its variants. The Lumia 810, for example, had a WP Bench average of 240 marks and a high of 250 over the course of five tests, while the Odyssey was just a hair lower, with an average of 239.33 and a high of 244.37.
And with an OS as efficient as Windows Phone 8, it doesn’t take much to keep things running speedily, which the Odyssey does easily. While in the process of reviewing Skulls of the Shogun, we often preferred to play it on the Odyssey over single-core, Windows Phone 7 devices because of how much better it ran on the former. Seriously, the framerate was vastly superior on the Odyssey compared to a last-gen HTC Trophy; the game ran smoother than butter.
Unfortunately, the Odyssey only comes with 8 GB of internal storage, which isn’t great. But, as mentioned, the phone does have a microSD card slot, plus it’s located on the outside for easy access.
The suite of software here is relatively standard fare for a Windows Phone, including the close integration with Microsoft’s other services, like Outlook, Office, Xbox Music, and Xbox Live. Also, as this is a Verizon Windows Phone, it benefits from NFL Mobile (useless right now) and the carrier-exclusive Data Sense service, which is used to track data consumption.
Samsung contributed a few of its own apps, but like we mentioned after spending some time with the Odyssey at CES, none of them will change your life. We said that the MiniDiary was probably the most intriguing, since it’s the only piece of preloaded Samsung software that actually does something marginally unprecedented: users can make entries with text, geotagging, a corresponding picture, and an icon indicating what the weather was like that day.
In all likelihood, most normal people probably won’t use the MiniDiary, but at least it’s something a little more outside the box than the other offerings from Samsung. These include Live Wallpaper, which lets you mark multiple images from your photo roll to cycle through as your lock screen wallpaper, a photo editor, and Now, a familiar content aggregator that pulls together news, weather, stocks, etc.
The images taken with the ATIV Odyssey’s camera tend to gravitate towards warmer tones in most indoor shots, giving all of them a reddish hue. That being said, one shot that we took that featured a lot of green and blue looked like it had been taken from behind a blue piece of cellophane, so it’s safe to say that in general the white balance is off.
In fact, the camera in general is a throwaway, as most of the indoor shots we took were noisy and not particularly crisp, the latter problem likely being attributable to the modest 5-megapixel resolution. Your best bet is to stick to outdoor shots where poor lighting isn’t an issue and the color saturation looks good, but forget about shots with moving targets.
One of the few notable strengths of the Odyssey is definitely its battery life, which is great. Even more impressive is that the phone didn’t have to be massive to allow for a battery that is physically very large to increase capacity. Of all the 4G LTE phones that we’ve tested, this is certainly one of the better ones.
Even with email push on multiple accounts, as well as toast notifications for games and a max brightness setting on the display, we could get almost three full days with light usage of the phone. We typically used it as a secondary device, so heavy lifting like browsing or frequent activities like texting were usually done on another phone. Nevertheless, we found it to have solid battery life and, at least in this sense, probably a good bet for road warriors.