Review: Samsung Focus Flash for AT&T
Microsoft says that the Marketplace for Mobile has more than 40,000 apps available to Windows Phone 7 devices. While the selection isn't as robust as what's available to iOS and Android, it's still really solid. The Marketplace uses the Hub layout, which I find great for browsing through for apps.
The Focus Flash supports mono and stereo Bluetooth headsets. I was able to pair with both types, as well as my car, with no problems. Sound quality of phone calls through my car was outstanding. Sending music to stereo Bluetooth headphones worked, but sounded cruddy, as though it was passing through a tin can.
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It's easy to read the time from the Focus Flash's lock screen. Press the lock key, and the screen pops to life with a nice digital clock. The time also appears sporadically in the status indicator bar at the top of the screen. You can't adjust this clock, however.
The Local Scout app is a bit like Google's Places, but for Windows Phone. Rather than opening the Bing search app, you can open Local Scout to seek out the businesses and points of interest that are closest to your location. I found it pretty easy to use, and it provided reliable results.
The Focus Flash uses Microsoft's Bing Maps. It is OK, though I prefer Google Maps. The feature set is the same as most other free mapping services, and it offers a rich user interface and step-by-step directions. The Focus Flash also has AT&T Navigator, which works very well, but costs $10 per month to use.
The Focus Flash syncs extremely well with Microsoft-based work and productivity tools. The versions of MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint that are in the Office Hub sync perfectly back and forth with the desktop versions. Users can save files to their personal SkyDrive for access later or from PCs. The Office Hub also lets people share documents and files if using the Focus Flash on a corporate network.
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Review: Microsoft Lumia 640 XL for AT&T
Microsoft's latest Windows handset for AT&T is the powerful 640 XL, a massive device best suited to phablet lovers. It features a 5.7-inch screen, 13-megapixel camera, quad-core processor, and an assortment of AT&T and Microsoft apps and services.
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The LG Lancet is a low-cost Windows Phone that's easy grasp and offers a lot of value for the dollar with Microsoft's productivity apps on board. The Lancet proves that sometimes small stands tall.
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