Samsung Focus 2 review: Taking it easy
The Samsung I667 Focus 2 for AT&T is the third LTE addition to the carrier's impressive Windows Phone lineup. However, in order to avoid clashing with the platform heavyweights - the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II - the Korean offering undercuts both in terms of specifications and price.
As you can probably guess, Samsung's approach towards its latest product to run Microsoft's mobile OS differs significantly than the aspirations of some of major its competitors. The Focus 2 is not meant to sell by the millions - Samsung has its perfectly established Android lineup up to this task. Instead, the white clad Focus 2 aims to offer an entry to the smartphone realm to all those people, who are still in the dark ages of feature phones.
Save for the LTE radio on board, there are hardly any surprises regarding the specifications of the Samsung Focus 2. Microsoft's strict Windows Phone hardware requirements, coupled with Samsung's large parts bin have resulted in a device, which despite being new to the market, is hardly unfamiliar.
Here is the full list of key features, which the Samsung Focus 2 has to offer.
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Tri-band 3G with HSDPA 21 Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps
- Cat 3 LTE connectivity
- Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS
- 1.4GHzQualcomm MSM8255Snapdragon CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, 512MB of RAM
- 4" 16M-color Super AMOLED display with WVGA resolution (480 x 800 pixels); Gorilla Glass
- 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and dedicated hardware button
- Front-facing unit for video calls
- 720p video recording @30fps
- 8GB of built-in storage
- Standard 3.5mm audio jack
- Standard microUSB port (charging)
- Wi-Fi b/g/n
- Stereo Bluetooth 2.1
- Mobile Office document viewer/editor
- Social network integration and cloud services
- Built-in GPS receiver, A-GPS
- Stereo FM Radio with RDS
- Comes with a Video call app and other custom Samsung apps
- Non-expandable storage
- No mass storage mode; Zune-only file management and sync
- No Bluetooth file transfers
- No Flash (nor Silverlight) support in the browser
- No DivX/XviD video support (automatic transcoding provided by Zune software)
As you can notice above, the spec sheet of the Samsung Focus 2 is business as usual. You get the standard Windows Phone 7.5 Mango fare, which, on this occasion, is wrapped in a good looking and compact package. Samsung have been careful to differentiate the handset from its competitors by outfitting it with 4" display.
The situation is no different with the list of the smartphone's disadvantages. They are almost entirely related to the limitations of the OS on tap. Surely, the built-in memory could have been more, but, we suspect, that the price tag of the I667 would have suffered as a result. Besides, the potential users of the device are not likely to care about many gigabytes of storage available to them.
As always, we are going to begin this review with a look at the retail package of the Samsung Focus 2, followed by a design and build quality inspection.
Editorial: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include all of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our office and test lab. The Samsung Focus 2 for AT&T is a US-only phone and it's unlikely it will be making rounds on the Old Continent. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the phone in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!