The Samsung Focus

I spent more time with the Samsung Focus than any other Windows Phone prior to launch. It was the thinnest, it had the most eye catching screen and felt the most like a modern smartphone. It should, after all it’s lineage comes from the Galaxy S sans the Hummingbird SoC. Like the rest of the WP7 devices the Focus is based on Qualcomm’s first generation 65nm Snapdragon SoC.

The Focus is very thin but by virtue of its 4-inch Super AMOLED display has a larger surface area than the iPhone 4.


A cellular sandwich: LG Optimus 7, Samsung Focus, Apple iPhone 4 (from top to bottom)

Externally the Focus is made almost entirely of plastic with very carbon-fiberesque stripes on the back. The plastic construction makes the WP7 flagship very light, although some may find it too cheap feeling. The screen and the OS are what stand out about the Focus, not the physical construction of the phone itself.

Underneath the back cover you’ve got a microSD slot to expand beyond the integrated 8GB of NAND.

Along the top edge you’ve got a micro USB port with retractable cover, similar to what we’ve seen on the Epic 4G. This is much preferred to the cheap feeling dangling cover from the Optimus 7.

The three WP7 buttons are activated via capacitive touch. The buttons are clearly etched in the plastic and light up when touched. There’s a tasteful amount of haptic feedback when you tap them as well.

One issue that I’ve always had with the Focus is that it takes a ridiculous amount of time to fully charge. Over 7 hours. A quick Google search reveals that other Focus owners have had this problem, but not all. Microsoft indicated that the problem might appear with certain USB cables or wall charger combinations, but regardless of what I tried I had the problem. Buyer beware.

The LG Optimus 7 The Screen, oh the Screen
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  • omega12 - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    "Apple is the first company I've seen to take the pace of innovation offered by Moore's Law and pair it with an equally aggressive expected upgrade cycle."

    Last time i checked their hardware was not exactly up to date so I don't think you can say they are the kind that follows Moore's Law closely. Aggressive upgrade cycle they do have though.
    Maybe you meant that with each upgrade they usually change their core hardware? But then again that's hardly the case. I don't get it.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    I think Moore and his law need to die. This isn't even cpus we are talking about, and Anand even referenced the stupid law when referring to SSDs.

    For that matter, if they really were following Moore's law they would upgrade like every 18 months, not 12, and others upgrade like every 6 months. And those ARM cpus are not getting upgrades solely based on litho process improvements either.
    Reply
  • foolsgambit11 - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Moore's Law is often used a simple shorthand for referring to the rapid pace of technological innovation, and that's how it was used here. But given that, Moore's Law originally only said that the number of transistors that can be fit on a given size of silicon will double roughly every 18-24 months (Moore used different numbers at different times). So it applies equally well to SSDs. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    I meant from an end user standpoint. The typical PC upgrade cycle is 3 - 5 years, Apple's sales strategy seems to be to shorten that cycle fairly aggressively.

    The holy grail a decade ago was selling PCs like cars - a new one every model year. Apple has effectively done that. It's great for Apple's bottom line for sure.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Indeed, the car model-year explanation makes a lot more sense. People like getting stuff that is "new", it's an easy-to-grok upgrade cycle, and, thanks to technological progress, PC model-years mean more than cosmetics changes, which are what most car model-years are about.

    I'm wondering why most brands don't go with the yearly line-up refresh, probably towards the end of summer. I'm guessing PC companies still mainly see themselves as tech-driven, or even component-driven, which kinda explains why Apple is making a killing.
    Reply
  • Pirks - Sunday, December 05, 2010 - link

    "why most brands don't go with the yearly line-up refresh, probably towards the end of summer"

    That's because most brands are run by the Mototrolls and frobitches of the world.
    Reply
  • wyvernknight - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Wow, its pirks, the persistent apple-lover from dailytech. Long time since i read one of your comments! Reply
  • Exelius - Monday, December 06, 2010 - link

    Apple's hardware was pretty up to date when it was released; which was quite a while ago. The trick for Apple is that they underclock everything to achieve excellent battery life.

    Mobile hardware goes out of date pretty quickly; but I still wouldn't say the iPhone 4 is exactly ancient. They release one hardware upgrade and several software upgrades per year.

    If you mean stuff other than the iPhone, then sure. But I'm not really sure they need to be the latest-and-greatest; the MBP is still easily the best selling laptop in the world and when you compare the MBP to truly comparable laptops, it's not poorly priced. Try to find a laptop with high-res, quality 15" screen, discrete switchable GPU, i5 or i7 and 5+ hours battery life... The entire package is what's important.

    It's almost to Apple's advantage to sell slightly out-of-date components, so you buy a new one every year... Compare this with a company like Dell, HP or Acer where they release a new product every week, so the end-users know that whenever they want to upgrade, there will be a new product there for them to buy. With Apple, you try to time your purchase right after a major announcement.
    Reply
  • mfenn - Friday, December 03, 2010 - link

    The Youtube video on page 9 is marked as private. :( Reply
  • tipoo - Saturday, December 04, 2010 - link

    Works fine for me, but not in the embedded player. You have to double click it to open it in youtube. Reply

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