AT&T is preparing to add a third LTE Windows Phone to its lineup with the addition of the Samsung Focus 2. This one is for the budget-minded among you, as the device will sell for just $49.99 with two-year contract--half the price of the Nokia Lumia 900 (see our Lumia 900 review.) As far as features go, the Focus 2 sports a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, five megapixel camera on back that can record 720p video, and a VGA-quality camera up front. Want one? You can scoop it up from AT&T when it goes on sale on May 20th.
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When we first reviewed the Samsung Focus Flash, we felt its smaller form factor and significantly lower price made it a better deal than the Focus S at first glance ($199.99 - $19.99 on Amazon). Now that we've tested the Focus S, we're singing a different tune. True, you're only getting a bigger screen, an improved camera, and a thinner profile, but the Focus S brings Windows Phone 7.5 Mango closer than it has ever been to the high-end. That alone makes this smartphone worth a close look, especially given its slick OS. Click on through to see why in our full Samsung Focus S review.
Separately, Microsoft also started rolling out the first security update for Windows Phone 7, which fixes nine fradulent third-party digital certificates.
Like other Windows Phone 7 users, those with an HTC Surround will receive two updates, the first of which will be for a minor update first rolled out in February. Once that's updated, users can move on to the March update, which includes copy and paste, improved Marketplace search, and faster app launching.
Windows Phones check for updates every three days, so it might not appear right away. If you don't want to wait, you can check for it manually via the Zune software on the PC. Just plug the phone in via USB and click "update now." Once the February update is installed, you will have to unplug the phone and plug it back in to receive the March "cut and paste" update. Microsoft has a how-to guide on its Web site.
Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, Windows Phone 7, is now for sale throughout the US. How do these new devices fare? Should you throw your iPhone or Blackberry out of the window for a brand new Windows Phone? Or is this just another device for the history books? Well, we've given you our Windows Phone 7 review (as well as a review of the HTC Surround!), but if you wanted a second opinion, here's a list of reviews to help make up your mind:
- Engadget has a very in-depth review, going point by point over every feature of the phone, along with pictures and commentaries. They refer to their initial preview, saying that "it finally has the fit and finish of a fully realized product" and "there's a lot to like or even love in WP7". At the end of their review are also links to more reviews on the individual Windows Phone devices.
- Gizmodo follows in with another slightly less extensive review, in which they conclude with their stamp of approval.
- The New York Times has a fairly short review that asks several questions such as "will these battle plans help catapult Microsoft’s latest smartphone attempt into a relevant standing in this important space" and concludes by saying that "so far the new AT&T phones seems to have everything going for them".
- Apart from the written reviews, what I typically prefer are video reviews such as this one from MobileTechReview in which they go over every feature in this very in-depth 27 mins 2-parts review. They also have videos about the individual devices.
We'd love to hear from anyone who's decided to pick up a Windows Phone 7 device - what do you think?
Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's latest foray into the mobile space, is now available to all in the US. The company's primary partner is AT&T, and they have the Samsung Focus and HTC Surround (see our HTC Surround review and photo gallery) for $199 with a 2 years contract, with the LG Quantum launching in a few days. The phones are also available without a contract for $499. Meanwhile, T-Mobile has the HTC HD7 for $199, with the Dell Venue coming in later this year. Microsoft has stated that they will put $400 million towards advertising Windows Phone 7 as they hope to compete with the iPhone and Android phones this holiday season. Gartner predicts the company's share of the mobile space will climb above 5% by next year.
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