Samsung Focus 2 impressions: An elegant, affordable new Windows Phone

AT&T seems determined to make Windows Phone a success. It has launched more of Microsoft’s phones than any other wireless carrier and lately, they’re getting quite affordable. The Samsung Focus 2 is the fourth Focus phone to be released in the year and a half since Windows Phone came onto the scene, and it might be our favorite since the original. 

The first Samsung Focus is still a great Windows Phone and its sequels aren’t bad either, but neither the Focus Flash or Focus S really recaptured the magic of the original. Sometimes size does matter and by returning to its roots, the Samsung Focus 2 excels. Samsung has brought back the 4-inch screen and overall shape of the original Focus as well as its AMOLED screen, which helps the bright colors and dark blacks of Windows Phone pop. The nicely spaced haptic navigation buttons are also back. 

Though it’s not as thin and sexy as the new Galaxy S3, the Focus 2 merges the style of the original Focus with the new white and silver look of the S3, helping it look and feel like one of the best Windows Phones out there. 

Like all Windows Phone 7.5 devices, this runs on a single-core processor, added 4G LTE connectivity, a 480×800 pixel screen, and 512MB of RAM — basically, nobody will be buying this phone for its specs. But Windows Phone isn’t really about cutting edge processors (at least not currently), and the OS runs and looks just as good as it ever has on this new device. Later this fall, Microsoft will likely introduce Windows Phone 8, but until then, this is as good a Windows Phone as any. It’s also pretty cheap.

We got some heat from Nokia fans for comparing this phone to the Nokia Lumia 900, but with an AT&T release date of May 20 and a price point of $50, it could absolutely put up a fight against Nokia’s flagship. The Lumia 900 may look fancier and have a bigger screen, but it’s current retail price is $100 — $50 more than the Focus 2 will be. Nokia does have a lot of unique exclusive apps to its platform, which make it a very attractive buy, but on the inside, most Windows Phones are made equal. You’re not going to have any worse of an experience running the Focus 2, unless turn-by-turn navigation is your top priority. If you want that, you’ll have to get a Lumia or an Android phone. If you need the best camera, we’d recommend the HTC One X, HTC Titan II, or the iPhone 4S.

The Focus 2 doesn’t have any  magic special features or killer apps, but it’s a solid phone at an affordable price. If you’re considering Windows Phone, give it a look. Did I mention that it has 4G LTE? Don’t get a phone without it.


I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 — will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.