Hands-On: Samsung Focus 2
AT&T had its newest Windows Phone on hand at the CTIA Wireless event and Phone Scoop spent some time with it.
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The Samsung Focus 2 is the latest Windows Phone from Samsung. As the name so obviously implies, it is a follow-up to the original Focus, which dates back to 2010.
As far as Windows Phones go, it measures up to what we've seen before. It is a minor spec bump from the original Focus, though the look and feel are much improved.
The Focus 2 is a mid-sized smartphone. Despite its 11mm girth, it feels amazingly light. I feared it would feel large in the hand, but it doesn't at all. It's quite comfortable to grip and I really found the overall tactile experience to be good. The materials and manufacture are of much better quality when compared to the original Focus. The Focus 2 is assembled from glossy plastics, with a dash of gray striping thrown in to break up the design a bit. The one problem I have with the design is that the plastics are extremely slippery. I dropped the phone twice while handling it. I can only imagine how it would pop out of your hands if you've just finished eating potato chips or popcorn and your fingers are all greasy. This could really be a problem if you're somewhere you don't want to drop the phone.
The volume toggle is on the left edge of the device and is in the gray stripe area. It's easy to find visually and by feel. I thought the action and feedback were excellent. Same goes for the power button and camera button, which are both on the right edge. They also sit in the gray stripe and are easy to find and use. The camera button is a dual-stage key, and both stages were well-defined.
The screen is quite nice. It measures four inches, which complements the 480 x 800 pixel arrangement, giving it a nice, sharp look. Samsung used Super AMOLED tech behind the screen, and it looks as good as the screen on any other Windows Phone device. There are three capacitive buttons below the screen for accessing the standard Windows Phone controls. They aren't all that easy to find by feel since they are flush with the surface. Thankfully the buttons are highly responsive and shine brightly once touched.
The user interface is Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. Since Windows Phone hardware makers can't mess with the user interface at all, it looks, behaves, and performs just as every other Windows Phone.
The device has built-in storage, but you can access the miniSIM card if you remove the battery cover.
For the spec-minded, the Focus 2 nas a 1.4GHz single-core processor, 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, VGA user-facing camera, and of course compatibility with AT&T's LTE 4G network.
It's a nice little phone. Certainly not a flagship device, but for $50 it's definitely a good buy.
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