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84 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Just Plain Rocks
How can you write about a phone that just plain rocks? Easily, of course! I've been using the predecessor to this phone, the Samsung Focus, since it came out in 2010. I have been nothing but pleased with that phone and so when the new Samsung Focus S was announced I wasted no time trying one out -- it was an easy sell after I used it for about 5 minutes!

Published on November 8, 2011 by Robert Stinnett

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Do not waste your money on this model.
NOTE. - I have this phone on AT & T Active since March 2012, ie 6 months of use.

Just one. - Bad - bad - signal reception (4G). Everywhere outside, in an area of perfect coverage, never got all stripes showed me good signal strength. Indoors, disastrous reception. 2. - Reheat in a moderately long duration call - and if it is long lasting - Total overheating...
Published on August 27, 2012 by Ricardo J. Oliveros

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows Phone has grown on me, November 12, 2011
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
First: This is NOT windows mobile. This is completely different. This new OS is on par with iPhone and Android.

I love this phone. So light and fast and the colors look amazing. 4G is so much faster than 3G. I had no idea it was such a leap forward.

I got the original Samsung Focus because I was interested in C#/.net development. I had an iPhone before it, and I sort of missed my iPhone for a little bit. But the WP7 OS grew on me. It's extremely easy to use, fast, intuitive, and clean. It never crashes. The 7.5 update added tons of new features.

If you're even a little interested in windows phone, go to an AT&T store or whoever your carrier is and just play with one. You'll see what I mean.

I've heard a lot of people saying Windows Phone is going to pass blackberry for the #3 spot soon, and I wouldn't be surprised if WP7 really gave Android an iPhone a run for their money within the next few years.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This phone is amazing!, November 22, 2011
Robert De La Poza (Elk Grove, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
Great hardware to run the next evolution of smart phones. Take the looks of the highly successful Android Samsung Galaxy S2, make it thinner and lighter, include a Super Amoled Plus Display, and have it run a highly optimized fast Microsoft metro UI. Windows Phones are just over a year old and they are already better than the much older Androids and Iphones. They are not perfect but overall offer a better way to use a phone. In November of 2011 Windows phones won the Operating System of the Year which was judged at the 2011 Know Your Mobile Awards.

The most important thing about a smart phone should be security, and that in itself should exclude any and all Androids. According to data from Juniper Networks in November of 2011, malware in the Android Market had jumped 472 percent since July of 2011. Unlike Microsoft and Apple, Google does not have a strict approval process in place for its Market. Web surfing with IE9 also offers the best protection against social engineering malware, according to test results released in August of 2011 by NSS. Windows phones use IE9 which blocks over 99%. IE9 left the scores of competing browsers in the dust. Google's Chrome, for example, was 13.2 percent, while Firefox 4 and Safari 5 was a 7.6 percent.
Windows phones are amazing and this phone really makes the Metro UI fast! For those of you new to windows phones let me briefly write down what I love about them.

1: Large Live Tiles! These tiles can flip and display information such as the weather in a city on one side and a Doppler radar image on the other. You can (with the some apps) customize your own tile to include pictures, text, and links to web pages. Tiles just offer so much more than icons and they are a lot more organized than Android widgets.

2: Xbox Live! With Microsoft's eco system, you can expect everything from email, to the PC, to Xbox to be blended together. Take for example the games Kinectimals and Fable Coin Golf. Those games allow you to transfer game info into the Xbox 360! You can also transfer your Xbox 360 Kinectimals to the Windows Phones. What I love about Xbox Live on the Phone is that you can see all the games your friends are playing via their Avatar and compare and compete. I don't have to for example load Angry birds to check out the leader boards; Xbox Live shows me the achievements for all the games! As a bonus you can watch your friend's avatars get upset when you have something they don't! The Avatars also perform some fun displays in Windows Phones. For example you can shake the phone and watch your avatar fall down. Lol. =)

3: Vision button! I love this feature. Go to a store such as Wal-Mart and press the vision button to find the item on the internet. You can then compare prices and or read reviews. It works as a barcode reader as well. The vision thing works great for games locked up behind glass that doesn't give access to a bar code.

4: Music button! Hear a song on the radio or at a club and press the button to have it found. You can then download it if you would like. Works like Shazam which you can also purchase in the app store if you would like.

5: Local Scouts! Now this is handy! Press the local scouts button to see what's around you. You can find places to eat and drink, see things to do, shop, and find highlights. Click on something and find all the information you need including phone numbers and directions. Directions can also be read aloud.

6: Speech: A lot of talk has been around Iphones Siri but let me tell you that Windows Phones have awesome built in voice features too. Hold down the speech button for example and say weather or weather in .... And it will show you either the 5 day weather forecast in your area or the city you asked for. Say text or call someone in your contacts and it will call or text them what you say. Say Open .... And it will launch the application with that name. When you receive text messages you have the option to have them read aloud too. It's simple works great.

7: People Hub: I love this feature as well. All of your contacts will list every possible way for you to contact someone in your hub. You can text, call, email, tweet, facebook etc. You can see have addresses, web pages, and more listed in the people hub.

8: Threads: Threads are cool. You could be texting someone on Facebook, then switch to texting their phone if you would like.

9: Groups: Group your friends in the people hub you would like. Create a family group, club group, golf group etc.

10: MS email: Create a email and have all your contacts and Xbox live information displayed on your pc. You can then from there locate your phone, make it ring, lock it, or even erase it. You can also check out your skydrive and Xbox Live information.

11: Calendar: Have your facebook and work calendar placed on your phone. Quickly let everyone know that you are going to be late for a meeting if need be. See what's going on even on your lock screen.

12: Zune: I love Zune. Yes you can use spotify if you would like, but I find Zune so much better. If you choose to pay a monthly fee you can listen to all the music you want. If not, that's ok because it will still play all the songs and videos you placed on your phone with ease. Just plug your phone into your PC and you can transfer all the music, pictures, and videos to and from your pc you want. When playing music you can see the artist, bio, and sort in a variety of ways. You can even play a playlist with the artist pictures on the lockscreen. =)

13: MS Office: This was better than I thought. OneNote is cool in that you have the ability to record a voice message, place pictures, text, and a subject line on a tile and pin it to your start screen if you would like. PowerPoint works perfect too. I could view stuff from my work on my phone. Word and Excel are not too bad either. =)

14: Search: I love the search button using Bing on the phone. I can use voice and talk away and find what I'm looking for if I would like. I can see images, web pages, connect with local scouts, see a mall in detail etc. Bing interacts with all the features of the phone. I can't see myself ever needing to use Google again.

15: Maps: I love the maps feature of this phone as well. I can get directions to practically anywhere and have it read to me if I wanted. The Map detail is amazing and it also displays traffic. As mentioned earlier, Bing has maps for malls as well.

16: Apps: This phone has plenty of apps now (over 40,000!) that can match most of what you can get on the older iphones and androids now. You can choose from just about anything including a contact barcode maker that someone can scan and import into their contacts for example. You will have plenty of free apps as well.

17: Picture albums: FB and Skydrive albums automatically load to your phone. You can also load your friends FB pictures to your phone as well. This is so much better than loading pictures every time I use FB.

18: Cards: Hold the back key and see the last 5 things you were in.

19: at&t: One of the cool things about this network is that you can place someone on speaker phone and use your phone at the same time. Your text messages are not broken up into 160 letter paragraphs either. =)

20: Camera: I love the 8mp camera on this phone. It takes good pictures and best of all you can access it when the screen is locked.

In conclusion this phone is a great and I'm sure will make any previous Iphone or Android user happy. It does so much more than what I briefly wrote about. This phone doesn't really lock up either; something I hear is very common with Androids. I hope this review helps whoever is interested in buying this phone or a Windows phone in general. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Best phone to date, November 15, 2011
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
this phone rocks, fast, smooth, and No lockups at all.
I was so sick of the android locking up all the time .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Focuses On Life, March 16, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
When the Samsung Galaxy S II line was released, I couldn't wait to hear for a Windows Phone version. What is great is that Samsung followed through and released the Samsung Focus S. I have had this device since day one but decided not to write a review because I felt I needed more hands on time. Remember, the best reviews are by those who have it integrated into their life. As for the review, I give this a 4 star review for many reasons.

Sound: 8/10
The call quality of this device is debatable. When using speaker phone, the end user does get echo/repetition that can get very annoying. Otherwise, it is pretty clear. As to the rear speaker, it is actually pretty load if you are in a quiet place such as your home or car. Of course, headphones or a portable speaker are always going to be better for listening when you don't get the luxury of silence.

Build Quality and Feel(without a case or skin): 7/10
The build quality is very good and the phone is really light. While the light weight is great, it does feel like you could crush the phone in your hand. Another gripe about the device is that it is made of plastic so it does get that cheap feel. Nonetheless, the giant 4.3in (10.88cm) screen is gorgeous and gets this section a 7/10.

Screen: 9/10
The screen of this device is unrivaled by those of the competitors. Yes, they might be bigger, but the overall definition cannot be matched. Samsung's Super AMOLED+ technology gives the screen life like pictures when viewed. I have yet to see any competitor match their technology. Even Apple's Retina Display won't compare on a tiny 3.5in (8.9cm) screen.

Button Placement: 4/10
I feel Samsung did a really poor choice in placing the power lock, volume, and camera. The way I hold the devices makes it so my index finger will rest on the lock button. I then end up locking the device when I don't mean to. As well, the camera key is placed that I hit it in that once in a blue moon. I recommend getting a case with sturdy buttons so you don't accidentally press it.

Camera: 8/10
The 8MP that is boasted on this phone takes some really great pictures and the other sensors on it are good as well. While it might not replace your point-and-shoot at home, it is good for when you aren't carrying your true camera with you. Overall, it doesn't stick out of the phone like the HTC camera which I personally have a gripe about.

Processor: 10/10
This device is powered by a 1.4GHz single core Snapdragon Processor by Qualcomm. Despite what others says, the Windows Phone OS paired with the single core processor is still faster than other dual-core Androids on the market. Heck, the OS and processor is faster than the iPhone 4S. Those who say that the single core processor is a drawback has never used one of these before. Whatever anybody tells you, the single core processor found here is very fast and does the job just right.

4G: 7/10
The device does deliver fast speeds over HSPA+ but it was a let down when it wasn't LTE compatible as well. If you get a good HSPA+ signal, you will be able to stream YouTube videos without buffer and load text based web pages in a snap. The antennas inside are great and does not suffer from antenna gate found on the iPhone 4. This feature though relies more on AT&T being good in your area than anything else.

Memory (16GB, not expandable): 5/10
While this does not affect me as much as other users, the actual formatted capacity of the device right now is 14.7GB. I currently have 400 songs, eight 30-minute videos, a good 3GB in apps, and left over with 6GB of space. The big let down is that Windows Phones don't support true external storage via a microSD card. So for those who have a lot of files and 16GB won't cut it, I highly recommend to go with a comparable Android model instead. If you can learn to curb your storage, it shouldn't be an issue. What is really great is that Microsoft offers 25GB of free cloud storage via SkyDrive so you can always exchange your files over Wi-Fi.

Battery: 9/10
With moderate use (30 minutes of calling/messaging, 2 hours of music, 2 1/2 hours of apps/games, 3 hours of general browsing), I can push an eight hour battery. With heavy use, expect 4-6 hours of battery life. With light use and battery saver, you can push two days of battery. For people looking for a phone, not an outlet, really consider this for your needs.

Windows Phone OS (7.5 Mango): 10/10
Microsoft really hit the ball out of the park when they re did the whole Windows Mobile into Windows Phone. Unlike other operating systems with a grid of icons, Microsoft went with the Metro interface where you have Live Tiles that display info when information is pushed to you such as the weather, messages, notifications, and much more. When you don't use an app as much, you can always slide to the right and scroll through the complete list of your apps. Microsoft also did one of the greatest things by integrating your life into the phone. I can go from texting a friend to messaging them in Facebook or visa versa. My XBOX LIVE is also integrated so when I unlock an achievement on select games, that gets reflected on my account. The best of all, Zune is integrated into the OS so those who have a Zune Music Pass (the new and grandfathered users), therefore all your downloaded songs can be played on here like it was a Zune device.

App Selection: 8/10
While the 50,000+ app selection might not be as big or great as the App Store and Android Marketplace, the Windows Marketplace has most of the top apps and games found on the others such as BBC News, Weather Bug, Translators, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and many more. One thing I do like is that there aren't many trash apps. While they might have 500,000 apps, there are many trash apps like those annoyance/fart apps, and others of the sort. So while the Windows Marketplace lacks a few key apps, it also does lack many of the low quality apps on the other two.

Overall, the Samsung Focus S is a great phone and those who need a phone, like the Windows Phone OS, or really need a phone that integrates all the Microsoft services into one. As of the Mango update, you have a total of Windows LIVE Messenger, Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIN integration via the People Hub.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely LOVE my Windows Phone!, January 12, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I've used Android, I've used iOS, I've used Blackberry, and I can honestly say that I like Windows Phone better. It is a new OS, so yes it needed time to catch up to the other platforms in terms of apps. However at the time of this writing, there are over 50,000 apps in the marketplace with a rate of growth comparable to the iPhone when it was at this stage. The number of apps is quickly becoming a non-issue and many of the apps are better quality and more integrated into the user experience. The social network integration is fantastic on Windows Phone. Post on a friends wall, retweet to your followers, update your status, and more all without ever opening an app, it's all built in. Of course if you want to use the Facebook, Twitter, or other app, those are there too, but you can't beat the built-in integration. Other high points: Zune integration, Xbox Live, Office. I was already a Zune subscriber (only $10/mo), so I can stream or download any song, anytime to my phone. I stream music on my way to work every day, put on a smart playlist, or play a new featured album. I love it! Xbox Live is awesome. Office is great to have as well. I use One Note every day, and I love that I can type myself a note at work online, and I'll have it right there on my phone when I need it. The calendar is phenomenal as well: Facebook events are integrated as are birthdays. It syncs flawlessly with Hotmail as well, so I can add something to my schedule and it's there online or vice-versa. I could go on and on about this phone, but I feel this is getting rather long. Get a Windows Phone, you won't be disappinted. Oh, and one more thing. My Windows Phone has never glitched, froze, crashed, etc. My prior handset, an Android, would glitch out and freeze so often that I would want to throw it against a brick wall.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, capable, and very fun to use!, January 6, 2012
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
The Samsung Focus S is easily the best phone or smartphone I have ever owned or tried. The Super AMOLED+ screen is gorgeous with true blacks that make the bright colors stand out all the more. I definitely recommend using the dark theme on this device to take full advantage of that. The 8MP camera is great for taking snapshots of my newborn son, and I love the fact that they get automatically uploaded to the cloud so I don't have to worry about losing them. I also use it to record HD video. The front-facing camera is a very nice plus and works well for video calls. A lot of other phones have only a VGA front-facing camera which looks grainy, but not the Focus S.

If you have a wireless network at home you can set up wireless syncing with Zune and then you almost never need to connect your phone to your PC (only for software updates). Podcasts, music, and videos get synced every night automatically while the phone is charging, and of course you can download items from the marketplace directly from the phone on demand, too.

The Windows Phone OS is the most intuitive and powerful smartphone OS out there, and like I mentioned above, very fun to use. Though there are less apps available than on Android or iOS, all the important ones (in my opinion) are available, plus a lot of Windows Phone exclusives. Having Office built-in is extremely useful. My wife and I keep OneNote notebooks in the cloud where we can access them from our phones as well as any browser. Shopping lists, family records...we actually even planned our wedding via SkyDrive! No more emailing attachments around or tring to find a computer so you can view/edit a spreadsheet or Word document. Other exclusives: Xbox Live gaming, Zune subscription support (also highly recommended).

This phone is amazingly quick with the 1.4GHz processor. Games and multi-tasking are very smooth. Battery life is also much improved over my previous phone (LG Optimus 7) despite the larger screen and faster speed. Also, this phone is ridiculously light-weight! At first when you pick it up you will think you forgot to put the battery in or something. This might bother you if you like a really heavy, solid feel in a phone, but I prefer it this way. Definitely makes it easier on the wrist if you're doing a lot of reading or gaming in one sitting and can't easily switch hands, such as while holding an infant at 2AM. :) I highly recommend the Samsung Focus S.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microsoft did their homework, Samsung made it shine, December 28, 2011
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I've owned this phone for two weeks and I can say that hands down, the Windows 7 mobile experience is the best out there as far as number of clicks to do want you want, look and feel, usefulness of the dynamic tiles, and ease of configuration. It also has the greatest ability to merge meaningfully with your desktop via SkyDrive and the other Office 365 applications. (If you don't use SkyDrive, you should. It is free with Windows Live and gives you a continuous, private backup of whatever folders you select.)

The OLED screen on the Focus S has a deep, eye soothing black, and the colors are absolutely vivid. Pictures, in particular, are very good on the Focus S especially when you use the "auto-correct" feature of Windows 7 that does a great job of white balancing for indoor lighting and increasing contrast for outdoor shots. Don't miss this feature when playing with the phone.

The overall weight, like everything Samsung builds, is in a class by itself as far as lightness. Compared to an iPhone 4 (which is a tank) this Focus S is so light that when you walk around, even in sweats, you don't feel it pulling your pants down. There's nothing I hate worse than feeling a phone or heavy object in my pocket while walking. I'll end up pulling it out, and then be stuck carrying a brick around with me. Which is reason enough, by itself for me to not seek out an iPhone or some of the gigantic HTC phones.

The media seems to enjoy bashing Windows Phones and love everything ever produced by Apple or Google. Don't be fooled. Every said how bad the XBox was when it came out, and look at it now. Read the reviews here and come to your own conclusions. The Windows ecosystem is a winner and time will prove that. Microsoft is not a company that is going to go away either, not that they need to do more to Mango to make it better. It already is. But, realize they have the wherewithal to stick it out and win in this space, and they will keep throwing money at it and making it better and better. Their app store, for example, gives the highest amount of money back to the developers. Higher than both Apple and Android. That is another example of the commitment they have to make this OS succeed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Device, November 21, 2011
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I have owned many phones in my lifetime and this is by far the most enjoyable phone I've ever owned. Compared to the iPhone 3GS, HTC Surround and iPhone 4 the Focus S wins hands down on screen quality, speed, ease of use, features and design.

The Super AMOLED is amazing and addicting to look at. Colors are bright, vibrant and blacks are truly deep, deep black. At 4.3 inches it is large enough to enjoy games and movies but small enough to fit comfortably in your pocket.

While some phones have dual core processors and still seem laggy, the Focus S is responsive and never lags. Windows Phone is optimized to run blazing fast on even 1.0Ghz chips and this phone has 1.4Ghz. Speed is never an issue.

The design is sleek, light and attractive. It's incredibly thin, even thinner than the iPhone 4s. The only downside is the flimsy, seemingly fragile battery cover. It never poses an issue but just has a cheap "feel" to it - but only when removing or replacing it.

Call quality is excellent. Every call I've made has been clear and loud, though I'm sure coverage may vary.

The camera is also above average. There is very little noise artifacts in low light. In daylight the pictures are excellent. The camera even has an HDR option.

If you're coming from iOS or Android and want a refreshing change from static icons and dull widgets, this is a great phone to make the switch with. Windows Phone may not have 500,000 apps but 40,000 is enough to cover everything you need. The UI is attractive, easy to learn and never gets boring to look at. The phone feels alive with live tiles and Facebook/Twitter/Xbox Live integration. Having native Office apps is also a huge plus.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best gaming handset out there but also a superb business phone!, November 16, 2011
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I'm a huge gamer and love the XBox 360 so having this phone was like a slam dunk for the XBox live games. I have Hydro Thunder, Rise of Glory, and Need for Speed. The graphics are superb on this phone as a gaming device but what blows me away is the ability to multitask during gameplay!! I check my work email, respond to texts, and run other apps and can easily switch back to resume my game! The battery life also does much better on this phone than Android or iPhone for games.

There are the other popular games too like Plants Vs Zombies, Angry Birds, and Fruit Ninja which all run much better than my iPhone did. There are so many other games I have just started exploring but it seems that Windows Phone must have done some XBox integration or something to make it so good.

I think overall this phone seems to rock as a consumer gaming device but also works like a champ for email, Office, and enterprisey type stuff when I'm at work.

Oh yeah, the Netflix app is the icing on the cake. I watched Tron Legacy in HD using the 4G network! SWEEEEET!

Still discovering a lot of features in this phone that my iPhone didn't have. So far I haven't found anything missing. It seems that Windows Phone is really far ahead of the competition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet phone, December 27, 2011
K. Boyer (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Samsung Focus S (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
I have never been a fan of Samsung products. I owned the original Focus and had several issues with it, so I was skeptical about the new version, but since the Titan was just too darned big, I when with the Focus S. I've been very happy with it. It's slim, the screen is gorgeous, the processor is speedy, the battery life is well within acceptable ranges and the camera is on par with other 8 mps on the market. It's not a game changer of a phone, but as far as a Windows Phone vehicle goes, you're not going to find much better.

As for Windows 7.5 (Mango), it's everything I've ever wanted in a non-iPhone. Enough said.
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