Thought Nokia would be first out the door to announce its Windows Phone 8 handsets? Think again. Samsung has unveiled the ATIV S, the most powerful Windows Phone to date. The South Korean manufacturer is shedding the “Focus” moniker in favor of the “ATIV” branding which can also be found on the company’s Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets.

Samsung’s thinnest Windows Phone to date at just 8.7mm, the ATIV S features a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display (made from Corning Gorilla Glass 2) set into a bushed aluminum chassis. The chassis also houses an 8MP back-facing camera and a 1.9MP front-facing camera. All of this will be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 2300mAh battery. Best of all, the Samsung ATIV S will come with either 16GB or 32GB of memory, which can be further expanded via a microSD SDXC card. NFC also comes standard.

Put simply, the Samsung ATIV S is exactly what I’ve been looking for in a Windows Phone handset. Pricing and availability are still under wraps at this point, but the ATIV S could very well be my next daily driver. Of course, Nokia and HTC are sure to have some fantastic things in store as well.

[Windows Phone Blog]