Samsung seems to have its hand in all types of places when it comes to mobile platforms, and Windows Phone is no exception. With the Samsung Focus 2 4g LTE, their attempting to have a device that isn’t going to turn heads, but can’t be ignored due to its price point and features. Priced a $49.99, this device is looking to undercut the likes of Android and even Nokia’s prized joy in the Nokia Lumia 900. Taking it through it paces, we’ll find out whether Samsung has created just another Windows Phone device, or something that’s worth the bargain.
I’ts Not A Cheap Feel, It’s A Samsung Feel
The Samsung Focus 2 4g LTE feels like a Samsung device. That wasn’t very descriptive, but as any tech enthusiast knows, all that means is that it’s made entirely of plastic. Now, the plastic does have a shiny/glossy smooth texture to it that does feel quite good. in the hand. Even the size of the device feels compact and well put together in day to day use. My only gripe with the device is that it TRULY looks like a rehashed miniature version of the newly released Samsung Galaxy III.
As a Galaxy Nexus owner, I’m all too familiar with Samsung’s method of constantly making incremental or subtle changes to devices across multiple platforms, but I would have liked it if Samsung went outside the box and changed the design a bit more. I’m sure it wouldn’t have affected the price of the device. It definitely could have swayed a few Nokia Lumia 900 prospects into thinking twice about their purchase. All in all, it’s not a cheap feeling phone by any means.
Standard Windows Phone Hardware. Good Enough For The Budget Consumer
From a hardware perspective, the Samsung Focus 2 would seem like a device that might have turned heads a few years ago. That would absolutely be the case if it were running an OS like Android or IOS. The Focus packs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, and with that in mind, you’ll be rest assured that the user experience on a device with a 1.4ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon (S2) processor, 512MB of ram, 5 megapixel 720p HD recording, 1750mah battery, and 4 inch Super AMOLED display (800 x 480) is nothing but smooth.
If you’re a moderate user, you can expect about a day to a day and a half of use out of the device. Heavy users will have to keep a charger on hand as I was doing so every 8-10 hours. The 4 inch Super AMOLED display has vibrant and crisp looking colors. As with AMOLED displays, the colors can be a bit oversaturated at times and the blacks can’t compare to Nokia’s Clear Black technology. Thou for being priced at $49.99, one can’t help but feel Samsung isn’t ripping you off when it comes to the screen display.
The camera is one of the surprising highlights of the Focus 2. Details were prominent when taking pictures in good lighting situations, and even when needing flash to brighten up things a bit, there was very little drop in the quality of the photo. Samsung Focus 2 : 1 point, Nokia Lumia 900: 0 points :P. Video was just as refreshing as the framerate didn’t seem choppy whatsoever. The sound quality when taking videos was the only feature lacking in my opinion.
Even with saying all of that, it’s still just another Windows Phone device in terms of hardware. It’s not a bad thing as Microsoft requires these internal specs, but it doesn’t add any new features that stand out above the pack. Oh wait, it has 4g LTE !!!!
Same Software As Other Windows Phones Same Great Experience
As previously stated, the Samsung Focus 4g LTE is rocking an LTE chip inside of that all plastic. Being on AT&T, it’s 4g imprint in the country isn’t as large as one would hope, but it’s definitely getting there. It’s speeds are comparable to Verizon’s iteration of LTE, so for the price, Samsung is giving you your moneys worth. If you’re not in a 4g area, the device automatically switches over to AT&T’s HSPA+, which provides fast data speeds in the 14mps range.
Running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, we’ve become all too familiar of what this version of the OS brings to the table. Again, being priced the way it is, the user experience is nothing but PREMIUM. Now being a WP user myself, I may be a little bias, but one can’t argue Microsoft is turning heads and marketshare with its operating system. The user experience is buttery smooth and your grandmother, even great grandmother, could pick up this device and now how to use it within the first moments of becoming acquainted with Metro UI.
The only aspect of WP that is severely lacking lies in its third-party app integration. You’ll be hard pressed not to find an app in the marketplace that isn’t on any other platform, but the way the software implements them isn’t the best experience. Opening the apps take a few seconds more than the core apps, switching between them when multitasking causes some considerable lag, as well as reloading the entire app at times, making you lose your placement and patience. I have no doubt Microsoft will correct these issues in the future, but until then, it’s seems to be the softwares achilles heel.
Great Device And Great Price
Whether or not current WP users will be able to upgrade to WP8 is still a mystery, but if we get the green light in assurance, picking up this device is a must for anyone looking to get into the smartphone game. With a a price point of $49.99, above average camera, and packing that oh so sexy 4g LTE, brushing off this device would be idiotic if you’re not a tech junkie like myself. I give the Samsung Focus 2 4g LTE the thumbs up folks !!!!