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Review: Samsung Focus S for AT&T

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  


The Focus S's 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display is another great display on a Windows Phone device. It has the standard 480 x 800 pixel count, and is bright both indoors and out. Not even direct sunlight curbed viewability. I was able to use it outdoors to stay on top of my inbox whilst walking to the corner store to buy lunch. It's sharp, crisp, colorful, and easy on the eyes. Samsung's Super AMOLED Plus displays continue to be excellent and the Focus S is no different in that respect.


The Focus S was reasonably good at attaching itself to AT&T's network. Traipsing about northern New Jersey, it ranged between 2 and 5 bars, and never lost the signal entirely. I didn't miss any calls while testing the Focus S, but I had trouble connecting two. Coverage directly affected data speeds. When there was good coverage, data speeds excelled, but when coverage was not good, web sites slowed down noticeably. It performed on par with other AT&T devices in the same environment in most cases, though.


The voice calls I made with the Focus S on AT&T's network sounded very good. Most were loud, free of noise, and consistent in their tone. I didn't hear any network-based garbage and the earpiece broadcast clear conversations. It can be set to a loud — but comfortable — volume, so calls can be heard in noisier environments. The speakerphone also sounded very good. Use of the speakerphone did not introduce any unwanted interference, and it could be set loud enough to handle conversations in even the largest board room. Ringers and alert tones were extremely loud, but I thought the vibrate alert was a bit weak.

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The Focus S's battery life seemed a bit inconsistent. One day it powered through an entire 24 hours with no problem, while the next day it died by dinner time (a difference of almost 12 hours, though admittedly a lot of it would be stand-by time over night). I made sure none of the settings were altered. It's safe to say that it will get you from the early morning to early evening each day, but whether it lasts past 7PM is hard to say. Keep an eye on the battery level and be prepared to charge it.


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