Meet the Samsung Focus 2: LTE and beautiful design for only $49.99

Meet the Samsung Focus 2: LTE and beautiful design for only $49.99

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One of the most popular Windows Phone devices of all time is the original Samsung Focus, and for good reason - it was fast, sleek, had a killer Super AMOLED screen, and got great battery life. Since then, Samsung’s released two really great devices in the small-but-sturdy Focus Flash and the thinner-than-a-pencil Focus S. And today they’re following up on those with the brand new Samsung Focus 2, which goes on sale starting May 20th for only $49.99 (with a two-year service agreement) on AT&T’s lightning fast 4G LTE network.

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Samsung was cool enough to get me a Focus 2 about a week ago and having used it around the office, I can tell you that it’s a worthy successor to the original Focus. Whereas the original Focus was long and lean, the Focus 2 is a bit shorter and feels a bit squatter. That may sound like a step backwards in design, but its most definitely not; Samsung has done a great job making the phone really ergonomic and is comfortable to hold, and pocket-friendly to boot. Typing is where the design really shines through, as the curved edges mean no “hotspots” on your hands and helps you avoid cramping fingers (especially if you have big hands like me). 

To see what I mean, I took some shots of the original Focus next to the Focus 2:

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Spec-wise not a ton has changed from the original Focus, but there are some very notable upgrades. You still get a 4” Super AMOLED display, 5MP camera (which takes VERY good pictures, even better than the original Focus) and 8GB of onboard storage (non-expandable).  The Focus 2 also comes with a front-facing VGA camera and, as you can see from the pictures, is available in a beautiful pearl white.

And of course, the Focus 2 works on AT&T’s brand new LTE network. I didn’t get a chance to use the LTE network with my loaner Focus 2 as we don’t yet have LTE here in Redmond; but, having just come from LA where I was able to use LTE on some of my other Windows Phones, I can say that I’m really impressed with the speed it delivers. If you’re used to 3G, you’re going to be blown away by what LTE can do.

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If you’re looking for a value-priced phone that gets you top-level features, the Samsung Focus 2 is a great choice. Go check one out starting May 20th at your local AT&T store!

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51 Comments
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  • $49.99?  I don't care if the flippin phone is FREE!  DAFUQ am I supposed to do with 8GB?  Clear the cache?  I have little interest in connecting my device to my PC every night just to swap music out.  Include memory expansion slots is a must with 8GB unexpandable.  You guys see how well those Android devices are selling at $199-$299 per device on contract with MORE embedded memory AND memory expansion slots.  Price certainly isn't keeping iSheep from going for 32GB and 64GB options of the iPhone.  You guys stink.  Storage = Potential.  Get your sh*t togetha.

  • Seeing as how pricing IS NOT THE ISSUE for Windows Phone's meager, you guys Microsoft and its OEM partners need to get cracking on a larger storage capacity of at least 32 GB.  Of  13 people I know with an iPhone, each of them have tried the Windows Phone at this kiosk we all walk past as we all frequent the same mall.  The consensus feeling is that they'd love to get a Windows Phone, but not at the expense of devices with a maximum of 16GB and AT&T as the carrier.  I understand this lowers the cost for OEMs, but Android sells a lot because of its expandable memory.  I actually returned my Galaxy Nexus upon nearly exhausting the storage space as I needed a higher capacity, so my option was either get a 64GB iPhone or an Android device with 16GB embedded memory and memory expansion slot.  Of those options, the only important thing to note is that Windows Phone was NEVER an option.

  • mlococo
    2 Posts

    I don't get it!  Why do all the Windows phones have to be so damn puny???  The HTC Titan has the right sized screen but we need a higher resolution S-AMOLED+ at 4.7"!  And what is this sick fasination with AT&T??  They SUCK BIG TIME!!  Like some sort of torcher...  The Nokia Lumia 900 (should have a 4.7" display)...  Like you can have a Windows Phone - but only mediocre hardware and a screen that is too small...  and did I mention you have to give up good service and support because AT&T is the only Windows Phone Carrier!  Bring something to T-Mobile for once!!!

  • GlenC
    6 Posts

    another great WP device! Too bad VZW customers (locked into contracts and family plans) are stuck with an 18 month old v1.0 WP7 device (HTC Trophy, nice phone but no comparison)

  • Oh, @Kenny, my goodness.  I still have the original Focus, and I have a 32GB card in it.  That device has only 8GB LEFT.  I also now have the Lumia 900, which only has 16GB.  I have 300MB of space left.  It frustrates me to no end that I can't even come close to putting on it what I was able to put on my Focus.  Now, I'm limited to 950 songs, two audio podcasts and six video podcasts, 60 apps.  I've said this before....until high-speed data is available EVERYwhere, the cloud is only a viable storage resource for non-multimedia content.  THAT'S why many of us need more storage on the devices.

  • well there is not a big deal the speakers are not so good, even if you raise the volume. What you can do is send free text at http://www.textme4free.com/

  • Gurtej
    24 Posts

    I've still got 9GB memory available on my 16 GB phone. 300 songs and a thousand photographs. 50 apps including 6 Xbox live ones. Can stream/download songs from SkyDrive if needed. Yes, I don't load movies. I think I represent 95% of the average Windowsphone users. With 4G, I think I'll be happy to buy even a 4GB ZTE Tania phone. For me after FFC the next main feature is NFC. Windows reimagined - amazing everyday eh!

  • 8GB of memory simply isn't enough.  What happened to the microSD option?

  • causaL
    1 Posts

    8GB of memory isn't appealing at all. I have the original Focus, and i'm constantly deleting apps and music so that i can keep a little free space. Will 16GB of memory really increase the price that much?

  • Insufficient Memory - need at least 32GB but more might come in handy some day.  Cloud can't replace storage when you aren't always in range of a tower

  • So the Mendel wasn't canceled after all. I actually share the sentiment of a lot of folks here that only having an 8 GB version just doesn't cut it. If you want an entry level device nothings speaks against selling one with 8 GB of storage but at least provide alternatives.

    I'd really love to see a post on the reasoning behind only bringing devices with a limited amount of storage space to market.

  • When will it be available to Greece? Seems like a great phone!

  • Sorry, but this is a pathetic release by Samsung after releasing the Galaxy III for a competing platform. I hope they do a better job for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices

  • Now you guys!!! Settle down, and stop it! Lol

    That sound "funny"

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @brianm76

    lol.that's funny but so true.

    with WP its all about waiting waiting waiting…

  • brianm76
    61 Posts

    @Rodney this seems to be the WP (and Microsoft) m/o.  Just wait a little bit longer....Great things are coming....Just keep waiting and you will see some amazing stuff...blah blah blah.  Too much wait, not enough action = dull phone.  Windows Phone 8 better be spectacular.  If not, I will wait for something better by using a competitors phone.  Keep hanving in there though.  Great things are coming!

  • brianm76
    61 Posts

    This is a pathetic phone. 8GB of storage?  Wow, it has 4G! But I can only use that in certain places of the country since ATT has so little 4G coverage right now.  Who can afford to use 4G anyway if you are on a plan other than unlimited?  MS when will you learn that 8GB even on a cheaper phone is just not enough for some people. Also, off contract what is this going to run?  $400-$500?  Not exactly hitting those lower price points off contract.  5mp camera that will take "okay" pictures but it will probably have same issues with low light and slowness that all WP cameras have right now. You might sell a few of these LOL...

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney

    My songs are optimized for mobile audio(quality is still great from a mobile phone,3-4MB/song).lol maybe your apps and games are heavy ones,I have no XBOX live games and most of my apps are news apps.i also realized I have 80pics on the phone memory,the others are on SkyDrive.my emails stay on the phone for a week.i don't keep text messages(read and delete)

    Maybe that's how I pulled it :)

  • Nater
    147 Posts

    What a waste of a phone release...

  • Great and cool device - and the price... fantastic!

  • @ Kenny,

    How did you pull that off? You might want to check your storage, because I have a focus with 350 songs, 20 apps, and 5 games, and I have to delete my camera roll weekly to keep my storage above 500mb. If my Focus goes below that it will start running slooooowww! I should put a 16gb card in it.

    I love the Focus 2, but a Focus S2 would probably fit me better, as long as it comes with 32Gb of storage. I'm really hoping that the Nokia 1000 has 32-64 Gb of memory, but we're just going to have to wait until June to find out......

  • ZayidF
    1 Posts

    YES! A Samsung Windows Phone with 4G LTE & a front facing camera is what I've been waiting for! But only 8GB memory with no card slot to upgrade...that sucks. I have the original Focus with a 32GB memory card. At least put a card slot on it! Dang, Why did you have to spoil it? I understand why Microsoft is doing that, but only 8GB? C'mon son! At least give an option with more memory.  Actually I'm surprised that Samsung released this. I guess they just wanna make some quick money before they release their new Windows 8 phones in 4Q (hence the contract price). I'm really praying that they have memory card slots! I was going to get this until I saw the 8GBs. How can I go from 40GB to 8GB?

  • abm
    268 Posts

    Great phone.. but 0.3 Mpx front-facing camera! Really?

    Guys, please install the "Inside Information" (free) app in your phone. Then under "sensors" page check if your phone supports Gyroscope. The Wikipedia article needs to be updated: en.wikipedia.org/.../List_of_Windows_Phone_devices. I can confirm HTC 7 Surround and Nokia Lumia 900 information is correct: Surround (Not Supported), Lumia 900 (Supported).

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Lol I meant 500 songs which I've never gone through all in a week

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney

    I personally don't understand why people want 100GB on their phones.my original focus has 8GB I've never gone beyond 4.5,guess what I have 5 songs on my phone I have about 10apps and 5games.i have hundreds of photos.i don't keep videos onboard,as I find it pointless watching long videos on the go given that it drains the battery.

    To me all I need to know is if this phone will get Windows Phone 8,for me to get it,so that even if WP8 is not impressive compared to the competition I wouldn't regret buying this phone,the price wicked for those specs

  • KR
    503 Posts

    I love the design of the Focus and like the LTE,FF Camera and 1.4GHz processor added to the design on the Focus 2,given the contract price i'm pretty positive the off contract price will be around $350.i'll totally buy this phone if I get the guarantee it'll be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8

  • This Phone is perfect! These specs are perfect! The look is perfect! The price is perfect!

    Why? Because my mom has a Samsung Focus 1, and she will never go less than 5gb, she would never put a memory card into her device, she would love the $49.99 price, should she upgrade, and I'm sure she would love the color!

    The same goes for my wife! Except she would really like the FFC, and the LTE speeds. This is perfect for her! $49.99? Amazing!

    Look guys, dont be surprised if every WP device released doesn't meet your standards. Devices like this are for the average user, which are the majority, and WP needs high adoption so that we can get all those apps, and cool devices in the future. High adoption isn't going to come from trying to sell supper high end phone that cost $299 on contract. This is our self preservation device, so that when future versions of WP devices come out we can then rep the rewards that we deserve for being committed, and patient for so long.

    The Focus 2 is sort of a "yellow brick road to the promise land" where devices with HD screens, HDMI out, robust software, multi core processors, NFC, LTE, 5.3" screens, terrific enterprise support, sufficient on board memory, upgradeable memory, and other much asked for features exists.

    Just wait a little while longer "June" and I'm sure you guys will have some new devices, and other carrier support, that YOU can look forward to. And, I hope you get what you deserve!

    So, I think today is a day we should celebrate. I got a gift for everybody!.... This blog post is what I consider the most important, and fun to read. Trust me you will enjoy going back to what just seemed like yesterday, and it will remind you of just how far WP has come.. Enjoy!  windowsteamblog.com/.../windows-phone-7-series-show-and-tell.aspx

  • If this were around earlier, it would have been a tough choice for me between the Focus 2 and Lumia 900.  Onboard storage isn't a bif deal for me, and I loved the size of my original Focus.

  • The battery life is not really THAT good on the Focus. Did you also know that AT&T salespeople are actively discouraging people from getting the Samsung S? "I do have a samsung winphone, but you don't want that one. You want the Nokia"

  • Shockg
    6 Posts

    I also have a problem with the 8GB of space.  I still use and love my Zune.  I have the 120 GB and I have about 100GB of music, movies and podcasts.  It seems like we are bing pushed to use one device.  Well with 8GB of storage that just will not cut it.  I have a Samsung Focus and like the phone.  Being upgradeable for more storage is a must.  A single device won't work for me as I prefer the 2 device method.  Zune for Podcats, Movies and Music.  Phone for everything else.   Keep up with the great work.  I really like the phone interface.  But don't hamper the useability.

  • Entegy
    42 Posts

    Without the microSD card slot, it's tough to call it a worth sucessor. I suspect a lot of people (myself included) got the Focus because of this ability.

    I store all my music on my phone. I don't want subsets, I want it all there. a 40GB phone does that. No, the cloud is not an option, I live in a place with bad reception and a 500MB data plan for $25 a month. Local storage is needed for my media.

    The only Windows Phone to break the 16GB storage barrier is the IS12T... And that's a Japan-only phone. I really hope future Windows Phones will have more storage options.

    A Lumia 1000 with a 32GB storage option would be heaven.

  • I understand that the cheaper the phone, the more people will buy it and they are trying to built a user base by appealing to that segment, but not offering ANY options with more than 16gb or even expandable storage, are you kidding me? The cloud is NOT READY. The phone design is otherwise fine for a low end phone. Just offer the 8gb version for $49, but make one with 32gb and charge $300 for it and those of us who want and can afford it will buy it. At least add a card slot!

  • I stopped reading at 8GB non-expandable.  Next.

  • KTGiang
    34 Posts

    No Sprint phones in sight. What a disappointment. With our luck, the next Sprint Windows Phone is going to be some junk from LG.

  • Korn1699
    114 Posts

    ...so this doesn't have the ONE main advantage of the original Focus?  If I can't get a phone with 32 GB or more, I will not be upgrading when my contract is up, I'll be switching to a platform that does have a device like that..  My Focus now has 8GB + 16GB microSD, and it is still barely enough space..

  • It is great to see Samsung churning out another decent device, and we all know that we need to get more devices out to the masses. This device will be great for many people; most of which will never read this blog. While 8 GBs of storage is still enough for many people, these devices really need to be positioned to be at least slightly future-proof. I like many things about this phone, but I will have to pass on it specifically because of the lower amount of memory.

    I really hope to see 32 and 64 GB offerings coming with WP8. All of my devices (Quantum, Focus S, and Lumia 900) have 16 GBs of storage, and I feel it is very adequate, but there are many that would use much more if it was available.

    Because the Focus 2 is obviously a mid-range device, the lower memory is acceptable, but eliminates the chance of it being considered by more advanced users that like the other things about the device.

  • I agree with other posts...I want more storage.  This is just another "value" entry level phone.  It should be called Focus Lite.  I can't wait till T-Mobile gets the Lumia 900 version.  It's the only phone I would consider trading up to.  But for now I love my HD7 with 16GB.  I even bought an HD7 from Ebay to give to my kids for a Zune/Game player.

  • I was pretty excited to see this article as I am a Samsung fan and a WP7 fan; that is until I read this part "8GB of onboard storage (non-expandable)." Non-expandable?!?! Why isn't there any WP7's with substantial storage options? The biggest reason why I picked up the original Focus was because I had the expandable option. Honestly, who survives on 8GB anymore?

    Really wanting to upgrade to a newer generation WP7, but nothing strikes me as workable for how I use my phone. All my music, photo's, apps.... yeah 8GB will not cut it. 16BG doesn't even sound like enough anymore, but at least I could make 16GB work if I wanted to. Any future for a possible 32BG or 64GB phone for WP7 or Apollo?

  • Nice looking device. I'm still waiting for Rogers to offer the cyan Lumia 900. If they don't have it by the middle of this month, I'm just going to get the black one.

    BTW I'm still rocking the original focus from 2010.

  • I had a first gen Samsung Focus but I ended up upgrading to a Lumia 900 for the 16 GB of space... and price at the time. Now just hoping I get future updates ;-)

  • While processor speed and RAM (to a lesser extent) doesn't matter all that much - because WP is fast and fluid anyways - these specs just aren't good enough. 8GB storage?!? Are you kidding me? Samsung needs to up the storage to 64 or even 128GB to raise some eyebrows. 5MP camera seems a little low aswell, but if it takes as good pictures as the htc titan does, it's easily forgivable.

    My omnia 7 is full now, and I only have a couple of MP3 albums, about 20 apps, and some offline spotify. Got hundreds of pictures though, but l never delete good photos from my phone. I want them synced to skydrive and be available offline at all times.

    I'm guessing better phones will come with WP8, so I'll probably wait until then to get my next windows phone, but you better have 64GB models ready! Or else ;)

  • Its a Focus in white. 8GB storage, 4" screen (Not even super AMOLED plus) 5MP camera. Actually kind of a downgrade if you think of it because I can add 32GB to my Focus. Well I guess you take it where you can get it from Sammy. I feel bad for anyone buying this just for LTE.

  • irv321
    3 Posts

    I'm not a big Apple fan, but I've yet to see a Windows or Android phone that takes snapshots that look as flattering as the iPhone's. The iPhone camera itself may not be superior, but their color saturation post-processing (or whatever they do) is unmatched. I know a lot of people don't think the iPhone's photos are as accurate but they subjectively look better to me. I wonder what's in store for camera picture processing for Windows Phone. I know Windows Phone 8 is supposed to bring camera improvements, but I haven't seen any details.

  • Yes. The lack of a memory card slot makes this a "pass". I love my Focus specifically for that reason.

  • Jim
    4 Posts

    8GB of non-upgradeable memory?  This makes no sense.  I still have to carry my zune with me.  Come on Microsoft, lets either give me a memory card option or lets get these companie to produce a Windows mobile device with at least 64GB of memory.

  • disappointing specs not that I care for samsung device with the Lumia 900 around

  • When I saw it was the "Focus 2" I figured they'd carry over the most important feature of the original, that being the user-accessible SD card slot...  While the phone looks very pretty and ergonomic, that omission really feels like it keeps the 2 from being a worthy successor...

  • 8gb is a joke but I guess some people want a low end phone.

  • Rick
    2 Posts

    Dismal effort by Samsung and still no presence here in the UK other than the shite Omnia W.

  • DjiXas
    46 Posts

    Also, does it come with Tango or Mango?

  • DjiXas
    46 Posts

    Yes!

    Now give us Tango and 8779, please.

    For unbranded phones, at least