It has good looks, great capabilities, and a brand spanking new OS.

- Michael Oryl , MobileBurn 

Reviews summary

8.3/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 8 reviews

The Samsung Focus was released in November of 2010 as a Windows-based competitor to the growing smartphone market. This GSM phone features the bells and whistles you would expect to find in a current-gen smartphone: a sleek and sexy design, multi-touch input, GPS and seamless integration with social networks and other mobile internet services.

Under the hood, the Focus has a single-core 1 GHz Scorpion processor with 512 GB of both RAM and ROM. The 8 GB of internal storage can be easily expanded by up to 32 GB with the addition of a MicroSD memory card, however, the phone's back panel battery cover must be removed in order to access the expansion slot.

Show more

If you are looking for a phone for multimedia use, the Focus can deliver. Its 5-megapixel autofocus camera includes a bright LED flash for great pictures in low-light settings and doubles as a full 720p HD video camera. For music lovers, the phone accepts a standard 3.5mm headphone plug and includes an integrated FM tuner. The Focus uses the same vibrant 480 x 800 AMOLED display that many other Samsung phones use, which is undoubtedly one of the best on the market.

While in many ways the Focus seems like another run-of-the-mill smartphone, the major benefit it touts is its ability to synchronize with much of the Microsoft software on your PC. The Office Hub package allows users to view and edit Microsoft Office documents while out and about, email can be synchronized with Outlook Mobile, and users of the Zune can add their music library to their phone similar to iPhone users with iTunes.

Its lithium-ion battery boasts up to 300 hours of standby time and 6.5 hours of talk time; however, in real-life situations you'll probably need to recharge every day or two. Conveniently, the Focus can charge and synch simultaneously via a standard micro USB cable, so this typically isn't a problem.

All in all, the main selling point of the Focus is its integration with Windows programs. For users who do not rely heavily on Microsoft software, the Focus is simply another bland offering in an ever-growing sea of smartphones.

Need to know: Samsung Focus

1. The Samsung Focus's AMOLED multi-touch screen is vibrant, beautiful, and highly responsive. (The Good)

2. The Focus integrates effortlessly with Windows 7, MS Office, and other Microsoft software packages. (The Good)

3. The Focus does not support Java-based applications at all. (The Bad)

4. With a single-core processor and only 512 MB of RAM, the Focus is a bit underpowered when loading or switching applications. (The Bad)


Specs summary

Screen
4"

The Samsung Focus's screen is 4 inches with 480 x 800 pixels resolution.

Processor
1GHz

There is a Qualcomm QSD8250 Snapdragon 1 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango (Update Available: 7.10.8107.79) operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera useful for video chat and self portraits.
Storage
8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1500mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1500 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 10 days standby time, 425 minutes (2G).


Prices (Where to Buy)


Online Buying Options

Samsung Focus I917 (unlocked)

from Amazon Merchant

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Samsung Focus Sgh-i917 No Contract At&t Cell Phone

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New Samsung SGH I917 Focus - 8GB - Black (At&t) Smartphone 3G 5.0MP Camera

from eBay

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  • Located in: USA

New Samsung Focus SGH-I917 - 8GB - Black (Unlocked) ATT Smartphone. LCD SHADOW

from eBay

  • Condition: New
  • Availability: In Stock
  • Contract: No
  • Located in: USA

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Reviews summary

8.3/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 8 reviews

The Samsung Focus was released in November of 2010 as a Windows-based competitor to the growing smartphone market. This GSM phone features the bells and whistles you would expect to find in a current-gen smartphone: a sleek and sexy design, multi-touch input, GPS and seamless integration with social networks and other mobile internet services.

Under the hood, the Focus has a single-core 1 GHz Scorpion processor with 512 GB of both RAM and ROM. The 8 GB of internal storage can be easily expanded by up to 32 GB with the addition of a MicroSD memory card, however, the phone's back panel battery cover must be removed in order to access the expansion slot.

Show more

If you are looking for a phone for multimedia use, the Focus can deliver. Its 5-megapixel autofocus camera includes a bright LED flash for great pictures in low-light settings and doubles as a full 720p HD video camera. For music lovers, the phone accepts a standard 3.5mm headphone plug and includes an integrated FM tuner. The Focus uses the same vibrant 480 x 800 AMOLED display that many other Samsung phones use, which is undoubtedly one of the best on the market.

While in many ways the Focus seems like another run-of-the-mill smartphone, the major benefit it touts is its ability to synchronize with much of the Microsoft software on your PC. The Office Hub package allows users to view and edit Microsoft Office documents while out and about, email can be synchronized with Outlook Mobile, and users of the Zune can add their music library to their phone similar to iPhone users with iTunes.

Its lithium-ion battery boasts up to 300 hours of standby time and 6.5 hours of talk time; however, in real-life situations you'll probably need to recharge every day or two. Conveniently, the Focus can charge and synch simultaneously via a standard micro USB cable, so this typically isn't a problem.

All in all, the main selling point of the Focus is its integration with Windows programs. For users who do not rely heavily on Microsoft software, the Focus is simply another bland offering in an ever-growing sea of smartphones.

Need to know: Samsung Focus

1. The Samsung Focus's AMOLED multi-touch screen is vibrant, beautiful, and highly responsive. (The Good)

2. The Focus integrates effortlessly with Windows 7, MS Office, and other Microsoft software packages. (The Good)

3. The Focus does not support Java-based applications at all. (The Bad)

4. With a single-core processor and only 512 MB of RAM, the Focus is a bit underpowered when loading or switching applications. (The Bad)

Own this phone?

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Reviews (8.3/10 Avg. rating)


An excellent choice if you're on the market for a Windows Phone 7 device

from Brighthand (5 years ago)

The Samsung Focus is a winner in just about every category. Though it's a bit bigger than I personally would like (I prefer more pocketable phones over those with ginormous cinema-quality displays), I do like just about everything about it.The display is truly gorgeous, the phone is fast and respons... More

The Samsung Focus is a winner in just about every category. Though it's a bit bigger than I personally would like (I prefer more pocketable phones over those with ginormous cinema-quality displays), I do like just about everything about it.

The display is truly gorgeous, the phone is fast and responsive to my every whim, and the battery life is great. The external speaker is something of a disappointment, but aside from that the Samsung Focus is an excellent choice if you're on the market for a Windows Phone 7 device.

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9/10

Pretty looking handset with its curvier design that makes it natural to hold

from PhoneArena (5 years ago)

If Samsung keeps on producing fantastic devices like the Samsung Captivate and Focus, there is no stopping them from creeping up to the top spot in the global scene. Even though they sport opposing platforms, the results in various categories are in fact relatively similar – and that's why... More

If Samsung keeps on producing fantastic devices like the Samsung Captivate and Focus, there is no stopping them from creeping up to the top spot in the global scene. Even though they sport opposing platforms, the results in various categories are in fact relatively similar – and that's why they're both wonderful solutions in the smartphone realm. However, consumers that are shopping around right now are going to need to weigh the benefits offered by both platforms since they have their own unique perks. Windows Phone 7 is the newer of the two and employes a straightforward experience that's supplemented by its consistent responsiveness.  On the other hand, Android 2.1 on the Captivate still manages to impress with its personalized look, equally responsive feel, and depth of features akin to any mature platform. All in all, you really can't go wrong with either of them!

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It doesn't really have any fancy features and isn't especially stylish... but it gets the job done

from Engadget (5 years ago)

The Focus is kind of the everyman of the Windows Phone 7 line. It doesn't really have any fancy features and isn't especially stylish... but it gets the job done. If you're in the market for a WP7 handset, here in America you don't have a huge amount of options. We prefer the Focus over the Surr... More

The Focus is kind of the everyman of the Windows Phone 7 line. It doesn't really have any fancy features and isn't especially stylish... but it gets the job done. If you're in the market for a WP7 handset, here in America you don't have a huge amount of options. We prefer the Focus over the Surround (for you AT&T buyers), but there isn't such a wide amount of differences between the two that either one would be a bad choice. The Focus is thinner and sleeker to some extent, though its plasticky build leaves a lot to be desired. Still, it's a solid, comfortable phone that works exactly as you'd expect, and if you're the photo snapping type, you'll be pleasantly surprised by its prowess in that area. At the end of the day, a lot of people will find that the Focus hits the sweet spot -- for us, it just slightly misses the mark.

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7/10

There are a few weak points that hardcore smartphone users may not appreciate, but those aren't the fault of the phone itself

from MobileBurn (5 years ago)

It's finally here. Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's latest mobile operating system has arrived and it's loaded on a handful of devices, including the HTC 7 Surround. The HTC 7 Surround is an excellent device that's going to attract casual smartphone owners and heavy multimedia users alike.  ... More

It's finally here. Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's latest mobile operating system has arrived and it's loaded on a handful of devices, including the HTC 7 Surround. The HTC 7 Surround is an excellent device that's going to attract casual smartphone owners and heavy multimedia users alike.

 

The Surround is teeming with top notch hardware. From its 1GHz processor to a 5 megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, a kickstand for watching movies in landscape mode, and good battery life, it's a device that no smartphone shopper should overlook. There are a few weak points that hardcore smartphone users may not appreciate, but those aren't the fault of the phone itself.

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8/10

It manages to differentiate itself from the other offerings solely because of its semi-sliding speaker and kickstand

from PhoneArena (5 years ago)

Based on our initial experience with Windows Phone 7, it's clear to say that Microsoft placed a lot of emphasis on its presentation – which is evident with its heavy usage of transition effects and dynamic tiles. Although it showcases plenty if stunning visuals throughout the platform, the... More

Based on our initial experience with Windows Phone 7, it's clear to say that Microsoft placed a lot of emphasis on its presentation – which is evident with its heavy usage of transition effects and dynamic tiles. Although it showcases plenty if stunning visuals throughout the platform, the constant theme of responsiveness reverberates throughout every aspect of the platform; from the smooth kinetic scrolling to the lightning quick pinch gestures. Sure it's still in its infancy and doesn't quite pack a deep experience that some of the other mature mobile platforms bring to the table. Nevertheless, it's a fantastic starting point for the platform as it'll easily attract those who are hungry for something new and stable. As much as some people might adore the various customizations found with other mobile operating system, the Metro UI in use with Windows Phone 7 is a healthy attraction for those who want a unique look.

When looking closely at the HTC Surround, which is billed as one of the first launch devices for the new platform, it manages to differentiate itself from the other offerings solely because of its semi-sliding speaker and kickstand. Its design isn't anything we've seen before, as we should expect from a company known for their intricate industrial designs, but the HTC Surround's design doesn't blatantly take away the focus from the real star of the show; Windows Phone 7. Still, it's nice to see a wonderfully crafted device radiate a stunning and quality design that will easily attract some people to its uniqueness. And since Windows Phone 7 is a platform rich with media features, it's more than acceptable in accommodating the needs of users in a wide array of multimedia aspects

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8.6/10

The Samsung Focus might not be the biggest and baddest device we've seen to date, but it shouldn't be this time around, because the attention is best

from PhoneArena (5 years ago)

t's rather difficult to say whether or not this is indeed a make or break opportunity for the Redmond based company – especially when they're sitting on huge amounts of money taken in from their PC venture. Placing that to the side, it's a sobering fact that Microsoft has been steadily los... More

t's rather difficult to say whether or not this is indeed a make or break opportunity for the Redmond based company – especially when they're sitting on huge amounts of money taken in from their PC venture. Placing that to the side, it's a sobering fact that Microsoft has been steadily losing visibility in the mobile space in just the course of the last 3 years. Sure Windows Mobile had some humbling beginnings in the early days of the smartphone era, but things change almost in a heartbeat. And unfortunately for them, they were unable to adapt to the rapid changes in the industry to keep the light shining down upon them – thus giving up precious market share to the likes of Apple's iOS, Google's Android, and RIM's BlackBerry.

Casting off all of their previous reputations, we're happy to say that Microsoft has done an impeccable job in becoming a relevant figure in the mobile space once again with Windows Phone 7. Naturally, there are a lot of expectations on their shoulders, but for something that's running on first-generation devices, the mobile platform quickly captures some noteworthy attention thanks to its dynamic presentation which is tastefully supplemented with some ridiculously fast speeds. There's no arguing that they have a hit on their hands, but it's going to take some serious refinements in getting the platform on par with the diverse offerings seen with other mature platforms. Of course it's not quite as complete in all key areas, but its level of presentation finally sheds that whole notion of using a stylus for navigation as it seamlessly adapts to an all touch figure.

Ultimately, the Samsung Focus might not be the biggest and baddest device we've seen to date, but it shouldn't be this time around, because the attention is best reserved for Windows Phone 7. Granted though it does offer some pretty decent hardware, such as the 1GHz Snapdragon chipset and gorgeous 4” Super AMOLED display, which does well in showing off all of the glitzy eye candy that WP7 has to offer the end user. This well rounded device might not steal the show with its hardware showcasing, but it's undoubtedly Microsoft's wonderful looking and adaptive mobile platform that places the spotlight on them. Well done indeed.

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8.6/10

The phone lacks advanced features in scheduling and business messaging, and it wasn’t even able to open my PowerPoint and Excel files

from Phone Scoop (5 years ago)

The Samsung Focus is a wonderful piece of hardware. The screen is superlative, among the best I’ve used on a mobile phone, and the build quality and design are excellent. The phone sounds great during calls, gets good cell reception and snaps fine pictures. Battery life could be better, bu... More

The Samsung Focus is a wonderful piece of hardware. The screen is superlative, among the best I’ve used on a mobile phone, and the build quality and design are excellent. The phone sounds great during calls, gets good cell reception and snaps fine pictures. Battery life could be better, but it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen by a long shot.

Windows Phone 7 is inspired and completely different than anything I’ve seen before on a mobile phone (except maybe the Kin, but that doesn’t count). But from a business user’s perspective, WP7 is going to be a serious disappointment, especially if you are used to Windows Mobile. The new system definitely puts play before work. While features like the multimedia player and the Xbox Live apps are mature and well developed, business features obviously took a backseat. The phone lacks advanced features in scheduling and business messaging, and it wasn’t even able to open my PowerPoint and Excel files.

What’s even worse for Microsoft is that other devices, notably the Apple iPhone, already have mature app markets and features in place, so many of the features that business users will need most, like perfect document editing and business-class instant messaging, are already available on Apple’s device, while Microsoft fans will have to wait for support.

So that’s my advice for business users. Wait for support. If you use your phone more for fun and games, for pictures and social networking, the Samsung Focus might be a fine choice. But if you need to stay productive and communicate with the rest of your corporation, Windows Phone 7 is not going to get the job done, at least not yet. Let’s just hope that Microsoft hasn’t abandoned its core constituency, business users, completely, because the phone starts with a fantastic base design, and I think business users would enjoy an option completely different from the iPhone and other interface designs on the market, if Microsoft can help them get their jobs done.

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The Focus has what it takes to battle the best smartphones on the market when it comes to specs

from MobileBurn (5 years ago)

After years of delays, Microsoft has finally stepped up to the plate and put forth a completely new smartphone operating system: Windows Phone 7. The Samsung Focus is one of the first devices to run on the platform, and it's a real charmer. It has good looks, great capabilities, and a brand spanking... More

After years of delays, Microsoft has finally stepped up to the plate and put forth a completely new smartphone operating system: Windows Phone 7. The Samsung Focus is one of the first devices to run on the platform, and it's a real charmer. It has good looks, great capabilities, and a brand spanking new OS.

The Focus has what it takes to battle the best smartphones on the market when it comes to specs. It is 10mm thick, features an auto-focus 5 megapixel camera with flash, and offers everything up on a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display. This part of the equation we know Samsung can handle - we've seen it all before.

But we all know that good specs alone don't win the battle, and luckily for Samsung, Windows Phone 7 seems to have the nuts to battle with the big boys on the usability and fun aspects of smartphone use, too. App support, however, is a sticking point.

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8.6/10

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