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Samsung Focus S Review

Samsung Focus S

Posted: , by John V.


Interface and Functionality:

Donning the same exact Windows Phone 7.5 Mango experience, there’s nothing extraordinarily different with the Samsung Focus S, as it retains all of the lovable qualities of the platform. However, just like the Focus and Focus Flash before, it features Samsung’s Now Hub, which aggregates data like the weather, news, and stock quotes. Visually, we absorb a lot of information on the home screen thanks to the various live tiles on there, which seemingly complements the Metro UI theme it has going on, but also dishes up plenty of eye candy to stand apart from the competition. Overall, we adore the iterative improvements found with it – like its improved social networking integration, multi-tasking elements, and universal inbox.

Samsung Focus S is equipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango - Samsung Focus S Review
Samsung Focus S is equipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango - Samsung Focus S Review
Samsung Focus S is equipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango - Samsung Focus S Review
Samsung Focus S is equipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango - Samsung Focus S Review

Samsung Focus S is equipped with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Uniformity is a good thing, and in the case of this specific Windows Phone, its performance is charismatically identical to any other device out there. Tucking away a 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, it’s effective in providing the muscle power to deliver that usual peppy performance we’re accustomed to see with Windows Phones in general. From silky smooth scrolling to the instantaneous launch of apps, the handset is undeniably swift with its operations.

Increasing its display footprint over the original Samsung Focus, the messaging experience is obviously going to improve with the spacious layout of the keyboard. On top of that, the Windows Phone keyboard has one of the best auto-correct feature on any smartphone, thus, turning any mistake into a correct word.

Messaging - Samsung Focus S Review
Messaging - Samsung Focus S Review


With Mango’s presence, the email experience has been refined to offer a universal inbox system and threaded conversations. And of course, the setup process is simple as pie seeing that it essentially requires only our email address and password to automatically set up.

Not surprisingly, AT&T’s presence is felt yet again with apps like AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator, AT&T U-verse Mobile, and myAT&T. Besides those carrier branded apps, the only third party one preloaded is YPmobile.

Internet and Connectivity:

Joining the ranks of being an HSPA+ enabled smartphone, we’re very content with the fast data speeds we’re exposed to on the Samsung Focus S – thus, giving us fast downloads in loading complex sites like ours. At this point, we’re not all that saddened with its lack of Flash support, but rather, we’re comforted by its consistent fluidity with common functions like kinetic scrolling and pinch zooming. So yeah, we dig the engaging web browsing experience available to us.

The browser of the Samsung Focus S - Samsung Focus S Review
The browser of the Samsung Focus S - Samsung Focus S Review
The browser of the Samsung Focus S - Samsung Focus S Review
The browser of the Samsung Focus S - Samsung Focus S Review

The browser of the Samsung Focus S

Naturally, you can pick up this GSM handset and go just about anywhere around the world – seeing it’s compatible with many networks. Likewise, you can obtain HSPA+ connectivity in many places too to satisfy your web surfing habits. Finally, it features aGPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, 802.11 b/g/n/a Wi-Fi, and mobile hotspot functionality.

  • Options

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 05:45

1. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)

Fair score, I would say I prefer the design of the Lumia, battery life isn't exactly bullet proof, good WP7 phone though, of that's what your looking for.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 06:00 4

2. Birds (Posts: 1171; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

WVGA resolution is not a bad thing. So what if it has a 217 ppi. Its not like a dnm laptop which has like 75. So its better than nothing.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 06:18

3. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

yet again you take away points for screen res but its super amoled? i mean also you take away points for plastic construction, they had to balance the price between construction and the super amoled plus screen didnt they?

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 06:27 3

4. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

lol you actually put plastic as a con..plastic is the most durable material for a mobile device also if its a con here then why isnt it a con on every other plastic smartphones...talk about inconsistency's

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 18:12

17. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

i agree.. i think 8 is a little harsh when all they did was say good things and then two cons.. at least an 8.5

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 06:46 3

5. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

WOW. Plastic construction?
S II is entirely made of plastic and I didn't see this con.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 07:07 4

6. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

kind of shows how good the focus s is if they are putting ridiculous cons down

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 07:21

7. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

I love the Focus S. And at least they took the time to review it. But my whole problem with the reviews of the second generation of WP compared to the first still holds: Better camera, better screen, more functions, great experience, and yet the original Focus, also believed to be the benchmark for WP in it's day, got an 8.5. I believe that Phone Arena compares the devices to other available at the time, so the original Focus got that score compared to the Android or iPhone offerings of 2010/2011. If you believe that this Gen of WP's are inferior when compared to other smartphones on the market, than the glowing write-ups just don't support that. I gave the Focus S a 10 overall (pure biased review, of course!!) and I gave more cons than they did.

But an 8 is not a bad rating. Just seems as though if you have no real cons, an 8.5 like in the first Gen ratings would be fair for the Focus S, Radar, and Titan. The top end Androids and iPhone 4S would still be rated higher, so who gets hurt???

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 09:41 1

8. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

Hope you all do a Focus S vs Galaxy S II review.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 11:17

9. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

what would be the point. the focus S is the galaxy s2 with slightly different specs and os. they are both the flagships of their os and by same manufactuerer

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 12:51 1

12. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

Which would be why a comparison could prove advantageous. To compare two similar devices with very different operating systems highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each. Like any other comparison.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 11:29

10. Glim12808 (Posts: 394; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

Yes, I'm curious how close or far behind can the Focus S (with its single-core processor) hung behind the SG2 (with its dual-core processor). Of course, SG2 will win the shoot-out but still, I'm curious how the two, with their different OS platforms perform against each other. But I doubt PA will waste their time on this.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 12:54

13. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)

Well, last year or earlier this year they compared the Samsung Focus and the Nexus S and Captivate. So there's a chance; this could be the sequel.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 18:06 1

16. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

i wudnt say the dual core will outpace the single core... maybe in benchmark tests but in a real world experience wp7 is lag free and android.. well.. isnt

posted on 08 Dec 2011, 04:50

18. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

android generally isnt lag free but the gs2 is lag free and it has never lagged since i had it in may which is saying something because generally with android once you start putting lots of apps and widgets it starts to lag but not the exynos s2

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 11:44 1

20. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

It lags for me. Very minimal but noticeable. And I just got it.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 12:50 3

11. mikeystar (Posts: 17; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Im an android guy, But it seemed to me like you guys could have given this the same score as the s2. The only major difference being the processor. But Windows phones really do not seem to need dual core processors to run even smoother than android. So with that i would think PA would have given this an 8.5 or even a 9 like the s2. but either way the video review seemed really fair.

If windows phones continue to develop and become as customizable as android I may consider getting one in 2 years. I would however only jump ship if Microsoft works at providing a great gaming experience like it does with the xbox.

posted on 09 Dec 2011, 09:49

19. Phrozt (Posts: 9; Member since: 11 May 2011)

Yeah.. I think this author has a very clear bias of two subjects: Samsung and Android.

You are spot on with your comparisons of the S2/Focus S hardware, w/the clear conclusion of "well.. shouldn't the have the same score/pros/cons?" yet the author clearly shows his bias here.

On the other bias, you see his review of the titan:http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/HTC-Titan-Review_id2917

More hardware than the S, sturdier build, more perks in the OS....... Lower score??? And on top of that he openly advertises for Android in the Titan's conclusion!!!

"However, if you haven't decided on the OS yet, there are lots of competitive Android phones. For example, AT&T offers the 4.5” HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, plus there is a bunch of 4.3” phones. And, if you are looking for a really big screen, the Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65” one with 720p resolution, and comes with the awesome Ice Cream Sandwich OS, but you'll have to wait a bit, because it's still not offered by U.S. carriers Stateside."

John V., your fanboy is showing. Even your fellow fanboys (above) can blatantly see this.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 13:55 1

14. ReturningToNokia (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)

The rating given for this device is VERY generous. VERY.

What is interesting is is that this device has been on the shelves for nearly one full month, and NOW the review? I'm kind of thinking 'why bother' at this point. But, given that this device was not reviewed by all of the major tech blogs(and the ones that did review it, reviewed it weeks after it was in stores), I guess PA is no different with regards to the Focus S.

Usually, devices are given to tech sites, by the oem, BEFORE the device hits the shelves - you know, to increase awareness and sales - but not Samsung, at least not with the Focus S. Seems Samsung had more confidence in the Focus Flash than they did the Focus S.

posted on 07 Dec 2011, 15:27 1

15. mikeystar (Posts: 17; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

I like how you say this bold statement with absolutely no reasoning to back it up

posted on 10 Dec 2011, 11:11 1

21. henrickrw (Posts: 408; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

Applausse.... Nice Review.. This phone is sweet enough to have it for daily use. Not as good as my GS2, but I will consider adding it to my Hall of Fame in conjunction with the Nokia N9.

Nice Review...!!!!!

posted on 20 Jan 2012, 14:19

23. TheJudge (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 Jan 2012)

This phone deserves a higher rating. The review shows that. The numbers were lowered to reflect bias of the reviewer. Just look at the user reviews.

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Samsung Focus S

Samsung Focus S

OS: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) Super AMOLED Plus
Camera8 megapixels
Single core, 1400 MHz
Size4.96 x 2.63 x 0.33 inches
(126 x 67 x 8 mm)
3.90 oz  (111 g)
Battery1650 mAh, 6.5 hours talk time

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