Samsung Focus Review

In the PC market, Microsoft seemingly rules with an iron fist that still does not stand to be tested to this day since their products, namely Office and Windows 7, have become engrained into the everyday repertoire for consumers. Plus, they've been in that space for quite some time, and with Windows 7, it undoubtedly erased all of the unflattering after-thoughts of what the Windows Vista operating system brought to the table. In fact, they were able to swiftly change the perception of consumers regarding their PC platform thanks to their indelible determination to do right after receiving so much heat with their last desktop operating system.

Coincidentally, they faced a similar situation with Windows Mobile in the last few years after the iPhone was introduced and exposed some of the flaws with its interactivity. Unfortunately, Windows Mobile was unable to translate the experience from the desktop to a mobile device since it didn't feel natural – plus they literally brought the desktop feel to mobile; something that doesn't quite mesh together. Although Windows Mobile was a prominent figure in the early years of the smartphone era, it quickly showed off its age and lack of change after the rash of recent smartphone platforms started to rise.

Casting aside old habits, Microsoft decided that it was time to start from scratch and build a mobile platform from the ground up that would encompass the wide array of features that consumers want with a mobile device. Enter Windows Phone 7, yet another major mobile platform with big dreams, which is bringing its game to the table this time around to show off to the world what the Redmond based company is capable of achieving with their talents. Officially unveiled back in February during MWC, the wild ride has been long and the fruits of all their hard labor is now here for consumers to experience – unadulterated, filtered, and precise

Samsung is one of the prominent manufacturers on board with this wild ride which yet has any solid path to follow, but as we've seen before, they're no stranger when it comes to crafting wonderful smartphones. The Samsung Focus, priced at $199.99 with a contract, will begin to go on sale starting November 8th through AT&T and will provide customers the first tasting for the new platform. So without further ado, let's take a look at what this pretty-looking handset (and platform) has to offer.


Similar to the line of Samsung Galaxy S smartphones, the Samsung Focus exhibits all of those refinements we expect out of a high-end smartphone with this kind of caliber. Although its design doesn't necessarily strike a chord, since it doesn't break boundaries, we still nonetheless adore the overall look and feel of the device. Constructed out of glossy black plastic, the handset is extremely thin (0.35” thick) thanks to the Super AMOLED panel it employs while still retaining a sense of elegance with its chrome accented trim around most of its outline. And thanks to the plastic casing, it makes the somewhat larger sized smartphone still light weight (4.07 oz) feeling when held in the hand. Conversely, it'll easily attract fingerprints like no other while also being somewhat prone to some scratching when you place it into the unknown environment of your pockets. With the rear cover, it's still that same plastic material, but there are some angular cutouts and line designs that supplements its overall charming exterior. Construction wise, there is no arguing that it's still quite durable despite the less than exciting choice of utilizing a plastic exterior.

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You can compare the Samsung Focus with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

If it ain't broke, then don't fix it right? Well, that's the wise saying that Samsung decided to approach the Focus with since it follows accordingly with its 4” Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen. We've said it once, we've said it many times before, but Super AMOLED is by far one of the best display technologies on the market right now. Not only does it radiate some astounding and deep color tones, but it's supplemented with WVGA (480 x 800 pixels) resolution which naturally provides stellar picture quality. When stacking it up with the LCD display in use with the HTC Surround, you can easily see the vast difference in color reproduction with the Focus and its pure black level. Again thanks to the Super AMOLED tech, viewing angles on the Samsung Focus are perfect, but visibility in direct sunlight is not that good when compared to traditional LCD panels. Regardless of that, the eye candy it's able to exude will make your eyes melt. At the same time, it's responsive to the touch and we didn't experience any unusual happenings while interacting with the display.

We've checked out numerous handsets, which resort to using capacitive buttons, but the ones found on the Focus are spaced far enough from the display and one another to eliminate altogether any accidental presses. You'll find the back/previous button, Start key, and search below the display – and as we've noted, we didn't experience any of those annoying mis-presses with them. All in all, you've got a clean looking surface which doesn't have any hindering obstructions jutting out of nowhere.

On the left side of the phone, you'll just find the decently sized volume rocker which is also slightly raised and offering some modest feedback when pressed.

On the right edge, you've got the dedicated power button, which is still not as natural as most others that are found on the top side, and a two-level shutter key.

Checking out the top, the 3.5mm headset jack and microUSB port, which is hidden behind a sliding panel, are all snug and close to one another.

Flipping to its rear, the 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash are surrounded with a tasteful trim outline while the notches for the speakerphone are not too far from it. Removing the rear cover is accomplished by simply yanking it off from the bottom side – which then provides you access to the SIM card slot, battery, and microSD card slot.

Samsung Focus 360 Degrees View:



1. Random unregistered

Its a good review, I am excited for Windows 7 platform but sometimes I wonder if you put Cons just so its not empty. How can you list a "Not fully mature platform" as a Con when it is brand new, just seems odd to me. anywho I cant wait to see the phone in person!

3. oddmanout

Posts: 443; Member since: May 22, 2009

I wouldn't say its a con but its something that some might find worth noting. A new OS means they'll be taking somewhat of a risk with the platform. I actually thought it was good to acknowledge it but like I said... I wouldn't call it a con for the device itself. Then again, its not exactly a pro.either.

2. oddmanout

Posts: 443; Member since: May 22, 2009

Excellent review! PA has been catching my attention as of late. I just might stick around with site for my news.

4. KoldKore

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 21, 2010

Very nice review. Much better than Engadget's. I'll be sticking around on this site!

5. Xman unregistered

Engadget is Fully biased. Anything except iPhone is downgraded in their reviews. What baffles me is that they don't test the phone as the PHONE itself (antenna, call quality, display quality during daylight time). Phonearena is much better in terms of information of a review

6. Eingild unregistered

Nice review Phonearena. I hope the reviewer in this video gets promoted for he reviewed the handset very well. It's nice to know that Phonearena is trying its best to improve their site especially the reviews section. By the way, I saw the twitter account following Noah who recently left Phonedog. I guess Phonearena is also a fan of Noah. ^_^

7. jovel16

Posts: 59; Member since: Oct 05, 2008

Actually, I always have to be in the loop with our fellow friends about the latest news in the mobile world. Hope you like the other Windows Phone 7 reviews too. But let me say, I try to encompass everything without getting too in-depth in the videos. But in this case, it's fitting for a brand spanking new platform.

8. drewsadik unregistered

does it have a front-facing camera?

17. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011


9. lallolu unregistered

Please can one change the language like in iphone and android phones without installing another ROM

10. kawatwo unregistered

My contract with AT&T runs out Nov 15th. Can't wait. I hope the battery life is true that would make it perfect. My Fuze has been awesome but is starting to feel a little slow after watching all these videos. I'm sure copy and paste will come in the first update. IE looks decent. Thinnest Win7 phone so far with probably the best battery life and best screen. Can't go wrong.

11. iphone2 unregistered

Bravo Samsung!

12. uui unregistered

come on wp7 we need u to make 480 x 854 (widescreen) display phones.

13. lalaland unregistered

ohh i love it! the european one[omnia 7] is so mpliax hahaha anw.. i want to ask something... will this phone come to europe and especialy in greece or cyprus? please ansewr;/

14. lalaland unregistered

thx anyway

15. Kate unregistered

I love this phone - thanks Samsung. And I got unbelievable deals [just $0.01 for connections, and cheapest on the phone only option too] from i love it!

16. Kyle Plante unregistered

first paragraph of page 2 ..."without no problems" should drop the no. thanks for your website ;)

18. Misdaminer

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 18, 2012

I have owned this phone for over a year now, its a bit like getting dog sht on your shoe, you can still walk but it really stinks! Not the fault of the phone but MicroSoft really sucks. Next phone ... Android for sure.
  • Display 4.0" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB
  • Battery 1500 mAh(6.50h talk time)

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