LG Quantum vs Samsung Focus

Introduction and Design

Now that the LG Quantum is making its presence known amongst AT&T's lineup, it was only a matter of time before this Windows Phone 7 device was going to eventually confront the rest of the handsets running this OS to see which is the preferred choice for early adopters. In this comparison we're going to pit the LG Quantum against Samsung's solid offering in the form of the Focus. On one hand, the Samsung Focus stands highly on its pedestal thanks to its gorgeous Super AMOLED display, while the LG Quantum offers the convenience of a physical QWERTY keyboard. But when both are priced evenly at $199.99 with a contract, there can only be one that reigns supreme in the aftermath – leaving one to fend for itself when the dust settles. With that in mind, we take a meticulous look at what each device has to bring to the table.


Visually, the two handsets have that slate look on the surface, but the LG Quantum actually utilizes a landscape sliding form factor that tucks away a keyboard. Although neither come off as not being seen as original, their designs are mostly recycled over from previous devices. Between the two, the Samsung Focus feels more bearable to carry around thanks to its streamlined looks (0.39” thickness) and light weight form factor (4.07 oz). Conversely, the LG Quantum's 0.60” thick body and heavy load (6.21 oz) is more than recognizable when placed in a pocket. However, we do adore the combination of metallic rear cover and soft touch sides that make the Quantum look and feel clean at any given time. Naturally, the all plastic construction of the Focus cuts down on its weight, but it's a magnet for smudges and scratches that can lessen its polished looks over time. As we mentioned, neither of the two come off as being overly spectacular in design, but instead, they're simply more of the same.

If there's something that'll wow you from the onset, then it has to be none other than the 4” Super AMOLED display of the Samsung Focus – it literally shines brightly over the Quantum. Granted that the two share the same WVGA (480 x 800) resolution, the ample real estate with the Focus is preferred over the 3.5” TFT display in use with the Quantum. At such a high resolution, it doesn't particularly make one handset more detailed looking with the eye over the other – even when the Quantum boasts higher pixel density on paper. Though, the distinguishable difference is found with the color production from the Focus as it displays richer and more saturated colors over the Quantum. Furthermore, viewing angles aren't a problem for the Focus which makes it more superior to use in direct sunlight. But with the Quantum, the color black has a slight smokey look to it versus the pure black level exhibited with the Focus. Regardless of that, their touchscreens are more than ideal in accurately registering all of our touches.

Even though both utilize touch sensitive buttons beneath their displays, some would assume that the dedicated home button with the LG Quantum would be preferred, but it unsurprisingly doesn't offer anything advantageous seeing it's difficult to feel out. Nonetheless, we didn't experience any issues accidentally pressing any of them.

For all the other physical buttons clinging onto the sides of both devices, the ones on the Samsung Focus as a whole are more distinctive and offer a reasonable amount of feedback when pressed. We aren't particularly fond of the recessed buttons with the LG Quantum seeing that they can blend into the surrounding surface – which makes it a nightmare to feel out with our fingers. Of course, one of the biggest differentiator here is the physical QWERTY keyboard on the LG Quantum, which may be the preferred typing solution for some. While the keyboard is fine for the most part, we feel that the on-screen QWERTY of the Focus is also spacious enough and easy to use.

LG Quantum 360-degree View:

Samsung Focus 360-degree View:

Interface & Functionality:

From what we can gather thus far between all the existing Windows Phone 7 devices we've reviewed, they all exhibit a high level platform experience that makes speed and responsiveness its utmost priority. And that's exactly what we're presented with between the LG Quantum and Samsung Focus as the two operate at a blistering rate thanks to their peppy 1GHz processors in tow. The level of personalization remains the same with the option of changing the color theme and rearranging the home screen tiles to your liking. However, the one quirk that somewhat handicaps the LG Quantum is the fact that Windows Phone 7, as a whole, isn't optimized just yet to be used in landscape. Meaning, some apps will rotate accordingly to the orientation, while others simply are stuck in portrait despite the keyboard being opened and exposed on the Quantum.

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Messaging oriented users might quickly gravitate towards the LG Quantum in a heart beat since it packs a physical keyboard, but you'd be surprised how well the on-screen virtual ones work with Windows Phone 7 as a whole. With its spacious confines, the Samsung Focus proves its versatility in meeting the stringent demands of heavy text messengers – thanks partly to the responsive keyboard it has to offer. Needless to say that the same can be said about the LG Quantum, but the landscape option with the Focus just makes it easier to speed type without any worries. In the end, both devices are more than conducive in providing a stellar messaging experience that's not held back by many flaws.

Internet and Connectivity:

From what we've experienced thus far, Windows Phone 7 establishes itself as a highly fine tuned operating system that sheds all doubts about its web browsing capabilities. Using Internet Explorer on both devices, we're enthralled by the level of fluidity it radiates in scrolling smoothly around complex web pages. In fact, it's one of the most responsive web browsers we've checked out as even the most subtle flick or finger gesture will scroll the page accordingly. However, the only thing different between the LG Quantum and Samsung Focus in this department happens to be their screen sizes. With the Focus and its larger display, you're just able to see things a bit better – aside from that, they're equally similar in performance.

You can't go wrong choosing either device to be your international road companion since they're quad-band and tri-band UMTS devices. They'll still work in most places around the globe, but in the event you're not getting fast enough data speeds, you can always switch on their 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi to get acceptable connection speeds. In addition, they both feature Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR to get a wide range of wireless devices to connect to them.

Camera & Multimedia:

The 5-megapixel cameras of both handsets are able to deliver some pretty looking pictures that are filled with a healthy amount of detail and color. With outdoor shots, you'd have to meticulously look closer at photos to gauge which one offers the better quality. In fact, both produce some dynamic looking images in conditions where lighting is optimal – but upon closer inspection, the Samsung Focus is able to minutely capture more fine detail. Additionally, color production with the Focus is higher with its deep and vibrant looking colors. It's not to say that the LG Quantum doesn't take good photos, but you'll be required to have a keen eye to identify any difference with its results. However, it's crystal clear that the LED flash on the Focus is able to illuminate shots far better than the weak one with the Quantum.

Fittingly, we find both handsets capable of recording 720p videos, but the Focus captures them at a rate of 23fps – which is less than the 24 fps rate of the Quantum. Despite the small gap, there isn't a noticeable difference between the quality to make one smoother looking than the other. However, we constantly find ourselves fighting over the adverse changes in white balance and exposure with the LG Quantum. Moreover, there's a bit of artifacting going on with both handsets when they're used in low lighting situations. In the end though, we'd gather that most people will be more than satisfied with their output.

LG Quantum Sample Video:

Samsung Focus Sample Video:

Since the Zune experience is in full effect on both smartphones, it presents a visually different experience when playing songs – so there is no difference with their presentation. But cranking their volumes to their maximum, the audio quality from the LG Quantum's speaker becomes distorted and crackly in tone. With the Samsung Focus, it's undoubtedly the louder of the two, but its output is a little bit more tolerable with its blistering tones.

High definition playback is of no concern for these two high-end spec'd phones as they both are more than capable of playing a movie trailer encoded in DivX 1280 x 720 resolution. During its play, there were no visible signs of any slowdown or jerkiness – but rather, we're greeted to buttery smooth visuals that pack plenty of sharp details. And since we're talking about watching videos on a mobile phone, the larger screen of the Samsung Focus makes it more enjoyable over the Quantum – not to mention the stunning looking colors that accompany its playback.

With the Quantum, you're only offered 16GB of internal storage for all your needs – and that's it! Oppositely, the Samsung Focus packs a microSD card slot which accepts a card to boost the handset's 8GB capacity out of the box. However, it's worth noting that it's not hot swappable and that removing it at any time after installation can produce a disastrous effect on your phone, so be wary of this.


Seeing that these are Windows Phone 7 smartphones, they pack the usual set of core apps associated with the platform – such as Bing Maps and Microsoft Office. Out of the box, the Focus is packaged with Samsung's “Now” Hub which essentially aggregates pertinent information like the local weather, news, and stocks. Meanwhile, the only additional app found preloaded with the Quantum is LG's “Play To” app which basically provides DLNA services. So if you happen to have media content stored locally on the handset, you can use the app to share it with other DLNA compatible devices. Moreover, both smartphones offer their own unique stores under the Marketplace – which happen to be the “Samsung Zone” and “LG Apps Store.” When you enter them, you're treated to a handful of free apps you can download that are exclusive to the respective manufacturer.


Calling quality is slightly more acceptable with the Samsung Focus seeing that its earpiece produces some deep and strong tones that make voices sound audible. However, voices sound a little hissy through the earpiece and our callers stated that we sound a bit mute on their end. Still, that's better than the static noise heard with the LG Quantum which tends to muddy down our conversations. Luckily though, our callers had no problems in distinguishing our voice on their end with the Quantum. When using the speakerphones, the Quantum again is plagued with crackly and distorted voices, but the Focus is moderately better despite its strained tones at the highest volume setting.

Easily a no-brainer on this one, but battery life with the Samsung Focus is exceptionally better as it easily outlasted the LG Quantum in our testing. For normal to heavy users, they'll appreciate the capacity that the Focus is able to deliver as its battery life is more than above average over other smartphones. As for the Quantum, light users will get by a good day without recharging it, but similar to most smartphones out there, normal and heavy users will tend to keep it connected to a power source whenever the opportunity arises.

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If you happen to have $200 stuffed in your pockets right now and itch to get into Windows Phone 7 in a hurry, then there is no other handset you should look at other than the Samsung Focus to truly experience the best that the new platform has to offer. Of course the LG Quantum packs that versatile physical keyboard, but the spacious and precise on-screen options available on the Focus eliminate the need to even consider using a physical one. And when you factor in some of its other highlights, like the brilliant looking Super AMOLED display, streamlined form factor, and superior battery life, there is no arguing that the Samsung Focus shines ever so brightly on AT&T's lineup to make you yearn for it. Of course the LG Quantum is still a respectable solution, but when it's priced evenly as the Focus, there is no arguing where you should place your gaze.

LG Quantum vs Samsung Focus Video Comparison:

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