solid start forMicrosoft. The in commission logic has its flaws, frequently due to the lack of some basic facial appearance, but we found much to like about Windows Phone 7. There may be those who are wary and will hold off on export a first-gen device with a new logic, primarily from a company that hasn’t had the best confirmation in the mobile industry, Even if, Windows Phone 7 feels different and gives Apparatus a run for its money in the usability and CD departments. If the iPhone isn’t your thing, theSamsung Focus is categorically worth a look. The Samsung Focus will be available early November 8 for $199.99.
If you’ve handled any of the Samsung Galaxy S phones, then the Samsung Focus will look and feel familiar to you. Featuring an all touch-cover point akin to the Fascinate, the Focus measures 4.9 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide by 0.4 inch thick and weighs 4.2 ounces. It’s slimmer and lighter than the HTC Surround but also feels a bit more plasticky and slick. That’s not to say that the smartphone is fragile or cheap; in fact, the phone is well-built, but we wouldn’t mind considering some type of soft-touch close or metal parts on the handset.
The Samsung Focus really shines with its 4-inch Super AMOLED touch cover–a additional carryover from the Galaxy S series. Sharp and animated, text, Web pages, cinema, and video look categorically brilliant on the cover. We also found it open, as it registered all our taps and quickly scrolled through lists and straightforwardly zoomed in and out of pages. The sight has a proximity sensor, as well as a built-in accelerometer, but the user interface doesn’t permanently rotate with the phone, which is a problem (more on this in the User Interface part).
For text entry, the Focus offers an onscreen upright in both likeness and landscape mode. Despite its cramped looks, we were able to peck away at the keys and compose post honestly quickly and with smallest errors. We’d say it’s on par with the Apparatus upright. The upright has predictive text and depending on the task, the upright offers various shortcut keys. For model, if you’re entering an e-mail take up or Web URL, you’ll get a “.com” button or if you’re typing a message, you’ll get an emoticon shortcut.
Below the sight, you’ll find the three steering buttons–back, Start, and search. Microsoft requires these three buttons on all of its Windows Phone 7 handsets, but OEMs can make to order the style of the reins, whether they are touch-insightful, physical keys, or a amalgamation of both. In Samsung’s case, it chose to go with all touch-insightful buttons on the Focus.
There are numerous physical reins on the Focus, counting a number rocker on the left and a power button and camera admittance/capture key on the right side. Other components on the smartphonecontain a Micro-USB port and 3.5mm earphone jack on top of the device, camera and flash on back, and a microSD additional room slot behind the array door.
The Samsung Focus comes packaged with a wall mount, a USB cable, a wired stereo receiver, and allusion notes.
Windows Phone 7 is a exact and refreshing departure from previous versions of Windows Mobile. Microsoft in effect pressed the restart button and worked with a team of designers to start a mobile in commission logic based on a digit of principles, counting classiness and simplicity, typography, shift, and consequence, which we frequently saw all through this preview.
The change is at once noticeable as soon as you pick up the phone. Microsoft stripped away all unnecessary in rank (very near too much, in fact–the status bar showing array life, indicate might, and so forth goes into hiding after a link of seconds) and soft buttons, and made a Start cover that consists of “live tiles,” which are in effect dynamic widgets to your favorite apps, contacts, and hubs and also sight alerts, such as new e-mail and missed calls. You can rearrange the order of the tiles and take out them by doing a long press on the cover. You can also “pin” new tiles, but to do so, you must first steer to the list of apps (press arrow to the right of the Start cover) or the Public hub, find the item that you want to add, and then pin it to the Start cover.
Additional than the Start and apps menu, you will find the platform’s Hub logic. The thought behind hubs is to bring collectively related content into a single place for employment and interaction, and it really showcases some of the work Microsoft has done on relevancy, establishment, classiness and typography. There are six hubs in total–Public, Cinema, Games, Music + Video, Marketplace, and Personnel.
Surrounded by each hub, you will find a panoramic user interface with bold, arresting text speckled crosswise the top to identify different subsections (aka Pivots) that you can swipe crosswise and in some cases, a small related toolbar along the underside of the cover to help you go point tasks to the app.
Now, some might complain that this type of steering requires too much scrolling and can be overly complicated and admittedly, when compared to iOS andApparatus, this is right and certainly won’t be for everybody. On the flip side, we found it categorically wonderful to be able to do so many equipment from one place, without having to launch numerous different apps, so we have to give Microsoft kudos for thinking of this kind of establishment. We also very much valued the consistent user interface, since it made it simple to work each of the other hubs.
Overall, Windows Phone 7 provides a more lovely steering encounter than previous iterations of Windows Mobile, frequently from an aesthetic standpoint but in other aspects too. As much asMicrosoft all ears on the typography and making a chromeless user interface, it also concentrated on shift, and as you launch apps and steer through the different screens, you’ll notice that some of the transitions are marked by turnstile motions. It’s modern and fresh, but sometimes it can slow down steering.
The back and Start buttons did their assigned jobs of persistent to the previous page and Start cover, but we wish there was a way to bring up a list of your recently used apps like Apparatus does, since it’s simple to get lost once you start diving deeper into an app. In all-function, even if, we found the touch interface and all-function steering felt zippier than past versions of Windows Mobile.
There are equipment that could be improved, even if. For model, there’s only top bolt from the blue help for landscape mode. It works for post, videos and photos, the Web browser, and games. Even if, if you rotate the phone, the Start cover will wait in likeness mode. Microsoftsaid that user hard showed that customers were really only rotating the phone to type post, but were otherwise using the phone in likeness mode. But what about maps? What about when you’re listening to music on the HTC Surround with the kickstand open and want to see what song is before a live audience?
All equipment thorough, will Windows Phone 7 echo with consumers? We reckon so. It’s fascinating to note that numerous times right through the assess cycle, public commented on how they liked the user encounter on Windows Phone 7 better thanApparatus–both from a looks standpoint and user friendliness. The iPhone is still the one to beat in terms of ease of use, but in a struggle for simplicity between Apparatus and Windows Phone, we’d say the latter would win.
Along the same lines, there’s a touch to Microsoft’s declaration to crack down on third-party customization. From the very admittance, the company said it wanted to grant a consistent end-user encounter regardless of the phone or provider and in the long run, this will help make the transition simpler as users thrash devices or go carriers. This should also preclude delays when pushing out software updates, since each custom UI doesn’t have to go through hard to make sure it works with the new software. OEMs and carriers also still have the opportunity to add their customizations. It’s just a more devious deal with. For model, Samsung offers a Now hub, which acts similarly to the Endeavors Now widget on the Galaxy S Apparatus devices by providing ride out in rank and news and stocks updates.
We have to give Microsoft confidence for being able to acknowledge that its ancient OS wasn’t effective and taking a opportunity on rebuilding a touch from the impose a curfew up. The end consequence is a touch fresh, fun, and functional.
Early with the basics of the phone, the Samsung Focus offers quad-band world wandering, a speakerphone, talks mission, voice dialing, text and CD messaging, and the full range of wireless options: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, and GPS. The dialer app is austere and straightforward, even if to access it as well as other phone options (mute, lecturer, etc.) once on a call, you must tap a small icon to activate pull-down menu.
Like many other smartphone, Windows Phone 7 is able to merge supporter in rank from different e-mail accounts and shared networking sites, but it’s a bit top bolt from the blue in scope and capabilities right now. The OS draws from Facebook, Windows Live, Chat, and your other e-mail accounts for supporter data, and after setting up your device with these accounts, the phone at once pulls in supporter in rank.
Earlier, there was no way to filter the contacts–it was all or nothing–but Microsoft added a figure where you can now eliminate Facebook contacts that don’t exist in your other synced accounts (e.g., Outlook, Windows Live, Gmail), which makes your take up book controllable if your Facebook account is full of casual contacts.
We chose this choice and imported our Facebook, Gmail, Windows Live, and Chat accounts. The syncing administer was painless and happened in the background, but we finished up with numerous duplicates for the same supporter. It’s simple enough to link profiles, but with the digit of duplicates we had, it got to be quite deadly and annoying.
As we for a small time mentioned in the Steering part, the Public hub also provides real-time updates to your friends’ Facebook statuses and allows you to quickly like or add a note if you wish. You can straightforwardly update your own by tapping on your party card from the contacts list. For the most part, you can access most of the in rank you would see on Facebook from surrounded by the Public hub, but if there is a touch requires you to go further than the hub, you have to sign into your account via the browser, as the dedicated Facebook app isn’t available yet.
One other notable omission that might irk a lot of public is the lack of Chirrup integration. This isn’t to say it won’t be existing in the possibility, but as of now, it’s not supported at launch. It’d also be nice to have a Favorite category in the Public hub. The Recent list doesn’t quite cut it.
E-mail and calendar
Windows Phone 7 offers a diversity of e-mail help, counting the standard POP3/IMAP accounts and of way Chat. For most personal accounts, setup is a austere matter of entering your log-in ID and password, and we were able to sync up our Windows Live and Gmail accounts in a matter of seconds. Setting up Outlook requires a modest more in rank, such as server and field info, but again, we didn’t run into any harms here. That said, for Outlook accounts not connected via Chat ActiveSync, you must sync through the cloud (via Windows Live/Hotmail) in order to get your calendar and contacts synced to the phone.
We should note that you don’t have to have a Windows Live ID to start using the phone, but if you want to access the Marketplace or Xbox Live, it is vital, so you’ll most liable want to start one or log in, for access to apps at the very least. This will also back up your phone’s data to windowsphone.live.com where you can also deal with your contacts, photos, and use numerous tools to locate or wipe your phone in case it gets lost or stolen.
Windows Phone 7 doesn’t offer a combined inbox; a break inbox is set up for each of your accounts. The e-mail encounter is the same regardless of which client you’re using, and it’s prominently austere in advent, even if that isn’t a proposition of the app’s capabilities. Post are filtered by all, unread, flagged, or urgent, and also facial appearance a robust search gathering that can find keywords surrounded by the text of the message or surrounded by the e-mail fields. It’s also a treat that you can austerely tap to the left of a message(s) and press the small trash icon at the underside to rub out it.
You can configure the device to sync e-mail at different time intervals, ranging from manually to as items turn up. We expected our post as they indoors, sometimes previous to they even hit our real inbox. We didn’t have any issues download attachments, but be aware that at the start you have to manually sync your folders.
Even if you don’t get a unified inbox, you do get a combined calendar, with appointments color-coded by account. The calendar apps provides views by agenda, day, and month, with a similarly clean and minimalist view as e-mail. There is no week view, even if. Microsoft said it didn’t find it de rigueur, but we reckon it would’ve been helpful, primarily as you’re preparing for the work week.
You can also straightforwardly start new appointments using the related toolbar at the underside of the cover and set such options as a reminder, occurrence, and status, but we weren’t able to access our corporate index to add attendees, only those plotted in our contacts list. If you hear a assembly question for, there are austere icons for long-distress, declining, or responding to invites, and there’s even an choice to send a note to all the assembly attendees if you’re in succession late.
The Samsung Focus excellent:
The Samsung Focus facial appearance a brilliant 4-inch Super AMOLED touch cover. The smartphone has excellent feature, and the camera takes exceptional photos and video. Windows Phone 7 brings a fresh and friendly user interface, fantastic CD capabilities, and an improved browser.
The Samsung Focus terrible:
No copy and paste yet. Top bolt from the blue help for landscape mode. Xbox Live games slow to load. The phone feels a bit plasticky. No supervise over syncing for non-Chat Outlook accounts; must go through the cloud.
The Samsung Focus underside line:
Anyone looking for an alternative to the iPhone, but who wants better CD facial appearance and a more methodical user interface than Apparatus offers, should look at the Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7, which has all that plus solid performance and a sleek point.