Phone Scoop Review
Oct 20, 2010 by Philip Berne
We tackle the Samsung Focus, one of the first Windows Phone 7 devices, from a business users perspective. Does it earn Microsoft a promotion? read review ›
Not quite sold
First of all- this phone is FAST. I think it runs smoother than any Droid I've seen and it's very comparable to the iPhone 4's processing power. The UI is CLEAN and I love things that are simple and uncluttered. It really does integrate well with facebook for the most part and the people tile is awe inspiring to watch.
Now- for some of the shortfalls: The power button is in a HORRIBLE spot. It's directly on the side of the unit where your hand naturally lies and I think it'll even be worse for lefties. I'll be in mid conversation/text/surfing and realize that my finger is depressing the button. There's not even a message asking if you're sure you want to turn it off, it just goes black. Secondly the battery life is completely false from what the manufacturer lists, mine barely lasts a full day with moderate use and some internet/email surfing. With the software you will begin to notice where microsoft still has some work cut out for them. When you receive a text message, for instance, it will take you to the conversation but there's no way to simply navigate back to your other text conversations without first going to the homescreen and then selecting "messages". While surfing the internet there is no way to snap to the top of the page, you must manually drag it there. Also- while in landscape mode you cannot access your favorites or the URL bar.
Most of these issues will be solved with software updates, and even that pesky power button location could be resolved with that. The actual life-span of the battery throughout the day is the only thing of major concern for myself at the moment, it really is nowhere close to the advertised amount.
Whoever said in the other review about the camera not having zoom is completely incorrect, it's on the side of the screen. Picture quality is excellent and so is video quality, on par with the iphone if not better.
Can't Deny the Awesomeness...
Although Android has been quite popular these days, I've still not encountered a phone that is as fluid or creative as the iPhone. Let's be honest, most phones are copies of the iPhone's OS design in one way or the other. But Microsoft has a lot of money and something to prove.
Holding the Samsung Focus is just pure sex. The phone is beautifully streamlined and has a good weight to it. The construction is phenomenal and just feels right. Add on that Super AMOLED screen you have you have one particularly nice handset. Buttons around the sides are nicely placed.
The camera is nice enough, but I think the lens on the iPhone 4 is superior to the Focus in both clarity and focus. Still, the Focus takes some pretty vibrant pictures. Video is the same in my opinion.
Of course the biggest draw isn't the handset, but the OS that's inside. Let me tell you, Microsoft came out with something beautiful...and I am by no means a MS Fan. The OS is fluid, transitions are flawless and the overall design just works. By no means does WP7 copy the iPhone in the way that other OS's have. In fact, this is the dynamic and creative step I hope the iPhone takes in future revisions of the iPhone.
But of course, there are a few things MS has taken from Apple. Multitasking and Copy/Paste is lacking and of course when the phone was announced, the iPhone didn't have these features either. It's not too big of a deal, but I think the phone needs it to keep up with the times.
This is probably the best first step I've seen out of an OS. Let's just see if people are willing to buy it...
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Device Nice; OS Bad
The Samsung Focus is a nice, solid device. The non-screen areas are a little larger than they need to be but it is still slim and smaller than most smartphones. I don't like the location of the power or back buttons, but perhaps that's just because I hold the phone in my left hand and am used to the HTC Incredible. The display is very good and the response if fast.
Unfortunately, the Windows Phone 7 OS is nowhere close to the iPhone and Android. It is too simple - so simple that it can't really do much. This is definitely a consumer phone, though I don't know why a consumer would want one since the screens and apps are bland, bland, bland.
I got the phone because I hoped the OS would be like the old Windows phones, providing some of the Windows-like capabilities missing in iPhone and Android. But, Windows Phone 7 has absolutely nothing to do with Windows.
Nice large display.
Solid, light, thin unit.
Easy to setup.
Marketplace has lots of apps.
Browser is OK.
Minimal configuration options for menus and apps.
Forced to use huge icons on screen so that only a max of 8 can be on home screen. I have 25 on my Android.
Ugly icons for built-in apps.
Must use Zune to load and manage media, ÃÂ la iTunes.
Phone apps starts in recent call list. You need to hit another button for the keyboard.
Phone - No predictive dialing!
Phone - No speed dial list.
Boring texting interface.
Camera is nowhere near as good as other. No zoom.
No built-in turn-by-turn navigation.
Marketplace Search - If you enter a word or phrase looking for an app, you will get hundreds of music results.
Complete dog doo
The only good thing about this phone is the big screen. Other than that there are so many issues with it its ridiculous. I spend 8 hrs of everyday troubleshooting this phone for att...DONT BUY SAVE YOUR MONEY. GO ANDROID.
Doesn't Lose Focus
Honestly a study phone. I am noticing some battery issues that are pretty annoying. You will notice the short battery life pretty quickly and the heat emitted by the battery. One weird thing is that you can't power off while charging and this defeats much of the effort going into recharging the phone. Seriously thought IPhone was bad with bat issues but this phone is much worse. Takes many hours to restore full charge and you lose that immediately if using simple apps such as music player. Multitasking would be worthless on this phone. Cut and Paste would be nice addition. All that said this phone is still very fun and vibrant. I love the live tiles and Zune is so underrated. Sexy phone.