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Review: Samsung Focus S for AT&T

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The Focus S doesn't have too many apps preloaded. I count 25 out of the box, which is half od what most Android phones ship with. AT&T has preloaded five of its own, branded apps on the handset. There's very little bloat. The Marketplace for Mobile is a pleasant place to browse for apps, which are plentiful enough to make up for the lack of apps pre-installed on the Focus S.


The Focus S's Bluetooth radio worked as it is supposed to. I had no trouble pairing with any device. Phone calls via mono Bluetooth headset sounded excellent. Music pushed through stereo headphones was also good.


Most smartphones these days offer a white, digital clock of some sort on the lock screen. The Samsung Focus S does this, too. It is a bit too small, if you ask me, and isn't as noticeable as the date is (which I usually don't care that much about). I wish there were a way to control the clock on the lock screen. There isn't. It suffices, but just.

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The Focus S uses Microsoft's Bing 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 S also has AT&T Navigator, which works very well, but costs $10 per month to use.


As with all Windows Phone devices, the Focus S syncs 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 S on a corporate network.


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