Samsung Focus Review
Just like syncing contacts, you can sync your calendar from Gmail and Windows Live – but there is no love for other clients like Yahoo. The Calendar app, it'll allow you to see you daily agenda, which breaks down your schedule to an hour by hour basis. In addition, you can also jump to seeing the month view which will display in text some of your upcoming events, however, it's very tiny and difficult to make out – so clicking the specific date will get you to see it a bit better. When it comes down to adding a new appointment, it offers all the bare essentials like the location, time, and reminder. Plus, your appointments are color coded between your synced calendars to provide a little bit of organization when viewing your entire calendar. Although Windows Phone 7 might be more in line as a consumer end product right now, it still manages to retain some elements geared for business customers with its ability to setup Exchange Server on the device.
Following to the tooth with its overall responsive nature, we are happy to say that the messaging experience on the Focus is a fantastic one – even more when it's well endowed with some real estate for your fingers. You won't have to worry about getting confused with lengthy conversations when messaging someone because they are displayed in threaded view. We particularly adore the responsive and accurate feel of the on-screen keyboard – both portrait and landscape. However, buttons are all evenly sized and the landscape option doesn't take advantage of the extra room. Nevertheless, speedy typers will in fact jump for joy with its quick response as you begin typing – which even will present you some word options above the keyboard in its attempt to figure out what you're typing. Auto-correct is on board and we were more than amazed to find it working extremely well as we casually typed something up. When you think about some of the best on-screen keyboards out there, the one found with Windows Phone 7 is definitely up there as it'll perfectly adjust to the needs of any heavy users out there.
Email setup is pretty much a simple process nowadays with most modern mobile platforms since you'll only be required to provide an email address and password for it to set up. We were able to get some generic clients to load up without any problems, but others like our PhoneArena email, require additional information like server addresses to complete. For starters, there is no unified or universal inbox, but all your email accounts are placed in the homescreen with their tiles. If you happen to receive a message, it'll display the amount of unread messages in their respective tiles. Additionally, emails aren't displayed in threaded view, so that means you'll have to look through some long lists for any backtracking of conversations. When clicking to the left of an email, it initiates the process of selecting multiple emails, which can then be moved or deleted. Of course you can do the same thing when you actually click and read it, but this does present a good way of getting rid of multiple ones. Aside from those items, the experience is pretty much what you would expect it to be.
If there is one item that's sorely missing with the platform, it has to be an integrated instant messaging client. In fact, there isn't even one for Windows Live Messenger, which is something that one would expect from a Microsoft-built platform. However, it's worth assuming for right now that some kind of third party one will most likely become available in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. But from a stock experience point of view, it's almost hard to see an always connected platform like Windows Phone 7 to omit one.
Connectivity & Data:
The Samsung Focus won't disappoint world travelers since it's a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz) and tri-bands UMTS (850/1900/2100MHz) device – meaning that it'll work in a majority of locations around the globe. If you happen to find yourself in a sticky predicament where you're at a loss with connectivity, the Focus also features Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, and aGPS.
Pocket Internet Explorer was never a major hit in the Windows Mobile scene, and at the same time, its age was exposed thanks to the eclectic mix of feature that competing mobile browsers exhibited. However, this isn't your ordinary Internet Explorer since it offers one of the most satisfying experiences to date that we have witnessed. Although it might not have Flash support from the onset, Internet Explorer blows away most of the competition in terms of responsiveness, fluidity, and rendering. We are just utterly amazed at how quick it's able to load pages and execute kinetic scrolling without any hint of slowdown whatsoever. Multi-touch gestures are naturally in place to cap the experience so that you can zoom in or out via pinching motions. With WVGA resolution on board, the smallest of text is easily legible with its 4” display. At the same time, you can load up to 6 different tabs which will load content in the background in real time. It's hands down one of the most gratifying web experiences we've seen in a phone.