Don't Write Windows Phone's Obituary Just Yet, Samsung's New Focus 2 Is A Winner [REVIEW]

samsung focus weather

The Samsung Focus 2 4G LTE pleasantly surprised me. I’ve had it for about a week now and I don’t want to give it back. That’s how much I like it.

And that says a lot about Windows Phone. This was my first time using one for an extended period of time.

The 4-inch Super AMOLED screen makes it easy to read on and I loved how clear and bright it was. Surfing the web was fast thanks to AT&T’s 4G LTE. I didn’t experience any hang ups.

I only found a few drawbacks. The Focus 2 only comes with 8 GB of storage, which probably won’t be enough if you like to store a bunch of music and movies on your device. Luckily, you can add more storage with a micro SD card.

As with all Windows Phones, the app store needs a lot of work. There isn’t nearly as large of an app selection as you’ll find on Android and iPhone. I missed using SoundCloud, one of my favourite apps.

Still, those drawbacks are relatively minor, considering the Focus 2’s incredible price.

I can’t believe this phone costs $50. (With a two-year contract, of course.) If the iPhone wasn’t so ubiquitous, then I would be OK with the Focus 2. It’s a steal. 

The phone is a nice size and fits into a pocket easily.

Although the glossy finish did make the phone a little slippery to hold.

Compared to the iPhone, the phones look pretty similar. The obvious difference is the 4-inch screen on the Focus 2.

Side by side comparison. Samsung utilized all sides of the phone for buttons and switches.

Charging ports.

A camera button and the power button sit on opposite sides of the Focus 2.

Home Screens. The iPhone's Retina display is extremely bright, but the Focus 2's screen is pretty good too.

App Stores: Windows Phone still needs a better app selection.

Here is a great example of screen brightness differences. Samsung's looks dull compared to the iPhone.

Bing Maps has a ways to go. It is not nearly as thorough as Google Maps.

Watching movies on the Focus 2 was nice. Netflix looked great. The larger screen really makes a difference. Plus the Netflix app looks a lot better on Windows Phone than iPhone.

The Xbox Live store is an interesting combination of Game centre and the games section of the App Store.

The phone felt nice in my hands and was extremely light.

The camera was so-so. It's only 5 MP. Most high-end smartphones today have 8 MP cameras.

The Twitter UI was very cool and gave me a different way to interact with my tweets.

Should you buy it?

I think the Focus 2 is decent. It's a nice phone at a nice price that is light, bright, and super easy to use.

This was my first time really getting to know Windows Phone, and I found it fun and interesting. It's a completely different experience than you'll get on iPhone or Android, and I can see how that would be very appealing for a lot of people.

Still, just know Windows Phone's app selection is limited. And I wasn't a fan of the button placement at the bottom. Battery life wasn't so hot either, which is strange considering I've heard Windows Phones are supposed to last a long time. (The 4G could be to blame.)

As good as the Focus 2 is, I don't I think you should hawk your iPhone for it. But you're a first-time smartphone buyer, you won't be disappointed, especially considering you can score one for just $50.

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