It Just Plain Rocks November 8, 2011
Reviewer: Robert L. Stinnett (Boonville, MO) -
How can you write about a phone that just plain rocks? Easily, of course! I've been using the predecessor to this phone, the Samsung Focus, since it came out in 2010. I have been nothing but pleased with that phone and so when the new Samsung Focus S was announced I wasted no time trying one out -- it was an easy sell after I used it for about 5 minutes!
If you haven't used the new Windows Phone you really don't know what you are missing. Forget everything you know about the iPhone and Android. Windows Phone has really redefined what a smart phone should be -- not a device that becomes a chore to use or a distraction to everyday life, but rather a device that let's you focus on your life and integrates your social networks and other happenings together. I challenge anyone looking to get a new smartphone to just try Windows Phone for 15 minutes -- I guarantee you will fall in love (or at least deep lust!)
Having said all that, let's talk about the new Focus S shall we?
First off, let's talk screen size -- it's huge! 4.3 AMOLED that is as vivid as the picture makes it appear. No more struggling to read text or "fat fingering". This device was built for those who have big hands in mind! You have so much screen real estate your brain may think you are actually using a tablet. It's huge! Ok, ok - so I'm going a little overboard now, but trust me, the screen is bright, vivid and large.
With this latest generation of the Focus they have also bundled a front-facing camera. This makes it easy to not only do video calls, but also makes it very convenient to take self-photos. Granted, the front camera is just a mere 1.3 megapixels compared to the 8 megapixel rear camera -- but it gets the job done and then some. Speaking of the rear camera, you are going to quickly find that with this incredible 8 megapixel rear facing camera you are going to be questioning the need to lug around a digital camera. It takes amazing pictures -- plus with the Windows Phone integrations you are just a touch away from uploading them to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or a myriad of other photo sharing sites.
Speed wise the phone is very responsive. I've had multiple background apps running and have not noticed any noticeable lag. Some folks might be concerned that it is only a single-core processor, but you know what -- Windows Phone is designed to work without the need of dual-core processors. I've yet to see the phone become bogged down, and again even my original Focus never had a problem keeping up. Remember those dual-core phones come with a price -- battery power!
With 16GB of on-board memory you get plenty of storage -- but I will say I am a bit dissapointed that there is no slot for adding additional memory cards. However, even on my original Samsung Focus I only had 10GB total of memory even with a memory card and I never was hurting for space -- even with keeping a ton of photos and a few podcasts loaded onto the phone.
Battery life wise I get a good 24-30 hours out of each charge, but I should say I am a heavy user of the phone. I constantly am taking photos, I have both my personal and work e-mail integrated into the phone, and use quite a few applications. I'd recommend you go ahead and pick up a car charger for the phone because I promise you, you are going to find it hard to put down when you start using it!
Overall, I'm very pleased and am so happy I went with the Windows Phone platform. I'd love to see them add back in a memory expansion slot for future designs, but right now I'm having a blast with the new phone -- and I even handed my old phone down to a family member who is equally as happy (wouldn't you be as well if you got a free phone?)
As a long-time iPhone user, I'm stunned November 21, 2011
Reviewer: Lea (Dallas, TX United States) -
I've been an iPhone user since the original and have owned 7 of those beasts. For work I've been using a Gingerbread Android phone for the past six months and found it a very poor experience compared to the iPhone. It's just not a very good mobile OS. Now I've gone down the path of trying Windows 7, and I am shocked that I like this so much. I feel weird for saying this, but the Windows Mango OS is just better than the iPhone. The Samsung Focus S appears to be the best hardware for the OS, so this is, in my mind, the best cell phone on the market today from AT&T.
How is Mango better than iOS? Email is WAY better. It's more intuitive, takes fewer clicks to get common tasks done, and it just looks better. The IE (please sit down) browser in Mango is better than Mobile Safari--it's faster and the way it handles tabs and bookmarks is better (imho). Sites render as you would expect them to look. Contact integration with Facebook is extraordinary. You think your address book is complete until you launch your Windows phone for the first time. You'l find contact information that you've never known you had access to thanks to Facebook profile information being automatically pulled in. I could go on, but in my experience, the Windows phone is just a little bit better than iOS and heads and shoulders better than Android. Finally, the entire OS integrates with social media, so it is a thing of beauty to easily share anything and everything.
One additional note: One of the frurstations with former iPhone users who move to Android is that the apps are just not as good as their iPhone counterparts. The best RSS reader in the Android marketplace wouldn't make the top five in the iPhone app store, and that pattern is repeated again and again. I was shocked again when I found that was absolutely not the case with the Windows marketplace. The apps in the Windows marketplace are just as good (although not really better) than those in the iPhone app store.
As it is, my family still clings to their iPhones, and they are grudgingly coming to see my Windows phone as "pretty good," but as a steady user of iPhone, Android, and Windows, this is the best OS.
As to the hardware, the Samsung Focus S hums along and is snappier than the iPhone 4 in launching apps and navigating them. The camera takes much better pictures than my iPhone 4, and the dedicated camera button is a life saver when you want to take a quick photo. The fact that the video player also has a lot of options, from zooming to activating the flash, is also a welcome change. The flash is so bright, however, that in very dark conditions it washes out the photo for the most part. This is generally pretty easy to fix in the Samsung Photo Studio app, but it's annoying regardless.
I live in Dallas, which is an exceptional AT&T market, so I didn't expect nor did I have any problems with calls. Dallas is also a HSPA (AT&T's 3G+ or "4G" data network), and the data speeds are noticably faster than standard 3G phones like the iPhone.
All in all, I think I've seen the OS future of mobile, and it's being produced by Microsoft. The Samsung iteration is one of the best out there, and the Focus S is the flagship. HIGHLY recommend.
I feel like world is missing out by not getting Windows Phones! November 11, 2011
Ok I've tried and played with most of latest smartphones out there but everything about this phone is truly amazing! I seriously can't even find a single thing I don't like about this phone! Its incredibly thin, feels great in hand, amazing screen, simple to use, very reliable, fast, super smooth OS, and my favorite features and apps are all there. I heard some are complaining about phone being too plasticy but to be honest if you ever owned a iPhone 3GS this phone has very same build quality feel but even nicer since its 35% thinner and bigger screen. Battery is outstanding in its class of high-end smartphones, for all the speed and smooth experience it provides. It works great with my company's email exchange server and I love Office 2010 on the phone. I would recommend this phone to anybody. If you are completely new to smartphones this is a great place to start because how easy to use and reliable it is. If you are a professional this phone offers by far best email, Office, and messaging solution out there.
Outstanding Phone!! November 11, 2011
Reviewer: Bacchus (Boston, MA USA) -
I have wanted a Windows Phone since they first came out last year but I was stuck in my iPhone 4 contract so couldn't upgrade. Last night I finally took the plunge and purchased the Samsung Focus S and I couldn't be happier. I have spent only about 24 hours with the phone so far but wanted to post my thoughts quickly so anyone considering this purchase will have another opinion to go on.
The phone is very, very light and thin but sturdy and doesn't feel cheap at all. It has a nice textured back that makes the phone easy to grip though I do wish it had a more rubberized feeling to it as it does slide around on my desk a bit. The power/sleep button is located on the right hand side of the phone along with a dedicated camera button which is very handy. On the left side of the phone is the volume rocker. All the buttons have a great feel to them. Below the screen on the three mandatory Windows Phone buttons; back, home and search. Holding the back button down will bring up the multitasking window while the search button brings you to the integrated Bing search which is fantastic. There is only 16GB of storage and no expansion slot so what you see is what you get. It won't be an issue for me as I used a 16GB iPhone for the last year and half plus you get 25GB of cloud storage on your Skydrive if you need to offload some pics and documents.
The super amoled plus screen is spectacular. I was a bit worried that since the resolution is only 800x480 that it may not be as impressive as my iPhone 4 retina display but I can safely say that the Focus S has an equal if not superior screen to the iPhone 4. The reason I think is that the super amoled plus screen is just so vibrant and colorful that viewing it next to the iPhone just makes its screen look dull and lifeless. To be fair, the text is definitely sharper on the iPhone 4 but it was only obvious when I was looking for differences. You will have no issues at all reading the text on the Focus S.
Windows Phone OS:
I absolutely love this OS. It feels like the future. After using Windows Phone for a while and then going back to iOS 5.0 I felt like I stepped in to a time warp and landed back in 1995. Apple needs to step up its game and get a more modern OS out there because the more people experience Windows Phone OS the more people are going to fall in love with and be convinced that this is the next generation OS. The live tiles on the home screen are just so useful I can't believe I lived all these years without them. I have all family and friends at my fingertips and I can quickly peak to see what people are up to without having to dig through screens of icons looking for an app to launch. Brilliant. The Live tiles are something you need to experience for yourself as describing how cool and useful they are is a bit difficult. Rest assured you will love them. The entire home screen is fully customizable too. Whatever tiles you want in whatever order you want them. You can even change the color theme of the tiles too. Overall and outstanding OS so far.
The Focus S comes with a 1.4 GHz single core processor. Uh oh, single core? Don't all the new Android and iPhones have dual cores? Sure they do but with Windows Phone a dual core processor is just a waste of precious battery life. This OS is not a resource hog at all and the phone zips along faster than my iPhone 4. I haven't once done anything on the phone that bogged it down. This OS is a nimble champion and I am very pleased with its performance.
I havent used the camera much yet but I took a couple of pics from my balcony today that looked pretty good. The camera felt fast and didnt hesitate too long between pictures. There is a cool auto fix feature that will let the phone adjust the pic which can be quickly undone if you do not like the results. I will try and add more to this after I use it more.
I believe the marketplace now has over 30,000 apps. While that pales in comparison to Apple's and Google's app markets I have found that just about every app I used on iOS has a Windows Phone version. I would say that the Windows Phone versions of these apps are more elegant then their iOS counterparts. There is just something about the way these apps present themselves that make them very easy and intuitive to use. You will find plenty of games too and many will be XBOX Live games which will integrate perfectly with your XBOX 360 account if you have one. It is pretty cool to see my avatar and info from my 360 on my phone and it just brings all my entertainment together in to one ecosystem.
I can't think of anything else to write about at the moment but I am sure I will be back to add more to this review as I play with this phone more. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comments below my review and I will try and answer them as soon as I can.
I highly recommend this phone!!
Awesome Screen, Great OS; Overall a Great Buy. November 10, 2011
Reviewer: Philip Stevens (New Jersey, U.S.A.) -
While most people will probably be looking at the iPhone 4s or a comparable Android, this phone is a true competitor with an OS that not only beats Android but stands toe-to-toe with the iOS 5.
First off the AMOLED screen is beautiful and there's lots of it. The 8MP rear camera also impresses. The star of the show is of course the Windows Phone OS which is quick, accessible and less "appy" than iOS or Android. You need less touches and apps to get more done, as many tasks are consolidated into a few hubs. It's a highly underrated OS that really has grown to be an awesome choice to choose.
Also there's a lot of features that you may otherwise miss such as Microsoft Office, Xbox-live built-in, wi-fi, tethering, a front-facing camera, multi-tasking, really fast 4G data speeds, still a lot of apps, live tiles, nice speaker, Netflix, beautiful yet functional user interface, solid glass screen, no freezing or stuttering and a lot more.
There are a few downsides. The build quality is definately solid, but uses a bit too much plastic to shed the weight. Though in its credit it does feel very light and thin. Also this phone only has 16GB of free space for music, videos etc. The old Samsung Focus had an expandable micro-SD slot so one could have around 40GB of memory. The omission of this slot and the lack of a lot of built-in memory is unfortunate. Though 16GB is competitive and is more than all the other Windows Phones.
Overall this phone is quite good; Samsung never disapoints. I can show it off to those snotty iPhone users and it trumps the Android phones. The OS is sleek and more stylish and attractive than its competitors and the large screen shows it all off. If you're looking for a great phone with a great OS and a nice alternative to the vanilla iPhone and Android, don't miss the Samsung Focus S.
Fantastic phone, unfortunate that not many people give it a chance. December 28, 2011
Reviewer: Ken S.
1) The OS. I've been using this for a month now and it's simply a joy to use. I grew tired of the static grid of apps on my iPhone and gave this a shot after a ton of research between windows phone and android. It feels more personal and lively, not cold. The highlights off the top of my head are:
- Wireless automatic syncing. With zune software, any changes that I make to my photo, music, video library are automatically synced to the phone when I'm on my home wifi and plugged in to charge.
- Automatically downloads podcasts. I wasn't into podcasts before getting this phone, but it's so easy and free. When I'm bored at work I go into my podcasts and there's a few (you can specify how many) Adam Carolla podcasts there waiting for me.
- Seamless social integration. Super quick to "link" contacts, i.e. my contacts are a mess with duplicates, facebook, twitter, etc., but click a button and its organized. By going into my address book I can check out everything about what my friends are up to. Click on Steve and there's our emails, sms, phone calls, his status updates, posts, and facebook pics all right there.
- Multi-tasking works like a charm. Don't need to think about it ala Android. Recently used apps are visible in large thumbnails of how it looked last time i was there. The OS manages things well too, so no need to force-close.
- Livetiles give it life. For example, I have a contact group for my family pinned to the start page. It flips through their pictures, and when someone posts a new status, the tile flips over and shows it. flips back over to pictures, flips again to the next update. flips to pictures, then flips over to say that one of them sent me a text. its such a small detail but it makes it feel personal.
- People complain about app selection compared to ios or android. The first thing I want to say about this is that you wont need or want as many apps with windows phone because a lot of the functionality that requires separate apps on the other OS's is already built in. You don't need a facebook, twitter, barcode scanner, music identifier, etc. because the OS already has those features and they work seamlessly. The apps that you will want are for the most part already available and of a higher standard due to the existence of a unified interface language.
2) The screen. It's an OLED (organic light emitting diode) which means that each pixel is its own light source, so blacks are actually black, in contrast to LCD's which use a backlight. I bring this up because the OS theme is almost exclusively white text on black, so it just looks so sexy, especially in the dark when the text lights up and you can't even see where the screen starts or ends. Add the subtle transition animations and its just silky.
1) Slight static in between tracks while using headphones, not a deal-breaker.
2) All plastic construction, could be higher quality. It does make it really light though, whether you like that or not.
3) No Adobe flash support. A big draw in android's favor for me, but flash is being phased out on mobile anyway, with Adobe discontinuing mobile flash development. Conversely, HTML-5 on windows phone is really good.
4) Better notification system with the pull-down tray for android and the recent ios update.
This is the best phone!!! November 14, 2011
Ive owned IOS and Android. I switched last year to WP7 as both had problems. Let me tell you something, this phone doesn't lag, it doesn't freeze. It doesn't shut off unexpectedly. Windows Phone 7 is so reliable and more than 90% of the most wanted apps are here. I don't care what phone you have. This will perform better than it. Take a moment to look away from the specs on this phone and pay attention to the User Interface. That is the "Focus" of this phone. It will work for you much better than others. No lag and my battery lasts more than 16 hours.
Hold, Hold, Hold -- Get it! November 28, 2011
Reviewer: Chris Kapilla (San Miguel de Allende) -
For years I felt like Mel Gibson in Braveheart, waiting and waiting for the right moment. I've been wanting to get a smartphone, but never found one that was Just Right. Not the Google Nexus, not the iPhone, and not the first generation Windows Phones. Then I saw this little baby and it was love at first sight. Now three weeks later my delight with the phone has just grown. Other reviews have gone into all the details, I just wanted to add my opinion that at this moment in time this is the best phone in the known universe!
Great hardware and software November 24, 2011
Excellent MS office integration
super graphics games
Well thought Mango features (I will be late to meeting button is a lifesaver!)
Excellent vibrant screen
Good battery life
Less number of Apps than Android or Apple. Skype is missing!
Hardware assumes 3.5mm pins always have mic which is a problem when connecting to car audio. Samsung acknowledges it is hardware issue specific to focus S.
Night Pictures are too dark compared to focus. (I think this is because timing issue between camera click and flash.
More elegant than the iPhone, a piece of beauty November 18, 2011
Reviewer: Douglas G. Turnbull (Blacksburg, VA USA) -
Apple gets lots of accolades for producing really polish products. Having used the iPhone and now Windows Phone 7, this phone out-polishes the iPhone in many respects. The OS does exactly what I want a smartphone OS to do. No more, no less. WP7 understands that I use my phone 90% of the time in a certain set of tasks -- web, email, social networking, maps/local search, games, news. WP7 gives you a dead simple and amazingly fast way to use these features in a snap. Its main interface gives you a quick view of these primary smartphone uses and makes it crazy easy to get these kinds of things done fast and super easy. Even if the app selection is smaller than iOS or Androids, it doesn't matter, because for 90% of what I use my phone for, it simply outperforms the competition hands down.
On top of that this phone is sleek, lightweight, and slim. Its display is gorgeous. The great performance out of WP7 gives you amazing battery life for a 4G phone (20 hours or so with heavy use). Netflix video looks amazing, and audio sounds great.
Simply put this is the best phone I've ever seen. This might sound nuts, but I'm not sure humanity has made a better smartphone than this.
My Best phone to date November 15, 2011
this phone rocks, fast, smooth, and No lockups at all.
I was so sick of the android locking up all the time .
This phone is amazing! November 22, 2011
Reviewer: Robert De La Poza (Elk Grove, CA United States) -
Great hardware to run the next evolution of smart phones. Take the looks of the highly successful Android Samsung Galaxy S2, make it thinner and lighter, include a Super Amoled Plus Display, and have it run a highly optimized fast Microsoft metro UI. Windows Phones are just over a year old and they are already better than the much older Androids and Iphones. They are not perfect but overall offer a better way to use a phone. In November of 2011 Windows phones won the Operating System of the Year which was judged at the 2011 Know Your Mobile Awards.
The most important thing about a smart phone should be security, and that in itself should exclude any and all Androids. According to data from Juniper Networks in November of 2011, malware in the Android Market had jumped 472 percent since July of 2011. Unlike Microsoft and Apple, Google does not have a strict approval process in place for its Market. Web surfing with IE9 also offers the best protection against social engineering malware, according to test results released in August of 2011 by NSS. Windows phones use IE9 which blocks over 99%. IE9 left the scores of competing browsers in the dust. Google's Chrome, for example, was 13.2 percent, while Firefox 4 and Safari 5 was a 7.6 percent.
Windows phones are amazing and this phone really makes the Metro UI fast! For those of you new to windows phones let me briefly write down what I love about them.
1: Large Live Tiles! These tiles can flip and display information such as the weather in a city on one side and a Doppler radar image on the other. You can (with the some apps) customize your own tile to include pictures, text, and links to web pages. Tiles just offer so much more than icons and they are a lot more organized than Android widgets.
2: Xbox Live! With Microsoft's eco system, you can expect everything from email, to the PC, to Xbox to be blended together. Take for example the games Kinectimals and Fable Coin Golf. Those games allow you to transfer game info into the Xbox 360! You can also transfer your Xbox 360 Kinectimals to the Windows Phones. What I love about Xbox Live on the Phone is that you can see all the games your friends are playing via their Avatar and compare and compete. I don't have to for example load Angry birds to check out the leader boards; Xbox Live shows me the achievements for all the games! As a bonus you can watch your friend's avatars get upset when you have something they don't! The Avatars also perform some fun displays in Windows Phones. For example you can shake the phone and watch your avatar fall down. Lol. =)
3: Vision button! I love this feature. Go to a store such as Wal-Mart and press the vision button to find the item on the internet. You can then compare prices and or read reviews. It works as a barcode reader as well. The vision thing works great for games locked up behind glass that doesn't give access to a bar code.
4: Music button! Hear a song on the radio or at a club and press the button to have it found. You can then download it if you would like. Works like Shazam which you can also purchase in the app store if you would like.
5: Local Scouts! Now this is handy! Press the local scouts button to see what's around you. You can find places to eat and drink, see things to do, shop, and find highlights. Click on something and find all the information you need including phone numbers and directions. Directions can also be read aloud.
6: Speech: A lot of talk has been around Iphones Siri but let me tell you that Windows Phones have awesome built in voice features too. Hold down the speech button for example and say weather or weather in .... And it will show you either the 5 day weather forecast in your area or the city you asked for. Say text or call someone in your contacts and it will call or text them what you say. Say Open .... And it will launch the application with that name. When you receive text messages you have the option to have them read aloud too. It's simple works great.
7: People Hub: I love this feature as well. All of your contacts will list every possible way for you to contact someone in your hub. You can text, call, email, tweet, facebook etc. You can see have addresses, web pages, and more listed in the people hub.
8: Threads: Threads are cool. You could be texting someone on Facebook, then switch to texting their phone if you would like.
9: Groups: Group your friends in the people hub you would like. Create a family group, club group, golf group etc.
10: MS email: Create a Live.com email and have all your contacts and Xbox live information displayed on your pc. You can then from there locate your phone, make it ring, lock it, or even erase it. You can also check out your skydrive and Xbox Live information.
11: Calendar: Have your facebook and work calendar placed on your phone. Quickly let everyone know that you are going to be late for a meeting if need be. See what's going on even on your lock screen.
12: Zune: I love Zune. Yes you can use spotify if you would like, but I find Zune so much better. If you choose to pay a monthly fee you can listen to all the music you want. If not, that's ok because it will still play all the songs and videos you placed on your phone with ease. Just plug your phone into your PC and you can transfer all the music, pictures, and videos to and from your pc you want. When playing music you can see the artist, bio, and sort in a variety of ways. You can even play a playlist with the artist pictures on the lockscreen. =)
13: MS Office: This was better than I thought. OneNote is cool in that you have the ability to record a voice message, place pictures, text, and a subject line on a tile and pin it to your start screen if you would like. PowerPoint works perfect too. I could view stuff from my work on my phone. Word and Excel are not too bad either. =)
14: Search: I love the search button using Bing on the phone. I can use voice and talk away and find what I'm looking for if I would like. I can see images, web pages, connect with local scouts, see a mall in detail etc. Bing interacts with all the features of the phone. I can't see myself ever needing to use Google again.
15: Maps: I love the maps feature of this phone as well. I can get directions to practically anywhere and have it read to me if I wanted. The Map detail is amazing and it also displays traffic. As mentioned earlier, Bing has maps for malls as well.
16: Apps: This phone has plenty of apps now (over 40,000!) that can match most of what you can get on the older iphones and androids now. You can choose from just about anything including a contact barcode maker that someone can scan and import into their contacts for example. You will have plenty of free apps as well.
17: Picture albums: FB and Skydrive albums automatically load to your phone. You can also load your friends FB pictures to your phone as well. This is so much better than loading pictures every time I use FB.
18: Cards: Hold the back key and see the last 5 things you were in.
19: at&t: One of the cool things about this network is that you can place someone on speaker phone and use your phone at the same time. Your text messages are not broken up into 160 letter paragraphs either. =)
20: Camera: I love the 8mp camera on this phone. It takes good pictures and best of all you can access it when the screen is locked.
In conclusion this phone is a great and I'm sure will make any previous Iphone or Android user happy. It does so much more than what I briefly wrote about. This phone doesn't really lock up either; something I hear is very common with Androids. I hope this review helps whoever is interested in buying this phone or a Windows phone in general. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
Really Focuses On Life March 16, 2012
Reviewer: Alexander Stevens (California) -
When the Samsung Galaxy S II line was released, I couldn't wait to hear for a Windows Phone version. What is great is that Samsung followed through and released the Samsung Focus S. I have had this device since day one but decided not to write a review because I felt I needed more hands on time. Remember, the best reviews are by those who have it integrated into their life. As for the review, I give this a 4 star review for many reasons.
The call quality of this device is debatable. When using speaker phone, the end user does get echo/repetition that can get very annoying. Otherwise, it is pretty clear. As to the rear speaker, it is actually pretty load if you are in a quiet place such as your home or car. Of course, headphones or a portable speaker are always going to be better for listening when you don't get the luxury of silence.
Build Quality and Feel(without a case or skin): 7/10
The build quality is very good and the phone is really light. While the light weight is great, it does feel like you could crush the phone in your hand. Another gripe about the device is that it is made of plastic so it does get that cheap feel. Nonetheless, the giant 4.3in (10.88cm) screen is gorgeous and gets this section a 7/10.
The screen of this device is unrivaled by those of the competitors. Yes, they might be bigger, but the overall definition cannot be matched. Samsung's Super AMOLED+ technology gives the screen life like pictures when viewed. I have yet to see any competitor match their technology. Even Apple's Retina Display won't compare on a tiny 3.5in (8.9cm) screen.
Button Placement: 4/10
I feel Samsung did a really poor choice in placing the power lock, volume, and camera. The way I hold the devices makes it so my index finger will rest on the lock button. I then end up locking the device when I don't mean to. As well, the camera key is placed that I hit it in that once in a blue moon. I recommend getting a case with sturdy buttons so you don't accidentally press it.
The 8MP that is boasted on this phone takes some really great pictures and the other sensors on it are good as well. While it might not replace your point-and-shoot at home, it is good for when you aren't carrying your true camera with you. Overall, it doesn't stick out of the phone like the HTC camera which I personally have a gripe about.
This device is powered by a 1.4GHz single core Snapdragon Processor by Qualcomm. Despite what others says, the Windows Phone OS paired with the single core processor is still faster than other dual-core Androids on the market. Heck, the OS and processor is faster than the iPhone 4S. Those who say that the single core processor is a drawback has never used one of these before. Whatever anybody tells you, the single core processor found here is very fast and does the job just right.
The device does deliver fast speeds over HSPA+ but it was a let down when it wasn't LTE compatible as well. If you get a good HSPA+ signal, you will be able to stream YouTube videos without buffer and load text based web pages in a snap. The antennas inside are great and does not suffer from antenna gate found on the iPhone 4. This feature though relies more on AT&T being good in your area than anything else.
Memory (16GB, not expandable): 5/10
While this does not affect me as much as other users, the actual formatted capacity of the device right now is 14.7GB. I currently have 400 songs, eight 30-minute videos, a good 3GB in apps, and left over with 6GB of space. The big let down is that Windows Phones don't support true external storage via a microSD card. So for those who have a lot of files and 16GB won't cut it, I highly recommend to go with a comparable Android model instead. If you can learn to curb your storage, it shouldn't be an issue. What is really great is that Microsoft offers 25GB of free cloud storage via SkyDrive so you can always exchange your files over Wi-Fi.
With moderate use (30 minutes of calling/messaging, 2 hours of music, 2 1/2 hours of apps/games, 3 hours of general browsing), I can push an eight hour battery. With heavy use, expect 4-6 hours of battery life. With light use and battery saver, you can push two days of battery. For people looking for a phone, not an outlet, really consider this for your needs.
Windows Phone OS (7.5 Mango): 10/10
Microsoft really hit the ball out of the park when they re did the whole Windows Mobile into Windows Phone. Unlike other operating systems with a grid of icons, Microsoft went with the Metro interface where you have Live Tiles that display info when information is pushed to you such as the weather, messages, notifications, and much more. When you don't use an app as much, you can always slide to the right and scroll through the complete list of your apps. Microsoft also did one of the greatest things by integrating your life into the phone. I can go from texting a friend to messaging them in Facebook or visa versa. My XBOX LIVE is also integrated so when I unlock an achievement on select games, that gets reflected on my account. The best of all, Zune is integrated into the OS so those who have a Zune Music Pass (the new and grandfathered users), therefore all your downloaded songs can be played on here like it was a Zune device.
App Selection: 8/10
While the 50,000+ app selection might not be as big or great as the App Store and Android Marketplace, the Windows Marketplace has most of the top apps and games found on the others such as BBC News, Weather Bug, Translators, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and many more. One thing I do like is that there aren't many trash apps. While they might have 500,000 apps, there are many trash apps like those annoyance/fart apps, and others of the sort. So while the Windows Marketplace lacks a few key apps, it also does lack many of the low quality apps on the other two.
Overall, the Samsung Focus S is a great phone and those who need a phone, like the Windows Phone OS, or really need a phone that integrates all the Microsoft services into one. As of the Mango update, you have a total of Windows LIVE Messenger, Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIN integration via the People Hub.
I absolutely LOVE my Windows Phone! January 12, 2012
I've used Android, I've used iOS, I've used Blackberry, and I can honestly say that I like Windows Phone better. It is a new OS, so yes it needed time to catch up to the other platforms in terms of apps. However at the time of this writing, there are over 50,000 apps in the marketplace with a rate of growth comparable to the iPhone when it was at this stage. The number of apps is quickly becoming a non-issue and many of the apps are better quality and more integrated into the user experience. The social network integration is fantastic on Windows Phone. Post on a friends wall, retweet to your followers, update your status, and more all without ever opening an app, it's all built in. Of course if you want to use the Facebook, Twitter, or other app, those are there too, but you can't beat the built-in integration. Other high points: Zune integration, Xbox Live, Office. I was already a Zune subscriber (only $10/mo), so I can stream or download any song, anytime to my phone. I stream music on my way to work every day, put on a smart playlist, or play a new featured album. I love it! Xbox Live is awesome. Office is great to have as well. I use One Note every day, and I love that I can type myself a note at work online, and I'll have it right there on my phone when I need it. The calendar is phenomenal as well: Facebook events are integrated as are birthdays. It syncs flawlessly with Hotmail as well, so I can add something to my schedule and it's there online or vice-versa. I could go on and on about this phone, but I feel this is getting rather long. Get a Windows Phone, you won't be disappinted. Oh, and one more thing. My Windows Phone has never glitched, froze, crashed, etc. My prior handset, an Android, would glitch out and freeze so often that I would want to throw it against a brick wall.
Fast, capable, and very fun to use! January 6, 2012
Reviewer: OfficerJoe "OfficerJoe"
The Samsung Focus S is easily the best phone or smartphone I have ever owned or tried. The Super AMOLED+ screen is gorgeous with true blacks that make the bright colors stand out all the more. I definitely recommend using the dark theme on this device to take full advantage of that. The 8MP camera is great for taking snapshots of my newborn son, and I love the fact that they get automatically uploaded to the cloud so I don't have to worry about losing them. I also use it to record HD video. The front-facing camera is a very nice plus and works well for video calls. A lot of other phones have only a VGA front-facing camera which looks grainy, but not the Focus S.
If you have a wireless network at home you can set up wireless syncing with Zune and then you almost never need to connect your phone to your PC (only for software updates). Podcasts, music, and videos get synced every night automatically while the phone is charging, and of course you can download items from the marketplace directly from the phone on demand, too.
The Windows Phone OS is the most intuitive and powerful smartphone OS out there, and like I mentioned above, very fun to use. Though there are less apps available than on Android or iOS, all the important ones (in my opinion) are available, plus a lot of Windows Phone exclusives. Having Office built-in is extremely useful. My wife and I keep OneNote notebooks in the cloud where we can access them from our phones as well as any browser. Shopping lists, family records...we actually even planned our wedding via SkyDrive! No more emailing attachments around or tring to find a computer so you can view/edit a spreadsheet or Word document. Other exclusives: Xbox Live gaming, Zune subscription support (also highly recommended).
This phone is amazingly quick with the 1.4GHz processor. Games and multi-tasking are very smooth. Battery life is also much improved over my previous phone (LG Optimus 7) despite the larger screen and faster speed. Also, this phone is ridiculously light-weight! At first when you pick it up you will think you forgot to put the battery in or something. This might bother you if you like a really heavy, solid feel in a phone, but I prefer it this way. Definitely makes it easier on the wrist if you're doing a lot of reading or gaming in one sitting and can't easily switch hands, such as while holding an infant at 2AM. :) I highly recommend the Samsung Focus S.
Microsoft did their homework, Samsung made it shine December 28, 2011
I've owned this phone for two weeks and I can say that hands down, the Windows 7 mobile experience is the best out there as far as number of clicks to do want you want, look and feel, usefulness of the dynamic tiles, and ease of configuration. It also has the greatest ability to merge meaningfully with your desktop via SkyDrive and the other Office 365 applications. (If you don't use SkyDrive, you should. It is free with Windows Live and gives you a continuous, private backup of whatever folders you select.)
The OLED screen on the Focus S has a deep, eye soothing black, and the colors are absolutely vivid. Pictures, in particular, are very good on the Focus S especially when you use the "auto-correct" feature of Windows 7 that does a great job of white balancing for indoor lighting and increasing contrast for outdoor shots. Don't miss this feature when playing with the phone.
The overall weight, like everything Samsung builds, is in a class by itself as far as lightness. Compared to an iPhone 4 (which is a tank) this Focus S is so light that when you walk around, even in sweats, you don't feel it pulling your pants down. There's nothing I hate worse than feeling a phone or heavy object in my pocket while walking. I'll end up pulling it out, and then be stuck carrying a brick around with me. Which is reason enough, by itself for me to not seek out an iPhone or some of the gigantic HTC phones.
The media seems to enjoy bashing Windows Phones and love everything ever produced by Apple or Google. Don't be fooled. Every said how bad the XBox was when it came out, and look at it now. Read the reviews here and come to your own conclusions. The Windows ecosystem is a winner and time will prove that. Microsoft is not a company that is going to go away either, not that they need to do more to Mango to make it better. It already is. But, realize they have the wherewithal to stick it out and win in this space, and they will keep throwing money at it and making it better and better. Their app store, for example, gives the highest amount of money back to the developers. Higher than both Apple and Android. That is another example of the commitment they have to make this OS succeed.
Incredible Device November 21, 2011
I have owned many phones in my lifetime and this is by far the most enjoyable phone I've ever owned. Compared to the iPhone 3GS, HTC Surround and iPhone 4 the Focus S wins hands down on screen quality, speed, ease of use, features and design.
The Super AMOLED is amazing and addicting to look at. Colors are bright, vibrant and blacks are truly deep, deep black. At 4.3 inches it is large enough to enjoy games and movies but small enough to fit comfortably in your pocket.
While some phones have dual core processors and still seem laggy, the Focus S is responsive and never lags. Windows Phone is optimized to run blazing fast on even 1.0Ghz chips and this phone has 1.4Ghz. Speed is never an issue.
The design is sleek, light and attractive. It's incredibly thin, even thinner than the iPhone 4s. The only downside is the flimsy, seemingly fragile battery cover. It never poses an issue but just has a cheap "feel" to it - but only when removing or replacing it.
Call quality is excellent. Every call I've made has been clear and loud, though I'm sure coverage may vary.
The camera is also above average. There is very little noise artifacts in low light. In daylight the pictures are excellent. The camera even has an HDR option.
If you're coming from iOS or Android and want a refreshing change from static icons and dull widgets, this is a great phone to make the switch with. Windows Phone may not have 500,000 apps but 40,000 is enough to cover everything you need. The UI is attractive, easy to learn and never gets boring to look at. The phone feels alive with live tiles and Facebook/Twitter/Xbox Live integration. Having native Office apps is also a huge plus.
Best gaming handset out there but also a superb business phone! November 16, 2011
Reviewer: Sally Smith (Denver, CO) -
I'm a huge gamer and love the XBox 360 so having this phone was like a slam dunk for the XBox live games. I have Hydro Thunder, Rise of Glory, and Need for Speed. The graphics are superb on this phone as a gaming device but what blows me away is the ability to multitask during gameplay!! I check my work email, respond to texts, and run other apps and can easily switch back to resume my game! The battery life also does much better on this phone than Android or iPhone for games.
There are the other popular games too like Plants Vs Zombies, Angry Birds, and Fruit Ninja which all run much better than my iPhone did. There are so many other games I have just started exploring but it seems that Windows Phone must have done some XBox integration or something to make it so good.
I think overall this phone seems to rock as a consumer gaming device but also works like a champ for email, Office, and enterprisey type stuff when I'm at work.
Oh yeah, the Netflix app is the icing on the cake. I watched Tron Legacy in HD using the 4G network! SWEEEEET!
Still discovering a lot of features in this phone that my iPhone didn't have. So far I haven't found anything missing. It seems that Windows Phone is really far ahead of the competition.
Windows Phone has grown on me November 12, 2011
Reviewer: B. Creswell (USA) -
First: This is NOT windows mobile. This is completely different. This new OS is on par with iPhone and Android.
I love this phone. So light and fast and the colors look amazing. 4G is so much faster than 3G. I had no idea it was such a leap forward.
I got the original Samsung Focus because I was interested in C#/.net development. I had an iPhone before it, and I sort of missed my iPhone for a little bit. But the WP7 OS grew on me. It's extremely easy to use, fast, intuitive, and clean. It never crashes. The 7.5 update added tons of new features.
If you're even a little interested in windows phone, go to an AT&T store or whoever your carrier is and just play with one. You'll see what I mean.
I've heard a lot of people saying Windows Phone is going to pass blackberry for the #3 spot soon, and I wouldn't be surprised if WP7 really gave Android an iPhone a run for their money within the next few years.
sweet phone December 27, 2011
Reviewer: K. Boyer (Philadelphia, PA) -
I have never been a fan of Samsung products. I owned the original Focus and had several issues with it, so I was skeptical about the new version, but since the Titan was just too darned big, I when with the Focus S. I've been very happy with it. It's slim, the screen is gorgeous, the processor is speedy, the battery life is well within acceptable ranges and the camera is on par with other 8 mps on the market. It's not a game changer of a phone, but as far as a Windows Phone vehicle goes, you're not going to find much better.
As for Windows 7.5 (Mango), it's everything I've ever wanted in a non-iPhone. Enough said.