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  1. JohnMKeynes's Avatar
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       #1  
    My motive to try out the Windows Phone 7 was because I loved the UI interface when playing around with it in the store. I have to say also is that I loved my iPhone 4. I used it for everything. However I had been using the iPhone OS for about three years now. Just seriously was sick of looking at the same old screen interface.

    I just choose to try it now since there was so much buzz around WP7 mango and how it was going to bring up to par with iOS 4. So I figured I sell my iPhone 4 and get maximum value before the iPhone 5 comes out and buy a used Samsung Focus. Then just wait it out and see what Mango devices come out.

    I purchased my Samsung Focus in mind condition for $160 off of Craigslist(which is a story in itself).

    I played around with the phone almost all day. I currently have the the 7390 build. I'll just go ahead and provide quick summary:

    -Display is simply stunning! I'm coming from an iPhone 4 and still was surprised how rich the colors looked. It's not as sharp as the iPhone 4 retina display but that's a tradeoff which in my opinion only matters when you're reading text like on forums such as these.

    - OS goes without saying is breathe of fresh air. There is nothing there that I miss coming from iOS. Again this is on a non-Mango build. I know it's just one day use but the buzz around WP7 was how it was missing so many features. I simply have not come across any as of yet.

    - Apps is somewhat of a mixed bag. Some apps like Youtube by Liveworm just shows what kind of apps can be developed on this OS and tools. Most of the vital apps I used on iOS 4 are there but with time and popularity hopefully this will improve. Again, there isn't one important app that's missing on my WP7.

    - Hardware on this Samsung focus is nice but not great. What sells this phone is the Super AMOLED display and thinness. The phone is much lighter than iPhone which has it's tradeoffs. I can't really critique the camera, or the battery since I haven't used it enough.

    However my biggest complaint with the phone is the capacitive buttons. These things are driving me insane! Okay they're not that bad however whoever decided to make this design decision should be fired. I know Samsung was going for aesthetic appeal here but bring back hardware buttons!

    Again, I'm loving my device so far. Not missing my iPhone 4 at all.
  2. ryude's Avatar
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    #2  
    It really just comes down to the user. The OS itself has its flaws, but for the most part it more than capable of doing whatever you need it to do. I love my focus, even though i'm still on NoDo.
  3. DontHate707's Avatar
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    #3  
    Nice review! You should include what you like better about the software and what you think they should improve on.
  4. 3migo's Avatar
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    #4  
    Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the soft-touch buttons. I absolutely love them, but I guess that's just me.
  5. Yakolev's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by 3migo View Post
    Everyone seems to have a different opinion on the soft-touch buttons. I absolutely love them, but I guess that's just me.
    I agree, but I haven't actually ever came from a "smartphone" with physical button (Nokia N900) so I might actually love the buttons on the LG E900 if I ever try them.
    Current Phones: HTC 7 Mozart, Nokia X3-02 (S40)
    Previous Phones: T-Mobile G1, Nokia N900
  6. Winterfang's Avatar
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    #6  
    I like my LG Optimus real buttons, but every time I hold a Goddamn Focus I just want to run away with it. So pretty.
  7. 3migo's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakolev View Post
    I agree, but I haven't actually ever came from a "smartphone" with physical button (Nokia N900) so I might actually love the buttons on the LG E900 if I ever try them.
    I came from an iPhone, which has the one physical button. I much prefer just being able to barely touch on the surface, than having to fully click the home button, which sometimes wouldn't work if you didn't click it in the right place, etc.
  8. justop26's Avatar
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    #8  
    Nice review! I, on the other hand, love the capacitive buttons :/
  9. cdook's Avatar
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    #9  
    I think the Focus is a great phone. It's thin, light and simple. The carriers are going to have a tough time locking me in another contract.
    [VZW] HTC Trophy owner
    [Follow me: Xbox Live | Twitter]
    jfa1 likes this.
  10. scottcraft's Avatar
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    #10  
    I like the capacitive buttons, but I'm used to it since I came from a motorola droid. The only downside is when my kid plays games he has a tendency to accidentally press one of the buttons on accident and get somewhere he's not supposed to be. In these instances I like the iphone home button.
  11. selfcreation's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMKeynes View Post

    However my biggest complaint with the phone is the capacitive buttons. These things are driving me insane! Okay they're not that bad however whoever decided to make this design decision should be fired. I know Samsung was going for aesthetic appeal here but bring back hardware buttons!.

    well GOOD NEWS!! firmware update fix the captive buttons when ur in apps so it doesnt kick you out.
    If your looking for Information, be sure to check out: WindowsPhone: Getting started!
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  12. Yakolev's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Se1fcr3ation View Post
    well GOOD NEWS!! firmware update fix the captive buttons when ur in apps so it doesnt kick you out.
    Could you explain yourself?
    Current Phones: HTC 7 Mozart, Nokia X3-02 (S40)
    Previous Phones: T-Mobile G1, Nokia N900
  13. Terrin's Avatar
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    #13  
    yea my only complaint with captive buttons for focus is when playing a game where some of the in game buttons are on that side (assasins creed is a example) hit them fairly often with the side of my hand or a slip of the finger and it kicks me out now usally this isn't a problem just hit the arrow to go back sometimes it makes you restart the game or from last check point.
    but I cannot go back to a iphone/android now I just love the os to much
  14. jfa1's Avatar
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    #14  
    I thiink what he was saying that his focus which is canadian got a firmware update which the ATT foci never got!
  15. cdook's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by scottcraft View Post
    I like the capacitive buttons, but I'm used to it since I came from a motorola droid. The only downside is when my kid plays games he has a tendency to accidentally press one of the buttons on accident and get somewhere he's not supposed to be. In these instances I like the iphone home button.
    NoDo actually did a lot to fix accidently presses. Before if your hand accidently slid over the buttons they'd execute their function. Now as long as you don't release you can press on the screen, slide to the button and slide back without the button triggering. This was a big issue for games with a virtual controller.
    [VZW] HTC Trophy owner
    [Follow me: Xbox Live | Twitter]
  16. scottcraft's Avatar
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    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by GaMMa View Post
    NoDo actually did a lot to fix accidently presses. Before if your hand accidently slid over the buttons they'd execute their function. Now as long as you don't release you can press on the screen, slide to the button and slide back without the button triggering. This was a big issue for games with a virtual controller.
    I didn't know that. I don't let my boy play with this phone much so it's not really an issue. I don't hit the buttons much myself.

    Sent from my Windows 7 phone using Board Express
  17. Pronk's Avatar
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    #17  
    Only thing I really miss from iOS (apart from a wider selection of games, and hopefully that'll improve with time) is something that wasn't really part of iOS anyway - SBSettings. I would love some sort of quick toggle to get to the wifi/brightness/data settings. WebOS has it, Android has power strip and all manner of other installable shortcuts, iOS (jailbroken) has it. WP7 needs it.

    Currently from a locked phone, to turn off wifi it's tap top button, swipe up to unlock, swipe down to settings (or swipe left to get to app list then swipe down, if you don't have settings pinned to start), tap on settings, tap on option (or scroll down if you want one not at the top), tap on toggle switch. Six steps, perhaps as many as eight. Too many.

    Just a little icon beneath the arrow would be all it'd take to knock out 2 or 3 of those steps. A pop-up menu of direct toggles would knock out more. And I can't believe it'd be too difficult to implement.

    Come on, MS - this is a day-to-day thing that's taking much longer on WP7 because of design. Get it fixed!
  18. JohnMKeynes's Avatar
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       #18  
    Some more critique after a weekend of use:

    -Battery life is somewhat disappointing. This is used phone but from what seller told me, he hardly used it. So I know this can improve. I also adjusted some settings to hopefully improve the batter life. I tend to consume much of my battery in the mornings at the gym. My use consist of listening music, unlocking and locking screen using the stopwatch app to track my sets by hitting laps command. Also will check my email here and there. The battery drained about 50-60 percent which was surprising after two hours. Not sure if it was my stopwatch running in the background draining the battery or me constantly unlocking and locking the phone after every set. My iPhone at most would drain about 20 to 30 percent. I would at least have 50 percent left after a longer than average workout constantly checking emails, surfing the web, etc.

    Even though this was disappointing, I was coming from the mindset of not being able to switch batteries. So I ordered some extra batteries with charger to easily just switch between batteries. Again another tradeoff which will pay dividends during vacation trips where you could have three batteries ready to go without having to plug in.

    -Zune playback is awesome. I love that you can switch songs by just swiping which is great. The killer feature for me on this is being able to just tap a letter or number and being able to quickly jump song, playlist, album or artist. Again I can't stress how great this feature is when you are sorting through 20-25GB of music. The Zune player blows my old iPhone 4 player interface out of the water. My only critiques and hopeful update coming soon, are gapless playback and scrubbing to quickly jump from long songs. Also it would be great if the playback commands were in the center of the screen during the lock screen to be able to switch one hand. Add these and Zune player is close to perfect. Either way the Zune UI is much better than the old iPhone player.
  19. Pronk's Avatar
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    #19  
    The iPhone 4 battery is a pretty big one (1800mAh I think). I had to buy an extended life battery for my Mozart to get it to match the life I used to get from my iPhone 4.
  20. Dark Mirage's Avatar
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    #20  
    Yeah, you're not going to beat that iPhone 4 battery. It's a beast. It'd be nice if carriers like Samsung would up themselves to 1800mAh. With the battery saving you see in an AMOLED screen, it could well top the iPhone 4 by leagues.

    In any case, there are some thigns you can do to improve the battery life. Turn on medium brightness, keep wi-fi off unless you're actually using it, keep your background black (White light consumes something like three times the power), turn off location services, turn off "Find my phone", and turn off Feedback. Also, turn your e-mail on to that mode where it only grabs them when you request them.

    Once I did all those things, I noticed a significant jump in battery life. Once the phone isn't constantly pinging a number of assorted services for data, it's life improves a great deal. I can easily cruise through a day's use, or more, on my Focus. I only typically need to charge it midway through the day if I've had a marathon, two hour gaming session or something.
  21. scottcraft's Avatar
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    #21  
    I am pleased with the battery on my trophy. It's not iPhone 4 good, but it lasts longer than my Motorola droid and seems a lot more consistent.

    Sent from my Windows 7 phone using Board Express
  22. JohnMKeynes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Mirage View Post
    Yeah, you're not going to beat that iPhone 4 battery. It's a beast. It'd be nice if carriers like Samsung would up themselves to 1800mAh. With the battery saving you see in an AMOLED screen, it could well top the iPhone 4 by leagues.

    In any case, there are some thigns you can do to improve the battery life. Turn on medium brightness, keep wi-fi off unless you're actually using it, keep your background black (White light consumes something like three times the power), turn off location services, turn off "Find my phone", and turn off Feedback. Also, turn your e-mail on to that mode where it only grabs them when you request them.

    Once I did all those things, I noticed a significant jump in battery life. Once the phone isn't constantly pinging a number of assorted services for data, it's life improves a great deal. I can easily cruise through a day's use, or more, on my Focus. I only typically need to charge it midway through the day if I've had a marathon, two hour gaming session or something.
    Yeah I did all those suggestions except the location one. Battery life did a little better today. But this can solved by having a spare battery charging since most of consumption is during the gym.

    My 32 SD Card came in the mail. Yes!
  23. GekkoAce's Avatar
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    #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMKeynes View Post
    My motive to try out the Windows Phone 7 was because I loved the UI interface when playing around with it in the store. I have to say also is that I loved my iPhone 4. I used it for everything. However I had been using the iPhone OS for about three years now. Just seriously was sick of looking at the same old screen interface.

    I just choose to try it now since there was so much buzz around WP7 mango and how it was going to bring up to par with iOS 4. So I figured I sell my iPhone 4 and get maximum value before the iPhone 5 comes out and buy a used Samsung Focus. Then just wait it out and see what Mango devices come out.

    I purchased my Samsung Focus in mind condition for $160 off of Craigslist(which is a story in itself).

    I played around with the phone almost all day. I currently have the the 7390 build. I'll just go ahead and provide quick summary:

    -Display is simply stunning! I'm coming from an iPhone 4 and still was surprised how rich the colors looked. It's not as sharp as the iPhone 4 retina display but that's a tradeoff which in my opinion only matters when you're reading text like on forums such as these.

    - OS goes without saying is breathe of fresh air. There is nothing there that I miss coming from iOS. Again this is on a non-Mango build. I know it's just one day use but the buzz around WP7 was how it was missing so many features. I simply have not come across any as of yet.

    - Apps is somewhat of a mixed bag. Some apps like Youtube by Liveworm just shows what kind of apps can be developed on this OS and tools. Most of the vital apps I used on iOS 4 are there but with time and popularity hopefully this will improve. Again, there isn't one important app that's missing on my WP7.

    - Hardware on this Samsung focus is nice but not great. What sells this phone is the Super AMOLED display and thinness. The phone is much lighter than iPhone which has it's tradeoffs. I can't really critique the camera, or the battery since I haven't used it enough.

    However my biggest complaint with the phone is the capacitive buttons. These things are driving me insane! Okay they're not that bad however whoever decided to make this design decision should be fired. I know Samsung was going for aesthetic appeal here but bring back hardware buttons!

    Again, I'm loving my device so far. Not missing my iPhone 4 at all.
    I agree! I have a focus and those capacitive buttons are horrible. It seems like others agree and I've heard on a podcast (WPCentral a week or two ago) that they are looking for a solution in the OS, for example; an option that requires you to hold the button to activate it.

    You should try Mango RTM! I installed it on my Focus and it worked first try! It's amazing.

    Build 7720 - Now updated with keeping chevron and how to add more languages - xda-developers

    -Aaron
    Last edited by gekkoace; 08-16-2011 at 06:39 PM.
  24. GekkoAce's Avatar
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    #24  
    My biggest annoyance with WP7 during my workouts is that the longest screen lock setting is 5 minutes. I wish there was a 10 minutes or no lock timer.
  25. VernonEL's Avatar
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    #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMKeynes View Post
    Also will check my email here and there.
    I'm not exactly sure what you meant there, but with the way that email syncing works currently, I'm fairly confident that choosing "push", instead of hour or so intervals, or even manually checking, uses less power.

    It was explained to me like this: "Timed or manual syncing requires the device to send an out going signal for several seconds, where push is more like a a text message. The device is aways ready to receive a message, but it doesn't use any power reaching out trying to grab one."

    Maybe there's is a better way to explain it, but that makes sense to me. I have five accounts syncing email with my phone, and all are set on push. Some days are very heavy days for email, and others are very light. I have not noticed a real difference in power consumption either way, although it's certainly not something that's very objective.

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