Samsung Focus i917

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Samsung Focus i917

Postposted on Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:53 pm

I got one of these bad boys to replace my aging i907 Epix. I chose the focus over the HTC Surround because of the larger battery, better screen and quasi-expandable memory. My local AT&T store did not have the LG quantum in stock so it went out of the running. The screen is gorgeous, even more so when compared side by side to the HTC surround. While I would've liked the HTC's superior speakers, battery life is king. The HTC clocks in at 1250mAh, compared to the Samsung's 1500mAh (still nowhere near the Epix's 1800mAh stock battery). The form factor is alright, I would've preferred it if the device was heavier, seeing as the device is lighter than it looks in my opinion. The device is thin, and feels even thinner than expected when held in hand.

The touch keyboard is still something I have to get used to and I have to resign myself to the fact that I can't really one hand type on this device nor could I pocket type. So far It's been ok, I would've liked it if they included Swype as well, but here's hoping to them adding it in the future.

Internet browsing is fairly good. No real qualms about it. Browsing is very fast and pages are rendered decently. I see no major differences between web browsing on this device as opposed to my sister's Captivate.

Zune sync is awesome; as a current Zune user/subscriber, the software recognized the device right away. I was sort of disappointed that I can't sync Zune channels to the device (channels are basically autoupdating playlists, for example I'm subscribed to the Billboard Top 40 songs) otherwise my most of my Zune Pass songs are also synced. One thing though is that certain songs don't sync for some reason, I don't what the exact reason is but I'm guessing that the DRM rights don't allow it to sync to MP3 players only and not phones (I've synced Zune Pass songs to my dad's Samsung Yepp MP3 player with no issues).

The marketplace is alright. There's a good number of games and a handful of useful free apps. The quality of said apps range from good to mediocre; case in point: the YouTube "App". Not really much of an app as it is a bookmark that points to youtube's mobile site. Then again, most YouTube apps just replicate this functionality, but it doesn't look good that it's basically a bookmark. Also, theres a bunch of flashlight apps, but none of them uses the LED flash as a flashlight.

One of the biggest cons for me is no local sync. This was one of the biggest selling points (to me) of Windows Mobile. Back on 6.5 and earlier, I could just connect the data cable to the computer and sync my calendar and my contacts with no problem. But now I have to sync to the cloud (which I did through live and outlook connector). It seems more and more of these phones are more dependent on the cloud. I thought nothing of this phenomenon when it occured with my mom's Palm Pre+ and My sister's Captivate, seeing as they're not made by Microsoft, but the fact that Microsoft did not implement this is greatly disheartening. Although I can see their competitors crying "ABUSE OF MONOPOLY! HERP DERP NATIVE SYNC HERP DERP ANTI-COMPETETIVENESS HERP DERP." Call me old school, but I like using local sync. My first PDA used it (Palm V) and my smartphones ever since have used it.

All in all, the interface reminds me of Zune, there's an amount of things that could be improved but all in all, it's a good try for Microsoft. There's a part of me that wishes it was more like WinMo 6.1, but I guess they'd need to appeal to more users who don't RTFM. I'm looking forward to bringing one device in for work, instead of my phone and Zune. Battery life is still in the air for my daily usage, so this may change in the future.

So, anyone got the phone and/or using Windows phones?
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Re: Samsung Focus i917

Postposted on Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:25 pm

Is the screen AMOLED instead of LCD? How is it outdoors, relative to other screens?
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Re: Samsung Focus i917

Postposted on Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:54 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:Is the screen AMOLED instead of LCD? How is it outdoors, relative to other screens?


AFAIK all the screens are AMOLED (at least on the ones that AT&T offers: Surround, Focus and Quantum). But Samsung steps it up by using Super-AMOLED, the same one used in the Galaxy-S phones. Can't really give you a first hand opinion on direct sunlight viewing since its been cloudy and rainy here over the weekend but other people's reviews of the S-AMOLED screen in direct sunlight has been favorable. But yeah, the screen on the Focus makes the screen on my old Epix feel like a dot matrix display.
Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - Intel i7 2600k - Corsair H60 - Win 7 Pro x64
16gb Corsair DDR3 1600 - Sapphire 7970 - Gateway FPD2485W
2x320gb RAID0 - 4x1000gb RAID5 - Antec Signature 850W - Tagan Black Pearl
X-Fi Fatal1ty - Logitech X-540 - RK-9000 - G9
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Re: Samsung Focus i917

Postposted on Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:11 pm

No. The Samsung phones are AMOLED. Dell Venue Pro uses a Samsung AMOLED screen. The rest are all LCD.
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Re: Samsung Focus i917

Postposted on Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:41 pm

I've had my phone for almost a week now and been using it constantly and I'd say battery life is better than I expected. My normal device usage consists of listening to podcasts at work (which consists up of to 7 hours), 30-60 minutes of visiting sites/checking email during lunch and internet browsing. More internet browsing and listening to music when I'm back at home which may reach up to 4 hours. I charge it before I go to sleep and the battery indicator is usually around 25%. I haven't gotten a low battery notification so far. I think that this is a moderate to heavy usage model and It lasts the whole day, which was my minimum requirement. If I use it less, I can probably extend that to couple of days. I'm hoping that there will be some extended battery options. The device could stand to be a little thicker and heavier in my opinion. As a result of this, I haven't really been using my Zune. I don't know if my touch typing has gotten better or the on screen keyboard is that good, but I've been noticing less errors when typing. I still miss one handed typing and blind typing, it seems that the Epix is optimized for one handed operations. Aside from the other complaints I have already addressed, my newest complaint is probably the lack of storage; I have 3gb left out of my 8+8 total storage. Good thing I can upgrade it. Also system/ringer volume and Zune volume are linked, which is kinda annoying since I like to have a loud ringer, but I don't my music to be loud. All these niggles are software based and can be easily fixed through a patch. With Microsoft taking charge of the updates, hopefully they'll be fast and often. Here's hoping that Microsoft stays committed to the platform. There's rumors around that a major update will come in January.
Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - Intel i7 2600k - Corsair H60 - Win 7 Pro x64
16gb Corsair DDR3 1600 - Sapphire 7970 - Gateway FPD2485W
2x320gb RAID0 - 4x1000gb RAID5 - Antec Signature 850W - Tagan Black Pearl
X-Fi Fatal1ty - Logitech X-540 - RK-9000 - G9
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