SAMSUNG Focus 2 Review

You are currently viewing SAMSUNG Focus 2 Review

In this article, I give you my Samsung Focus 2 review with specs included. This is the second-generation Samsung Focus Windows Phone on AT&T and it’s also the first Samsung Windows Phone to have LTE. I got it for only $50 with a contract.

Samsung Focus 2 was released on the market by AT&T for $49.99 MSRP with a contract making it obviously very affordable. It has mid-range specs, you’re not gonna get top-of-the-line stuff for that price.

It’s got a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, not Super AMOLED plus. Resolution of course is 800 by 480 pixels because currently with Windows Phone 7.5 Mango that’s what you get for resolution. There are no options in the operating system for other resolutions. That option came later with newer Windows Phones.

Screenshot 2024 02 10 184455

The Samsung Focus 2 boasts a 1.4 gigahertz Snapdragon S2 second-generation CPU, a common feature among phones within the Windows Phone platform over the past six months. Adhering to the Windows Phone style, the device features the usual three capacitive buttons on the front panel, along with a video chat camera, light sensor, and proximity sensor. Notably, the phone comes in a white hue with a glossy finish, which is both aesthetically pleasing and functional as it resists dirt accumulation. However, the glossy plastic exterior makes the device prone to slipping.

Accentuating the device’s design is a metal trim that wraps around its edges, reminiscent of the Samsung Blaze on T-Mobile. Positioned at the rear is a five-megapixel camera accompanied by an LED flash, with the speaker located nearby.

Screenshot 2024 02 10 184520

For photography enthusiasts, the device offers a dedicated camera button, a feature mandated by Microsoft for Windows Phones, adding convenience to the user experience. Additionally, the power button serves a dual purpose, allowing users to wake up the phone and launch the camera application directly from sleep mode, enhancing usability.

On the connectivity front, the Samsung Focus 2 includes a micro USB port for syncing music and other data using Zune desktop software or the Windows Phone for Mac connector. Notably, users can sync iTunes playlists with the device, provided the content is not DRM-protected.

Screenshot 2024 02 10 184534

The device also features a volume rocker on one side, with a notch for easy removal of the back cover, revealing the battery and micro SIM card slot. Unlike some predecessors, the device lacks memory expansion options, a trend observed across most Windows phones due to the unconventional handling of removable storage by the Windows Phone operating system.

In the Windows Phone ecosystem, removable storage and internal storage are treated as a single continuous volume. Consequently, once a micro SIM card is inserted, removing it may result in data corruption, necessitating caution when handling storage options. While the original Focus model included memory expansion capabilities, this feature was discontinued due to compatibility issues and potential complications arising from the integration of removable storage with internal storage. Despite this limitation, the Samsung Focus 2 offers a streamlined and efficient user experience, characteristic of Windows Phone devices.

The Samsung Focus 2 presents a conundrum with its lack of removable storage, a factor exacerbated by its limited internal storage capacity of just eight gigabytes, with only six gigs available for user content. This restriction severely limits the device’s potential for storing music, videos, and other multimedia files.

However, in terms of performance, the Focus 2 shines, thanks to its snappy and responsive nature, driven by a 1.4 gigahertz CPU that stands at the forefront of Windows Phone technology. The device handles tasks with remarkable speed, ensuring smooth operation of all applications, including games, and providing an efficient web browsing experience with its onboard Internet Explorer 9 Mobile browser.

Additionally, users benefit from the inclusion of Microsoft Office Suite, a staple productivity toolset, and the familiar and reliable Windows Phone keyboard, which offers audible feedback and impressive accuracy. The device’s seamless performance extends to app loading times, which are virtually nonexistent, particularly when utilizing fast LTE connectivity, as demonstrated by download speeds averaging around 12 megabits per second downstream and four megabits per second upstream. While these speeds may not match the peak performance of devices like the Nokia Lumia 900, which boasts download speeds of up to 15 megabits per second, they nonetheless provide a satisfactory browsing experience.

Windows Phone’s smooth zooming functionality is complemented by the Focus 2’s Super AMOLED screen, renowned for its vibrant colors and high contrast. However, it’s worth noting that Windows Phone lacks support for Adobe Flash Player, opting instead for HTML5 video playback. As such, the device doesn’t undergo Adobe Flash tests, but its display quality, coupled with its performance, makes it a compelling choice for multimedia consumption.

Nevertheless, the Samsung Focus 2 faces stiff competition from rivals like the Nokia Lumia 900, which offers superior features at a comparable price point of $99. The Lumia 900 boasts a larger 4.3-inch Super AMOLED ClearBlack display, renowned for its deep blacks and natural gradients, along with an improved camera setup. These factors contribute to the Lumia’s popularity and serve as a significant obstacle for the Samsung Focus 2, despite its competitive pricing.

In isolation, the Focus 2 would stand out as a worthy successor to the original Samsung Focus, offering commendable performance and functionality. However, its limited internal storage capacity remains a glaring drawback, especially when compared to competing models. A doubling of the internal storage to 16 gigabytes would significantly enhance the device’s appeal and address one of its most significant shortcomings.

The Samsung Focus 2 boasts a music-centric experience, particularly with the inclusion of the Zune software, making it an ideal choice for users who prioritize music storage and playback. The device offers a seamless and enjoyable music player interface, consistent with other Windows phones. Despite this, there is a sense of missed opportunity, as the limited internal storage capacity may hinder users’ ability to store a vast library of music on the device.

When it comes to call quality and reception, the Samsung Focus 2 performs commendably, with good call quality and average reception among AT&T LTE phones. This reliability in reception is a positive aspect, especially considering AT&T’s generally strong reception on LTE networks. Additionally, the device seamlessly transitions to HSPA+ for reliable reception in areas without LTE coverage, further enhancing its connectivity capabilities.

In terms of software, the Samsung Focus 2 offers the standard Windows Phone experience, characterized by live tiles that display dynamic updates and notifications. The People Hub serves as a multifunctional tool, combining traditional address book functionality with social networking integration, including Facebook and Twitter feeds. Furthermore, users have the flexibility to customize their device by removing carrier-specific bloatware and unwanted applications, a feature unique to Windows Phone devices.

The inclusion of AT&T’s proprietary software adds value for users interested in turn-by-turn navigation, mobile TV streaming, and other utility services. However, the ability to uninstall these applications provides users with control over their device’s software ecosystem, allowing them to tailor the experience to their preferences.

Gaming enthusiasts will appreciate the presence of Xbox Live integration, offering access to popular titles like Angry Birds and Splinter Cell Conviction. While the device’s speaker volume is adequate for everyday use, it may not deliver a truly immersive gaming experience due to its limited loudness. Additionally, users may notice a slight dimming of the screen during gameplay, which could affect the visual quality in darker environments.

Overall, the Samsung Focus 2 presents a compelling option for users seeking a Windows Phone device with reliable call quality, decent reception, and seamless software integration. However, its limited internal storage capacity may deter users who prioritize extensive music libraries or multimedia consumption. Despite these limitations, the device offers a well-rounded experience, particularly for users invested in the Windows Phone ecosystem and seeking a dependable smartphone for everyday use.

Alright, let’s delve into the intricacies of the Samsung Focus 2 and explore some of its unique features and functionalities. One notable aspect worth mentioning is the device’s display behavior, particularly in dimly lit environments. When engaging in activities such as playing Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell at night, users may notice that the screen appears darker than expected.

This phenomenon can be attributed to Samsung’s implementation of an extra-low brightness setting with their Super AMOLED displays. Despite adjusting the brightness settings to the highest level and disabling the automatic brightness function, users may still encounter instances of dimness due to this feature.

To address this issue, Samsung has provided users with additional settings options to fine-tune their display preferences. By navigating to the “Extra Settings” menu, users can toggle the “Auto Display Intensity” feature, which analyzes the on-screen content and adjusts the brightness accordingly.

While this feature is intended to optimize the viewing experience by conserving battery life and reducing eye strain, it may sometimes result in overly dim displays, particularly in scenarios involving colorful graphics or multimedia content. To mitigate this, users can disable the “Auto Display Intensity” feature and regain control over their display brightness.

Beyond display-related considerations, the Samsung Focus 2 offers a comprehensive suite of features and applications tailored to enhance user experience. As a Windows 7.5 Mango device, users can expect familiar UI elements and seamless integration with Microsoft services. With access to over 90,000 applications on the marketplace, users have a wide array of options to customize their devices to suit their preferences and needs. Popular applications such as Skype, Evernote, and IMDb are readily available, catering to various communication, productivity, and entertainment needs.

In addition to third-party applications, the Samsung Focus 2 comes equipped with Microsoft’s Mobile Office suite, comprising Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. This allows users to create, edit, and view documents on-the-go, ensuring productivity and flexibility in various work scenarios. Furthermore, the device’s Live Tile feature enables users to pin their favorite applications to the home screen for quick access and seamless multitasking.

The flexibility of the Windows Phone operating system extends to its customization options, allowing users to personalize their device according to their preferences. With intuitive controls for adding, removing, and rearranging Live Tiles, users can curate a tailored home screen layout that aligns with their usage habits and priorities. Whether it’s adding new applications or decluttering unnecessary ones, users have full control over their device’s interface and functionality.

In terms of core features, the Samsung Focus 2 offers a range of standard functionalities essential for modern smartphones. Voice command capabilities enable hands-free operation, while Bing Maps provides comprehensive navigation assistance, including location-based services and points of interest.

The device also supports Wi-Fi connectivity (including B, G, and N bands), Bluetooth, and GPS, ensuring seamless connectivity options for various tasks and applications. Whether it’s browsing the web, streaming multimedia content, or navigating unfamiliar locations, the Samsung Focus 2 delivers reliable performance and connectivity.

Overall, the Samsung Focus 2 presents a compelling option for users seeking a Windows Phone device with robust features, intuitive UI, and seamless integration with Microsoft services. While occasional display dimness may pose a minor inconvenience, the device’s versatility, performance, and customization options outweigh this drawback. With its comprehensive suite of applications, reliable connectivity, and user-friendly interface, the Samsung Focus 2 offers a well-rounded smartphone experience for users looking to leverage the capabilities of the Windows Phone platform.

The battery life performance of the Samsung Focus 2 when operating on LTE networks has proven to be commendable thus far. With its battery capacity rated at 1750 milliampere-hours (mAh), users can expect reliable performance throughout the day.

In typical usage scenarios, the device demonstrates the capability to easily last through a full day of usage. Moreover, with lighter usage patterns, it is conceivable that the device could extend its battery life to over a span of two days, showcasing its efficiency in power management.

However, it is worth noting that under heavy usage conditions, users may find it necessary to recharge the device by the end of the day. Nevertheless, with moderate usage levels, the Samsung Focus 2 offers a satisfactory battery life, with users likely to obtain approximately a day and a half of usage before requiring a recharge.

One notable advantage that the Samsung Focus 2 holds over its counterpart, the Nokia Lumia 900, is its swappable battery feature. This allows users the convenience of replacing the battery with a spare one when needed, thereby extending the device’s operational uptime without the need for external power sources.

Moving on to the camera capabilities of the device, the Samsung Focus 2 is equipped with a 5-megapixel rear camera that delivers decent image quality. Samsung’s expertise in camera technology is evident, as the device captures satisfactory shots with its 5-megapixel sensor.

However, in comparison to competing models such as the HTC Titan 2, boasting a 16-megapixel camera, or the Nokia Lumia series, offering an 8-megapixel camera with impressive imaging capabilities, the Samsung Focus 2’s camera may not stand out significantly in terms of absolute resolution.

Regarding video recording capabilities, the Samsung Focus 2 is limited by the operating system to recording videos at 720p resolution. While this places it on par with other devices in its class in terms of resolution, the quality of video recordings may not match those produced by devices such as the HTC Titan 2 or the Nokia Lumia series, which offer superior video recording capabilities. However, it is important to note that the Samsung Focus 2 still delivers satisfactory video quality, despite its limitations in comparison to higher-end models.

Additionally, the device features a built-in video player that enables users to play back recorded videos directly on the device. Furthermore, users can leverage compatibility with WMV (Windows Media Video) files, allowing for seamless playback of media content.

By utilizing the Zune desktop software or the Windows Phone connector for Mac, users can transfer videos to the device effortlessly, expanding its multimedia capabilities. Moreover, users have access to the Zune marketplace, where they can rent or purchase movies and other media content, further enhancing the device’s entertainment offerings.

The Samsung Focus 2 sports a 4-inch Super AMOLED display that provides an immersive viewing experience for multimedia content, including videos. Despite the relatively modest screen size of four inches, the Super AMOLED display technology ensures vibrant colors and sharp contrast, enhancing the overall visual experience.

Furthermore, the compact form factor of the device contributes to its portability, making it a convenient option for users seeking a more pocketable smartphone compared to larger alternatives such as the HTC Titan 2 or the Nokia Lumia 900.

In conclusion, the Samsung Focus 2 presents a compelling option for users in search of a budget-friendly smartphone with respectable features and performance. Priced at $49.99 with a contract, the device offers good value for users prioritizing affordability without compromising essential functionalities.

However, it faces stiff competition from the Nokia Lumia 900, which offers superior features and capabilities for a slightly higher price point. Ultimately, the Samsung Focus 2’s appeal lies in its compact design, decent camera performance, and competitive pricing, making it a viable choice for users seeking a reliable smartphone experience.

Get Best Deals is an affiliate. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Samsung Focus 2
  • 94%
    Performance - 94%
  • 93%
    Price - 93%
  • 94%
    Value - 94%