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Samsung Focus S Video Review
      12/01/11 06:51 PM

The Samsung Focus S is part of a trio of new Windows Phone 7.5 Mango smartphones on ATT. The Focus S joins its smaller and more affordable little brother, the Samsung Focus Flash and the HTC Titan. The Focus S sells for $199 with contract, bur right now the carrier is discounting it to $99 with contract. That's a good deal for a phone that's a near twin to the high end Android Samsung Galaxy S II.

The Focus S runs on a 1.4GHz second generation Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU (Windows Phone 7.5 doesn't do dual cores, and they aren't really needed thanks to keen OS optimization). It has 16 gigs of internal storage and no microSD card slot (Windows Phone doesn't handle removable storage gracefully, as Samsung learned with the original Focus). An 800 x 480 pixel 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display keeps the blacks inky and colors hyper-vivid. It's a very appealing display and the rich colors are perfect for Windows Phone's Metro UI with its brightly colored live tiles, but you'll notice Super AMOLED Plus' tendency toward blue when viewing white backgrounds.

The phone is almost a dead ringer for the Galaxy S II, and it's both extremely thin at 0.33" and light at 3.9 ounces. It's lighter than the smaller Samsung Focus Flash, and what we'd call too light. The phone's hard plastic frame seems rigid enough but its light weight combined with a paper-thin battery door don't inspire confidence or gadget lust. The phone is also slippery and found it remarkably easy to drop (and I rarely drop phones).

The Focus S has HSPA+ 14.4 on AT&T's faux 4G network. That's the same tech inside the iPhone 4S, and download speeds were good at 3-6Mbps, but it can't touch AT&T's true 4G LTE network (which is only in 15 markets right now). It has the mobile hotspot feature and overall very good call quality.

Other goodies include a very good 8 megapixel rear camera and a front 1.3 megapixel camera, though only Tango supports it at the moment for video chat. Since Microsoft bought Skype, we hope it comes to Windows Phones soon.

Here's our Samsung Focus S video review. Our full written review will be out tomorrow.


Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

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