Great Windows Smart Phone December 2, 2011
Reviewer: Brewster (Ohio) -
We are seniors and needed a new phone, looking to upgrade our older Samsung phones. While we were a little afraid of a smartphone, this Flash and its Mango OS seemed to be what we wanted, but still more than we needed. Well, were we surprised. It is a great phone and while we will not use some of the advanced features, it is just fine for us. We also did not have to ask our grandchildren to come over and teach us how to use it.
So if you are looking for your first smartphone, look no further. Windows Mango is very good and the operation of this phone is easy, once you get over the shock of such an upgrade. We did however have to go online to ATT to get some help via their tutorials but the learning curve was not too bad.
We heartily recommend this phone.
Great Phone - very pleased November 27, 2011
Reviewer: S. Mann (Middletown, CT USA) -
I love the Windows 7.5 software, and I find this phone has plenty of processor power to run it well. I am very pleased with the phone. It's very well made, and will please the bargain hunter like myself. I got this phone for free so it's hard to argue with the price. I was also considering the Titan and the Flash with the larger screen. When I considered that this phone was only slightly smaller and saved me $200 it was the one.
I have 3 iPhones in the family, 1 is my work phone. I can honestly say that I enjoy the Windows software and find it different, but every bit as good as the iOS devices.
Excellent OS, Buggy Hardware, Low Memory January 18, 2012
Reviewer: Nom de Guerre (Massachusetts) -
For the sake of brevity, considering the dozens of reviews that I had to read to make a purchasing decision, I will state my key points in bullet format. Pardon the lack of prose. Lest there be any confusion, I love the Windows Mango Operating System interface, and this phone delivers it decently well.
- Windows OS (cannot be under-estimated...I will only buy Windows phones now. Live tiles are a game-changer.)
- Hardware Windows button
- Front and rear facing cameras, with good picture quality
- Very nice looking, black metal phone when not in a case
- Slim, when not in a case
- Excellent sound quality, garners many compliments even when using bluetooth via Sync in my car
- Good music quality / speakerphone
- Fast fast fast! Very responsive.
- Beautiful video quality.
- Zune is an awesome media interface, makes itunes look like software from the 1990's.
- Quad band, including 4G
- Voice commands and voice recognition are incredibly impressive.
- AT&T commercials don't do it justice: I use data while I chat all the time, for work and personal reasons.
- Skype was bought by Microsoft, so integration should be great in the near future
- Unless you get lucky, your hardware will crash CONSTANTLY
- Most of the pros are due to the Windows OS, not the phone
- 8GB Storage, NON-expandable. Budget phone, budget option. Disappointing, but you get what you pay for. 8gb means you have to manually filter thousands of songs and pictures.
- Back cover snaps on, rather than a push-button release. Given that this has quad band technology, repeated SIM access may break the cover.
- AT&T will not unlock the phone (at least not yet), rendering the swappable SIM card concern moot.
- 1500mh battery is roughly enough for a 12h workday with an hour and a half to two hours of conversation and 20 minutes of data. Not enough for a phone intensive workday, and no larger battery available (yet).
- Cannot activate global roaming while overseas, rendering the phone useless if not pre-activated for global roam.
- Only one cover available upon release, and it's chunky and somewhat unsightly. Beautiful phone, ugly case.
- Big marketing failure to launch with nearly no compatible accessories.
- Lack of Windows OS marketing means that AT&T store employees don't know much about the product at all.
- Smooth metal case causes it to slide out of dry hands. Being winter, this is a problem...so the ugly case is on.
- App store lags behind Apple and Android. On the upside, the live tile feature gives the apps far more utility (I own an iPad and an iPod touch)
- Can't function as a hotspot for your other devices with the $25 AT&T data plan (must be $45+). This makes little sense to me, though it may be the case with the Android phones as well.
- No forward button on the browser. this is just dumb.
- Bing really needs some work to compete with Google.
- No Skype yet.
overall, there's a few international issues and a few minor annoyances. I would get the Samsung Focus S or the Nokia lumia 800/900 if I wanted to pay a premium for a premium phone. Since I don't, this is far more phone for the money than you can get elsewhere. Consider it to be a peer to the iPhone 8GB, yet $100-$200 less.
Edit 4/19/12: The phone does indeed occasionally freeze to the point of needing a battery pull. This has happened to me about three times, and several times to my wife. With the slightly inconvenient battery access, this is even more annoying. It also de-sync'ed from my microsoft sync system, and I was told by Samsung customer service that I need to reload my phone OS.
- I would still recommend the Windows phone OS, especially with Windows 8 around the corner promising great integration with their phones.
- Given that the new Nokia Lumia is out, I would probably get that phone instead of this one.
Great if you need a smaller phone November 28, 2011
The Windows Phone OS is wonderful so I will just focus on the hardware.
Just got this phone for my wife a week ago. I wanted to get her the Focus S or Titan, but she is new to smart phones and thought those phones were too humongous. So I got her the Focus Flash and she loves it. It is small enough for her, yet the screen is still plenty big enough to type on and get a great Windows Phone experience. The phone is extremely light in the hand. Camera works very well. One particular thing I noticed was that the battery life is great, which is important for my wife as she rarely remembers to charge the phone. The AT&T guy only charged the phone up to 25% in the store yet it still lasted without recharge for almost two days afterwards until I finally forced my wife to recharge. This was while she was syncing her Live and Facebook accounts and exploring the phone for the first time, so it was plenty busy. Overall we have not found a fault with it yet.
My first smartphone January 7, 2012
First let me say I am a senior 72 years and needed to get a new phone when my old one broke. The whole family complained that I never used texting or facebook enough to stay in touch because it seems my kids dont ever talk on the phone anymore! After trying everyones phones at several holiday parties (iphones, blackberrys, htc, samsung, motorola) I noticed that this system was the easiest to read. For people my age it is important that the letters are large and the screen is bright and easy to read much easier than the other phones with little symbols. The calls are clear and the buttons on the screen for mute or hold are easy to use when youre on a call. I'm not fast at typing on the screen but at least its easier than using a number pad. The voice control is something I use more than I thought. I can say open email or text someone and its an easy way to get around the phone. Its easy to get map and directions just talking to the phone. I didnt download many programs but my grandkids love the xbox games and they play until the battery dies its better than tv for them. The camera button is convenient like having a real camera and so fast and easy to take a picture. Ive had the phone about 2 weeks and have no problem sending texts, reading emails and looking at facebook with all the pictures and nonsense my family puts on there. The screen is easy to navigate and very smooth with no problems. One thing i noticed is that some phones you have to close programs or do something to save the battery but with this phone the battery lasts me about 3 days just using it like normal.
I love my Windows Phone. December 30, 2011
Reviewer: Danny "Danny Boy" (St. Charles, MD) -
I love my Windows Phone. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed it until I realized that there were some days I didn't use my laptop. I'm a person that would be on my laptop everyday. Now that I have this phone, I barely use my laptop which shocks me. I mainly use my phone for social networking, checking my mail, and playing games which it does very well.
Windows Phone Marketplace has all the apps that I personally need. Even though it does not have nearly as many apps as Android and Iphone, but most of those apps are junk. There's only a few apps that I care about.
One of the awesome things about this phone is that I can text people by using my voice without searching for a 3rd party app to get that functionality, because that feature is part of the Windows Phone OS. I use that feature when driving.
I originally wanted to get an Android phone, but Windows updated the OS to 7.5 and it now has everything I need from a smartphone and more. This phone is perfect for me. I love using Facebook and Twitter through the People Hub. Sometimes I may have to use the Facebook app or the web version for more complex things, like deleting a post, but most of the time I just use Facebook in the People Hub.
The great thing about it is the Live Tiles. The Live Tiles tell me when someone has responded to a post without have to open up an app or looking at the email. The other good thing is I can create a tile for certain groups or individuals and the tile will tell me when they made a post onto Facebook or Twitter.
I also use this phone to read my pdf books that I stored on my Skydrive. The phone can access my Skydrive and I can just click the file I want, then read it through the Adobe Reader app.
After seeing how much I use this Phone, I can't wait to see what Windows 8 is going to be like on a tablet. The reason I say that is because Windows 8 will use a similar Metro user interface like the Windows Phone. I thought Android was going to steal me away from Windows, but it looks like Windows will capture me again in 2012.
Responsive, lightweight, and well-made December 10, 2011
Reviewer: C. Patel
We bought this phone for my wife and I bought the Titan. I have played with both and while the screen is larger on the titan, I think the screen on the Focus Flash is actually crisper (maybe because of the same resolution but on a smaller screen) and is very responsive.
We paid the extra $20 a month and she can use the built-in wifi for work. Even after many hours of tethering and use per day the phone just keeps ticking. I would say it lasts almost 50% longer than my titan with the same amount of use. Windows 7.5 must have great power management.
One other great "feature" is the button on the front of the phone. My titan doesn't have a physical button so I have to press the power button on the top to turn it on. It's not a huge inconvenience but the button on the front is very nice.
About Windows 7.5:
The first thing I noticed about the OS is how neat and clean it is. It is as responsive as iOS and better than android. When iOS first came out I was amazed at how "cool" the desktop looked with the little icons and its animations. It hasn't changed much in 6 years and now it kinda looks old. Like when you find an old GPS unit and think to yourself "wow, look how GUIs used to look!" The Windows OS is a marked improvement.
That's all! It's a great phone!
A great little Windows Phone ... December 11, 2011
Based on the price, this isn't a high end Windows Phone. However, it has all of the bells and whistles and performs well. With Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and ~4G, it is very responsive and a joy to use. The social network integration is great and the Market contains most of the popular apps. If you want a smaller phone that works well, doesn't require a lot of thought and is a pure joy to use, this is the phone for you. Check it out.
Faster (4G), sleeker, better designed than the others...some tips April 2, 2012
Reviewer: Million Dollar Legs (Tucson, AZ) -
I am a 40 year old professional and this is my first smartphone. Why? Simply because all of the features on previous models like the iPhone and Droid seemed to promise more than they could deliver. Playing around with my colleagues smartphones over the years just bored me. After the initial "wow" factor wore off, I found myself staring at a glowing screens waiting patiently for web pages to load or clunky applications to start up. The features that they had were just not that intuitive to me, they felt tacked on.
The Focus Flash obliterated all of my previous prejudices with one demonstration. Within seconds, I knew that I would be taking this home because...
-Its FAST! The combination of the 4G network and its internal 1.4ghz processor makes this little pony leaving the rest of the pack in the dust. To me, this is the whole point of a computer... whats the point of using programs if the phone stumbles over its tasks?
-Its applications and features are elegant and seamlessly integrated. I am not on facebook (which is a major feature on this phone), and I don't tweet or perform other social networking tasks. I do, however, sync with gmail and its calendars quite often. This performs this task about as fast as my laptop. I do share photo's taken with its camera (which is REALLY nice) via email and text.. again as fast as you can imagine. Some big websites are a little sluggish to load, still leaps and bounds better than 3G. I like that it posts my calendar events on my wallpaper on my security screen as well.
-Nice size, weight. Coming from a tiny Sony Walkman phone, I wanted something smallish that is less obtrusive than the larger phones. Even with its plastic case, I barely notice this thing in my pocket.
-Battery life. I was able to go a week in between charging my old Walkman and did not want this phone to spend all the time plugged in. After playing with the settings (disabling background tasks and turning on battery saver), I am able to get a solid 3 to 3.5 days on a charge. Granted, I am not on the phone that much, but I am still impressed with its battery life.
-Applications. Since this phone is so new, I was worried that I would not find a nice variety of applications. This is not the case at all... my favorites so far are FFFShow (an art display, picture download program), and Sports Tracker (tracks my bike ride speed, calories with GPS).
-Sky Drive. 25 gigs to sync files with this phone. I haven't used this so much because I use my iPod nano as my main music device (although Zune seems pretty intuitive on this), and my important files are on other drives. I can see this coming in handy when I travel by seamlessly getting data from it on the phone and backing up photo's.
Overall, this is definitely worth a look if you are in the market for a smartphone. To me, this is exactly what a smartphone should be... small, fast and elegant.
Great Alternative with a Fluid OS January 12, 2012
I was a bit skeptical about Windows Phone (WP). I had a Blackberry Torch and Bold before that. I was tired of the phone freezing because the processor and/or RAM wasn't enough. I mainly use my phone for emails, texting, and calling UNTIL I got a WP.
I originally looked at Android phones because all my friends just moved to them. I found out later that they crashed nonstop for them even though they were top of the line 4G LTE phones. I also found out that they charged their phones at least twice a day. I said no thank you to either. I eventually read reviews that said WP gives you the Android hardware with a much more fluid and stable OS.
Fluid and Responsive: The OS runs smoothly from screen to screen. Check out #smokedbywindowsphone or on youtube the Windows Phone $100 Challenge CES to see the WP up against the iPhone and Android phones in simple tasks. The single core may get a laugh from some people but they simple don't understand that a big part of the equation is the OS. A lot of the test I have seen have Android phones getting destroyed by WP. I saw a WP turn off and on 4 times in the time it took an Android doing it once.
Battery Life: outlast my Blackberry and expect to get a full day with moderate use. The best thing is that most of the notification require just a quick glance vs going through various menus. This will make your battery go further.
Email: I have 4 emails all linked up to one Tile and with a number that appears telling me how many emails I have. Also, I like the look of the email and options you get within.
Integration: I can control my Xbox from my phone. I can look through Netflix movies and/or Zune movies and search by cast or similar movies to determine what I want to watch next. Also, I can view messages and see who is online. I can also send messages and play games that will link up with my Xbox. You can do a lot with your Xbox on here.
Also, People Hub and Me Tile allows Facebook, Windows Live, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. to all be updated and checked in one place. I never was a big user of these UNTIL I got a WP. Now I follow various twitter accounts that do news for my specific field and various blogs. In one glance I can see a short blurb on the article and I can click on the link to find out more.
Live Tiles: I love this feature as you can see Facebook notifications, weather, calendar events, etc. in a quick glance. The weather app will also change when you move to a different location if you set it to (I do).
Bing integration: I wasn't a big user of Bing until I got the phone. Voice Bing search is useful and with a click on one button you can type your search. My favorite feature is Bing Maps here. Local Scout is awesome. Local Scout allows you to search your local area for attractions, food+drink, and shops allowing you to see reviews and sort them by types (Chinese food or star rating etc.). You can click the place and get a whole bunch of information. If you want to go there click the address and you can get directions from your current point. Just a few clicks vs searching online, copying address, opening maps, and then putting it in maps.
Cons: Camera isn't great but isn't bad (front and rear facing). No Skype integration!!
All in all it's a great first phone. Going back I would buy a phone with a larger screen.
Clean, Easy, and FUN January 8, 2012
Most people are stuck on Android and iPhones, I myself was stuck on Androids. After many troubles with my Motorola I said enough I want to try something that is simple, easy, and clean. Microsoft has just that. Their UI is clean and very functional, their Market is smaller that the other two, but still the quality of apps are great, and believe it or not, it is a large market. This phone has surpassed ALL of my expectations. If you want something different, look no further and get the Windows Phone 7!
I love this phone January 6, 2012
Reviewer: Greg H Gradwell
I accidentally press the Bing search button every now and again. Other than that, I have absolutely no serious complaints about this phone. Every time I show it to somebody, they usually say something like "Oh, wow. This is actually a lot nicer than I expected." And it is. Cheap, simple, and it just breaks into (non-broken) pieces whenever I drop it, which is nice.
So far, so good.... May 20, 2012
I wanted a Windows phone, but needed to keep the price down. Reviews on the site here were helpful and I decided to take a chance on the Focus Flash. My biggest concern had to do with whether or not this was actually a new phone, as opposed to a refurbished one.... given the price. The site states the phones are in "new condition", and I wasn't 100% sure what that meant....but glad to report it is a new phone. The bonus pack from Amazon wireless included a car charger, so that was nice. I'm not a techie and other reviews address technical issues; I can say the phone is fast, intuitive, and the email interface is sleek. I've had it about a week.....will update later if my review rating changes.
Awesome phone January 24, 2012
I first wanted the Samsung Focus S but when I saw the price difference for just few inches of screen I finally took the Focus S.
And I'm far from being disappointed ! It's an awesome phone, the build quality is excellent, the screen is sharp and the contrast is great (real deep blacks here).
I absolutely love the OS too, Mango is both elegant and efficient at the same time. Great job Samsung !
Frustrating glitch- freezes up frequently. March 31, 2012
As with a couple other reviewers, I have noticed a most annoying thing that happens when trying to navigate my phone or use it in any number of ways. I really don't use the Internet that often and I don't have many games or other apps either, I am a minimalist only buying this for the ability to take credit cards at markets. Windows os does not yet have any app that allows for a card scanner, by the way - something I specifically checked out before buying it, however was misinformed by the salesman. But back to the freezing complaint, I make sure that I delete threads and close out extra windows so that that is not the problem. It still happens, sometimes more than once a day. I did not buy insurance, however, so the store will not help me beyond telling me they can get me the same model, new phone which would be even worse. I would likely have the same problem and also need to purchase a new screen cover. Very frustrating.
Best phone for the price December 23, 2011
Reviewer: Baris Seker (MN, USA) -
I bought this as a developer phone but ended up using it as my main phone. After a long wait, I was planning on buying the iPhone 4S to replace my iPhone 3G.
I got hooked to this phone and didn't want to buy an iPhone. Windows Phone 7 OS is full of features, very socially integrated and easy to use. The interface is not boring like the iOS 5.
The phone itself has a high dense screen. Amoled has deep darks and very bright colors. The size of the phone is just perfect. Fits in your hands easily.
It Works OK, With Issues January 22, 2012
Reviewer: Mr. Green Thumb (Dallas, Texas) -
I'm just gonna make it short and not to repeat what others have said about this phone.
Mine came pre-activated by AT&T and does NOT have an owner's manual. It has a quickstart guide but it's useless. The box was opened probably to include the sim card so I don't know if they took it out or if it didn't have one.
I signed the contract with AT&T on 12/27/2011. I received the bill in the mail about a week later and it's due 1/17/2012. I then went to an AT&T store to inquire and their response was, paraphrased; "We want to get our money first." That's almost the same as prepaid phone if others out there thinking about signing up with AT&T. When I had T-Mobile, they didn't send me the bill until after my 30 days billing period. Then I'll have at least another 14 days to pay.
The call history does NOT have duration AFTER you hanged up. All it has is time, date, incoming or outgoing, and missed call. My old flip phone Motorola v188 has more features than that.
The phone is kinda buggy on rare occasions and not very responsive to touch screen.
Sometimes when I get a call, the touch slider works but when I press "Answer", it's non-responsive and I get a missed call.
Every night, I turned off the Location and Data feature before I plug to charge. One morning, I noticed both were on and there were only 2 messages in my hotmail box. Without doing anything, the rest of my messages came back over a day later.
Keypad is small and I'm constantly pressing the wrong key with average male hands. It almost require a pen stylus to get it right the first time. You might consider the Focus S if that's an issue.
It's 1 penny versus $19.99 still as of today.
When I'm on the internet and about ten percent of the time the page freezes when it's about ninety percent done. If I hold it close to the bottom corners with my thumb and index finger and raise the phone up a little higher, it sometimes help to load the rest of the page. Other times I have to press Refresh.
There is no way to log off hotmail. I don't use POP or IMAP mail because I don't feel it's secured. I don't do any banking or other things that require submitting personal information because as fas as I know, it doesn't have a firewall or antivirus.
Forget the iPhone - get this instead! March 2, 2012
Reviewer: SF Guru (San Francisco) -
Summary: Fantastic phone - period.
Windows phone critics don't know what they're talking about. The Windows Mango OS on this phone is perfectly fine, quick, qnd usable.
* Small form factor (same as iphone but thinner and half the weight). No way did I want a bigger phone [I don't carry a purse(!) or watch movies on my phone]
* Durable!! I carry my phone in my back pocket [front pocket would nuke sensitive areas] and sitting on it is routine. The Focus Flash has solid construction and Gorilla glass!
* Excellent phone voice quality. This is a key phone feature for me.
* Text to voice and back again! The first time the phone read a text to me out loud in my car I freaked (in a good way), but now I can't iamgine anything else. Voice to text is very handy and about 80% accurate.
* Built in FM tuner! I can ditch my separate Sansa Fuze (also an excellent product, by the way).
* Handles all my multiple email accounts, all the apps I need and web browsing. I reach for this device first before my Blackberry Bold or laptop because it's so simple to use.
* Easily synchs music and videos using Zune.
* Predictive typing is excellent.
* Location and mapping is good, but directions for getting somewhere could benefit from improvement.
* Etc, etc, etc - the list goes on.
* Bing? What for? A separate button for this useless feature?
* The phone occasionally freezes up after receiving a text message. This is a pain in the rear and almost warrants downgrading the overall rating to 4 stars, but it happens infrequently and the phone is awesome otherwise. A simple solution for others that may experience the same problem - hold down power button until phone shuts off then turn the phone back on.
Overall highly recommended and great bang for the buck!
Amazing Phone, at First, And Then... November 26, 2012
The Windows 7 Phone, Samsung Focus Flash, was an amazing product when I first had it. I didn't have any problems with it whatsoever, aside from the Market not opening every now and then - but every phone has a glitch. It was fast, very efficient, and did everything I ever wanted a phone to do, and more. PLUS it had an AMAZING camera on it!
Then the phone updated, and we were able to send videos! I was ecstatic.
After the newest update, the 7.5, my phone started having MAJOR MAJOR issues. Like, whenever I went to take a picture with the flash on, the entire phone shut down. When I went to turn it back on, (even after having just charged the battery) it came back on and the battery was completely dead, barely alive to keep it on for more than a minute or two without plugging it into the wall. It has been a very serious issue with me recently, and I am getting extremely aggravated. Mostly because I love taking pictures all the time, and I use my phone constantly - so when I go to take a picture and the phone crashes.... Theres a terrible issue there. I am already looking into getting a new phone.
I have had it for about 8 months, and this is the only real problem I have had that I just CANNOT stand.
Just a heads up.
critically bugged hardware June 21, 2012
Highly recommend against buying this phone due to a common hardware glitch that disables the touch screen while the phone is not plugged into a power source. I have had this happen after 5 months of use and it more or less bricked my phone. Samsung tech support is aware of the problem but has not taken steps to remedy it. Overall a very nice mobile OS ruined by unreliable and shoddy hardware.