Samsung Focus S review

Thin, light, with a nice display. Does this Windows Phone have all the right stuff?

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As far as apps are concerned, the Samsung Focus S (and all WP7 devices) has a lot of catching up to do compared to iOS and Android. Currently at about 70,000 apps, the Windows Phone Marketplace holds about a 10th of the apps available for iOS.

Samsung focus s

Microsoft Office comes included. A very basic version of course, but you can still use it to create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.

As far as gaming is concerned, Microsoft is leveraging its already successful Xbox Live platform. The available games, thus far, have essentially nothing to do with Xbox, but the brand name carries a lot of weight.

Samsung focus s

Already, many of the popular Android and iOS games have found their way into the Xbox Live market for Windows Phones.

When it comes to maps and navigation, it's either Bing or nothing. It works well for finding all sorts of destinations, especially when you use the Local Scout app.

Samsung focus s

Even getting directions with Bing maps is a delight – that is, until you want turn-by-turn navigation.
While it's perfectly capable of reading directions aloud, it simply doesn't. It will announce the first direction, such as "In .78 miles, turn left onto Broadway Ave," as you set off but only give a notification chime after you make that left.

Samsung focus s

You can tap the screen at any time to hear the current direction, but because it doesn't remind you, it's easy to miss a turn. To make matters worse, navigation won't run in the background, so you have to leave the screen on the entire time, which takes a toll on the battery.

There are a few navigation alternatives in the marketplace, though they're not free. Fortunately, WP7 lets you try apps before buying them.