I have a Nokia Lumia 920 I recently installed a French developer ROM on it to escape att's idiotic practice of constant stupidity regarding updates. I'm running the latest GDR3 and Nokia Black firmware updates... Very wow! I've had this phone for over a year now, and started off with Windows Phone 7 and the Lumia 900. Nokia knows how to Windows Phone for sure. Everything you've mentioned can be done easily and usually if you get into the UI, it gets things done faster. What I mean is, Windows Phone's UI design focuses more heavily on typography than Windows 8 does so basically, tap on whatever text on the screen you see and you'll find out what does what and what goes where. It's pretty freaking awesome! I always have Xbox Music going and if I want to change the album or go to a different song in the playlist; all that is done is turn on the phone, tap the song title, and then tap the playlist to change songs. To switch to a different album by that current artist, just tap on the artist's name on that screen and it goes to that.
As for the Samsung Ativ...I can't say. I have yet to actually play around with one since it seems like Nokia has been dominate everywhere. I don't think Samsung's GPS service will be as good as Nokia's HERE map, drive, and transit services. I've used Nokia's stuff for that and I can tell you that I wouldn't travel without it! But nonetheless, Windows Phone's built in map and GPS service is pretty stellar compared to what I've seen with ios and android. The nice thing about it is actually says when you arrive at your destination, they'll be a Wendy's on the corner or something like that; or if you see this building you've gone too far. It's quite nice, I think it even gives you walking directions too...
If you REALLY want a Nokia Lumia (that's honestly what a REAL Windows Phone is), I'd consider switching from a CDMA to GSM carrier.
And don't forget Windows Phone 8.1! That's to be released sometime around April and from what's been kind of known about it...
SO AMAZE! MUCH IMPROVE! WOW!
I myself have a couple questions about nokia lumia.
Once 8.1 comes out, is it a free software upgrade or only on particular phone purchases?
Also, I have Amber software update instead of Black, yet my phone says it is up to date. Is this a manual software update, and is it possible for me to get it?
I've just done the update to Black and even though my phone tells me it's now Black I still got a text message saying my phone settings change unsuccessful. Your phone settings couldn't be changed .... I'm confused.
I do know it upset the network settings and put them back to the original ones so I couldn't get picture messages again, I had to make active the connection that I'd set up when it happened before and I was on the phone for ages to an advisor inputting new settings.
The upgrade process so far has been that if your handset is from the Windows Phone 7.x generation, you only get Windows Phone 7 updates. If it were Windows Mobile 6, same thing. From what can be gathered, this will be the same with 8.1. The reasons why Windows Phone 7 handsets didn't get 8 is because of fundamental differences from the CE to NT kernel, BitLocker encryption support, and other physical hardware requirements that the 7 generation couldn't support as it the kernel base was from the Windows Mobile era. Now that it's all on NT kernel and the latest crop of Windows Phones have decent specs even on the low end, theoretically they should run Windows Phone 9 when that time comes. As of now, that is PURE speculation.
As for the Amber to Black updates, that is totally carrier dependent. Shockingly, att actually released updates for GDR3 and the Black firmware; probably because there was SO much dissent among the Windows Phone community about that when EVERY other Nokia Lumia device in the world already was on GDR2 and Amber and Nokia promised everyone would have the updates by the end of August, att released them about two months after the fact... Ugh.
ATT is not on my favorites list. I upgraded a basic phone without data for 15$ a month to my 'smart' windows phone. The guy said at the very least, they 'must' charge me an extra 20$, and I am forced to accept a data plan. I bought the phone from windows store, not them. My only mistake was buying an ATT phone...
There were like 2 plans I could choose from, which is not customer-friendly. They have gotten so big that they care more about money than people-pleasing, which makes me want to switch carriers. This update dilemma does not improve their stance in my mind.