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Review: Samsung Focus 2 for AT&T

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The Focus runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and, because of Microsoft's rules, hasn't been altered a bit by Samsung. The user interface and menu structure is the same as every other Windows Phone that is available on the market. This can be good or bad, depending on your point of view.

The lock screen includes only the most basic notifications, including calendar alerts, and missed call and unread email/text message counts. The lock screen doesn't offer previews of - nor shortcuts to - those messages.

The single home screen is littered with Live Tiles, which can be moved about and arranged in any way that you wish. You can also choose to pin shortcuts or other actions to the home screen, where they'll reside in two columns of tiles. The main app menu is a single swipe from the home screen, and this is where all of the apps on the device are located. They're arranged in an alphabetical list and can't be moved around or otherwise rearranged.

The settings menu is buried in the main app menu, and lets you adjust the behaviors of the Focus in a limited way. It is broken into two categories: one for system-level adjustments, and another for application-level adjustments.

Microsoft's Metro UI, which Windows Phone is based on, has its pros and cons. It's fast and simple, with the trade-off of being somewhat rigid.

On the performance front, the Focus is no slouch. It may have only a single-core processor under the hood, but it's fast enough to handle all the needs of Windows Phone and the Focus.


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