Review: Samsung Focus 2 for AT&T
The Samsung Focus 2 is available from AT&T in white. The design harkens back to 2010-era smartphone looks with rounded corners and a smallish overall size. The white colors used in the outer shell practically glow, they're so clean and snowy. The white is broken up by a silver band that wraps around portions of the outside edge. It looks good, though perhaps a bit simplistic compared to the sleek appearance of higher-end devices.
The Focus has an interesting feel to it; it has to be made of the slipperiest plastics known to man. I can't tell you how many times I dropped this phone. The materials are smooth and glossy; so much so that the Focus is difficult to hold onto. The one benefit to the greased-up feel of the Focus is that it slips into even the tightest pockets without a hitch.
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The wet-soap effect aside, the Focus is dense and solid, and the quality of the assembled device is top-notch. The seams are all tight, and the phone feels strong enough to take some serious punishment. I wouldn't use it to hammer in a nail, but it easily survived the dozen or so drops during my review period.
The front face of the phone is only about 80% screen. There are generous amounts of bezel above and below the screen. Above, the user-facing camera and sensors are plainly visible, and the earpiece is covered by a classy silver strip. Below, three capacitive buttons make up the standard Windows Phone controls. These buttons are easy to access and use, though they are too quick to turn off the illumination. When they are on, they are perhaps the brightest capacitive buttons I've ever seen. The entire front surface has a small lip that rims the outer edge. This protects the glass of the display when the Focus is placed on a flat surface. The lip isn't as intrusive as it is on other devices (such as the Lumia 900).
The only control on the left side of the Focus is the volume toggle. It has a good shape to it and is easy to find, but the action is cheap and unsatisfying. The power/lock button and dedicated camera button are both on the right edge of the phone. The power/lock button is nearly flush with the surface, but can still be found without trouble. Travel and feedback is good. The camera button is a two-stage button that has well-defined stages.
The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top of the Focus, and the microUSB port is on the bottom. The battery can be removed (a feature that's been disappearing from phones of late), and the microSIM card can be pulled once the battery is out. MicroSIM cards are used in a few devices such as the iPhone 4/4S, HTC One X, and Nokia Lumia 900, but not most GSM cell phones. Granted, this won't ever be a big deal to most people, but it's worth knowing before you buy the Focus.
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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