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Review: Samsung Focus 2 for AT&T

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Messaging tools on Windows Phone devices are in line with those offered by competing platforms. That means you get a solid email client, text/IM messaging, and some built-in social networking features.

I am fond of the email app, which handles any type of email service, including Exchange, POP3, and IMAP4, with ease. It's easy to merge all of your inboxes into a linked account, or leave them as separate inboxes on the Focus's home screen. The Metro UI treatment of the email app makes it easy to see unread, flagged, and urgent emails with quick swipes to the left.

The SMS app and IM app are one in the same, and handle text messages and Windows Live instant messages from a single user interface. I don't find it quite as visually appealing as the SMS apps offered by iOS or Android, but it still offers threaded conversations and stuffs media inline with the text.

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The People Hub syncs with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, so there's some serious social networking added to the core Windows Phone experience. The integration with the People Hub means you have access to recent tweets, status updates, and photos, but the Hub lacks the full power of the native applications for these services. The Facebook app for Windows Phone is decent; the LinkedIn app is acceptable; but the Twitter app is horrid. Seek out a third-party app if you're a power Twitter user.

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