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Michael Crump Microsoft MVP, INETA Community Champion and XAML Advocate.

I recently acquired a Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 device from AT&T and wanted to share what I thought of it as an end-user.

Before I get started, here are several of my write-ups for the Windows Phone 7. You may want to check out the second article titled: Hands-on WP7 Review of Prototype Hardware.

From start to finish with the final version of Visual Studio Tools for Windows Phone 7
Hands-on : Windows Phone 7 Review on Prototype Hardware.
Deploying your Windows Phone 7 Application to the actual hardware.
Profile your Windows Phone 7 Application for Free
Submitting a Windows Phone 7 Application to the Market.

Samsung Focus i917

Phone Size: Perfect! I have been carrying around a Dell Streak (Android) and it is about half the size. It is really nice to have a phone that fits in your pocket without a lot of extra bulk. I bought a case for the Focus and it is still a perfect size.  The phone just feels right.
Screen: It has a beautiful Super AMOLED 480x800 screen. I only wish it supported a higher resolution. The colors are beautiful especially in an Xbox Live Game.  
3G: I use AT&T and I've had spotty reception. This really can't be blamed on the phone as much as the actual carrier.
Battery: I've had excellent battery life compared to my iPhone and Android devices. I usually use my phone throughout the day on and off and still have a charge at the end of the day. 
Camera/Video: I'm still looking for the option to send the video to YouTube or the Image to Twitter. The images look good, but the phone needs a forward facing camera. I like the iPhone/Android (Dell Streak) camera better.
Built-in Speaker: Sounds great. It’s not a wimpy speaker that you cannot hear. 
CPU: Very smooth transitioning from one screen to another. The prototype Windows Phone 7 that I had, was no where near as smooth. (It was also running a slower processor though).
OS: I actually like the OS but a few things could be better.

CONS:

  1. Copy and Paste (Supposed to come in the next update)
  2. We need more apps (Pandora missing was a big one for me and Slacker’s advertisement sucks!). As time passes, and more developers get on board then this will be fixed.
  3. The browser needs some major work. I have tried to make cross-platform (WP7, Android, iPhone and iPad) web apps and the browser that ships with WP7 just can’t handle it. 
  4. Apps need to be organized better. Instead of throw them all on one screen, it would help to allow the user to create categories.

PROS:

  1. Hands down the best gaming experience on a phone. I have all three major phones (iphone, android and wp7). Nothing compares to the gaming experience on the WP7.
  2. The phone just works. I’ve had a LOT of glitches with my Android device. I’ve had maybe 2 with my WP7 device. Exchange and Office support are great.
  3. Nice integration with Twitter/Facebook and social media.
  4. Easy to navigate and find the information you need on one screen.

Let’s look at a few pictures and we will wrap up with my final thoughts on the phone.

WP7 Home Screen.


image

Back of the phone is as stylish.

image

It is hard to see due to the shadow but it is a very thin phone.

image

What’s included?

  • Manuals
  • Ear buds
  • Data Cable plus Power Adapter
  • Phone

Click a picture to enlarge

imageimageimage

So, what are my final thoughts on the Phone/OS?

I love the Samsung Focus and would recommend it to anyone looking for a WP7 device. Like any first generation product, you need to give it a little while to mature. Right now the phone is missing several features that we are all used to using. That doesn’t mean a year from now it will be in the same situation. (I sure hope we won’t). If you are looking to get into mobile development, I believe WP7 is the easiest platform to develop from. This is especially true if you have a background in Silverlight or WPF.

 

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Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 6:28 AM Silverlight , WP7 | Back to top

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