Focus 2

The other day AT&T pushed out the Windows Phone 8862 update for the Nokia Lumia 900 and now they are giving the Samsung Focus 2 and the Dell Venue Pro little attention with Windows Phone 7.8 updates as well.

The update process for the Samsung Focus 2 is rather lengthy and includes four updates that ultimately brings the Focus 2 to the 8862 OS version.  It also includes one Samsung firmware update.  The whole process takes about forty minutes and in the end, the update gives the Focus 2 multiple Live Tile sizes, more theme color choices, and lockscreen support for rotating Bing wallpapers.

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While some may have thought we had forgotten about the Windows Phone Central Photosynth contest, truth be told it was down right tough picking out a winner. If my count is correct, we had eighty-eight entries submitted over at the WPCentral Forums ranging from beach scenes to mountain landscapes to concerts to even a laundry mat photosynth. There were so many fantastic entries it was tough to pick just two from the lot.

But in the end, the two photosynths that stood out are....

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WPCentral's Photosynth Contest - your chance to win a Samsung Focus 2

Photosynth is a great Windows Phone app for capturing panoramic images and we want to see what you with the photography app. For motivation, we've got two Samsung Focus 2s to giveaway courtesy of AT&T.

Just go out and capture panorama images using Photosynth and post your best work here in the WPCentral discussion forums. You'll have until 5:00pm PST on Saturday, July 14th to submit your entries and from there, we'll pick the best two images to receive the AT&T Samsung Focus 2.

Now for the fine print.

  • Entries must be captured by Photosynth
  • Entries must be captured by a Windows Phone or iPhone
  • Only one entry per person
  • While you can edit the entry, do not crop the image (much like the sample above)

You'll need to register to participate and you can do that here. Once the entry period closes, we'll announce the winners as soon as we can. The last photo contest had so many fantastic entries it took a while to sort things out.

Good luck everyone and if you haven't installed Photosynth, it's a free app for your Windows Phone and you can find it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace.

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When it comes to cases, especially with today’s much classier looking phones, I’m not a big fan. Why cover up something that looks so great?

Well there are exceptions to everything and the Body Glove case for the Focus 2 (review) is one of them. As many of you know, I use the Focus 2 fairly regularly (though I exchange it with the Titan II and Lumia 900 often). It’s a great sized device, brilliant screen, fast and gets good battery life. Plus I like white, glossy phones. You can read more on my impressions here.

So why cover it up? Sometimes even I like a rugged phone and the Body Glove case is just excellent. For one, it fits very well for the device, a staple of all Body Glove cases from my experience. The holes are cut out very accurately, it’s not too thick, and it covers the important areas.

The back of the cover is smooth and flat making it ideal for surfaces (it won’t slide) and the sides have a grip texture to them, making it feel very secure in your hands. But due to the design, it’s very easy for sliding in and out of your pocket. Combined with the already small nature of the Focus 2 (it has a 4” screen) and the combo is a no brainer for carrying around....

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Amazon Wireless is offering AT&T's Samsung Focus 2 (here's our review) for only a penny.  The one cent cost covers both new accounts and upgrades for individual accounts after contractual and Amazon Wireless discounts.  The off-contract pricing is $399.99.  Whichever option you chose, free two day shipping is included.

The downside to the offer is that the Focus 2 is on backorder but expected to ship within 8 to 9 days.

 

Just to recap, the Samsung Focus 2 is a compact, base line WIndows Phone that sports a 4" Super AMOLED screen, 5mp rear camera, VGA front facing camera, 8 gigabytes of storage, is 4G LTE compatible, and has a glossy white finish.  You can find all the details here at Amazon Wireless.

Thanks, Corepc, for the tip!

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Samsung Focus 2 Review

Windows Phone Central's Review of the AT&T Samsung Focus 2

AT&T continues to build an impressive Windows Phone lineup. The Samsung Focus 2 is the latest to find its way to store shelves and joins the Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II as 4G LTE Windows Phones.

The Samsung Focus 2 catches your attention on two fronts. First, it's glossy white body sets it apart from the traditional black or gray smartphones. Second, the $49.99 contractual price makes it a very affordable Windows Phone that is just as capable as the $99.99 Nokia Lumia 900 or the $150 HTC Titan II.

We may refer to the Focus 2 as an entry level Windows Phone but that may not be an accurate description. Economical? Base line? Regardless of the term, the Focus 2 is really only hindered by it's smaller storage space (8gb vs. 16gb) when compared to the Titan II or the Lumia 900. Sure it has a smaller camera (5mp vs. 8mp) but the Focus 2 can give the Lumia 900 a run for its money with respect to image quality.

The Focus 2 may not appeal to everyone but if your looking for a low cost, nicely built, capable Windows Phone it's worth consideration.

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Samsung is back in...white...with the Focus 2 on AT&T. What do I think of it after a few hours? Let's find out.

For many of us, the original Samsung Focus (review) was our first foray into the Windows Phone world. And truth be told, it was an excellent experience. With it's 4" Super AMOLED screen, slick design, light body and decent (for the time) camera, the Samsung Focus set the precedent. Recent numbers also reflect that status with upwards of 90% of AT&Ts first generation Windows Phone being the Focus.

Today, AT&T and Samsung have released the Focus 2, a moderate update to the original design (check out today's unboxing video). Eschewing glossy black for the new hip white, dropping in a faster 1.4GHz CPU and adding 4G LTE are the most notable changes. Adding a more rounded design with some updated sensors and cameras are the more under-the-hood type differences.

So how does it stack up in the first few hours I've been toying with it? For $50 on contract or $399 off, the Focus 2 is a nimble little guy that has certainly caught my attention.

The feel of the device is really good in the hands albeit a touch slippery. The roundness of the device, while slick, makes it a joy to hold and at 4" for the screen size, it's a more natural fit. The chrome accent adds a touch of class and while the device is very plastic, it doesn't feel cheap. The buttons have an interesting layout with the volume keys to the left, power and camera to the right. While odd, it does make it less confusing than the Lumia 900's where they are all lumped together on the same side. Travel of the keys is good and they're tactile with no rattle.

The Super AMOLED screen is really brilliant but obviously not as good as the Lumia 900's. Still, it holds its own and it's great to look at while not getting to grimy.

Audio quality is moderate with very little distortion when maxed out. It's a touch tinny but not by much.

The camera is surprisingly good even at 5MP, in fact forgetting the loss of resolution, it's as good if not better than the Nokia Lumia 900's. While it doesn't really contain any advanced settings e.g. no anti-shake or panorama, photos are well detailed and pleasing to the eye. We do however recommend turning up sharpness and contrast a smidge more to make the most of it.

Any extras worth reporting on? No, not really. There are the advanced GPS settings (GLONASS) and Samsung's "extra settings" present but other than that it has the same wallpapers as other Samsung Windows Phones and their regular cheesy ringtones.

Overall though, we're impressed and like the Focus 2 a ton. It feels great in the hand, is fun to use and makes a solid addition to AT&T's lineup. I'm going to have little problem adding it to my repertoire of Windows Phones.

Check after the break for a few more pics of the device and a couple camera samples (compared to the Lumia 900)...

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Our first impressions of the new Samsung Focus 2 from AT&T

AT&T has yet another Windows Phone on their store shelves today. It is the Samsung Focus 2, a 4" Super AMOLED screened white Windows Phone.

And it's not too shabby.

We picked one up this morning at our local AT&T store and the Focus 2 makes a nice first impression. Measuring 4.79" x 2.47" x .43" and weighing in at 4.3 ounces, the Focus 2 is very comparable in size with its older brother the Samsung Focus (4.84” x 2.56” x 0.39” and 4.1 ounces).

The Focus 2 fits comfortably in the hand and has a compact feel, especially after using the HTC Titan II for the past month. Screen quality is as you would expect from a Super AMOLED screen, rich saturation and contrast. I'm partial to a larger screen but the 4" screen on the Focus 2 looks nice. I still have reservations on having a white Windows Phone but we'll see how well things hold up over the next few days.

The Focus 2 is powered by a 1750mah battery and moves along rather nicely with the 1.4ghz processor. The Focus 2 is fitted with 8gb of memory, a 5mp rear camera, VGA front facing camera, and is 4G LTE compatible. Now before you moan and groan about the Focus 2 only having 8gb of storage, remember this is an entry level Windows Phone. Plus with SkyDrive gaining momentum, you have a solid off-device storage option.

Overall, the AT&T Samsung Focus 2 makes a nice first impression. We're going to take the Focus 2 out for a test drive over the next few days and will get a full review up on the site shortly. With the Focus 2 running $49.99 under contract, we'll also see how the Focus 2 compares to the Nokia Lumia 900 (as well as the Lumia 710) to see how these two sub-$100 Windows Phones match up.

Stay tuned, there's more to come and after the break, check out our unboxing video...

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First out of the gate from CTIA 2012 in New Orleans is the Samsung Focus 2. The follow-up to the (wait for it ...) Samsung Focus brings a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, 8GB of internal storage and it's rocking a 1.4 GHz processor. And as was confirmed by the official specs earlier today, it's got a 1750 mAh battery. 

The Focus 2 actually is a tad heavier than its predecessor, but it's in a slightly smaller form factor. It feels decent enough in the hand. It's definitely got a plastic feel to it, which you'd expect from a Samsung phone. But, indeed, for an entry-level device, you're not going to be ashamed to pull this one out of your pocket. And it's always nice to see a dedicated camera button on the side of a phone.

Other items of note: It'll be available May 20 for $49.99 on contract ($19.99 on upgrade). We've got more pics and hands-on video after the break.

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Early today AT&T announced the latest 4G LTE Windows Phone to their line-up, the Samsung Focus 2. There wasn't much on specs available with the announcement but the Focus 2 is now up on Samsung.com with a full specs list.

The entry level Windows Phone measures 4.79 x 2.47 x .43 inches and weighs only 4.3 ounces. Comparatively, this is a smidgen smaller, thicker and heavier than the original Focus (4.84x2.56x.39 inches and 4.1 ounces).

The Focus 2 has a 4" Super AMOLED screen, 5 megapixel rear camera, VGA front, 8 gigabytes of storage, and a 1.4ghz processor. Everything is powered by a 1750mah battery.  On paper, the Focus 2 makes for a nice entry level Windows Phone.

The Focus 2 will be available in glossy white and will run $49.99 after contractual discounts. Look for it at AT&T on May 20, 2012 and you can sign up for email notifications over at AT&T's Focus 2 site.

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Although the Samsung Focus 2 coming on AT&T is not the most exciting phone out there for our more hardcore users, the device is certainly a looker with the glossy white and curved edges.

Microsoft's Ben Rudolph got his hands on the device about a week ago and gives it a thumbs up, noting that the 4G LTE and sharp 5MP camera make the device a good choice for many people. With a leaner design, typing is suppose to be nicer with no "hotspots" for hand-cramping and the 4" Super AMOLED screen should hold up nicely for most users these days, especially at a nicely priced $49.99.

In turn, he's thrown up a couple of photos of the new Focus 2 which shows off a nice design and we can even compare it to the original Focus.  Head to the Windows Phone Blog to see more pics.

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AT&T has announced yet another 4G LTE Windows Phone, the Samsung Focus 2 which looks exactly like the SGH-i667 "Mandel" we saw this weekend.. The Focus 2 will be available May 20th in pure white for $49.99 after contractual discounts.  The Focus 2 will run $399.99 off contract.

Spec wise, the Focus 2 sports a 4" Super AMOLED screen, 5 megapixel camera with 720p video capabilities, front facing VGA camera and is 4g LTE compatible. The Focus 2 measures only .43 inches thick and weighs in at 4.3 ounces.

The Samsung Focus 2 joins the HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900 on AT&T's 4G LTE Windows Phone lineup and presents customers with an economical entry point for the Windows Phone experience.

You can catch the full press release on the Samsung Focus 2 after the break.

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