Samsung Focus 2 (AT&T) review

Will Samsung mirror its Android success with its latest Windows Phone?

Samsung Focus 2 (AT&T)
Samsung returns to Windows Phone offering a capable alternative to the Lumia

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The Focus 2 comes with a number of pre-installed apps from both AT&T and Samsung.

On the AT&T side, the carrier has included apps including AT&T U-verse Mobile, AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T Navigator, and the My AT&T app. Windows Phone lets you unpin any app from the home screen, and many of these will likely be the first ones to go.

Samsung included its own app, called Daily Briefing, which can acts as a hub for weather, a Yahoo! News feed, and stock quotes. Strangely, the app doesn't support Windows Phone's live tiles feature, so you'll still need to download an additional third-party app if you want at a glance weather forecasts.

The phone also includes the standard variety of apps found on any Windows Phone device, including alarms, a calendar, calculator, maps, and the marketplace. Fans of games will appreciate the deep integration of Xbox Live, allowing you to use an existing gamertag to manage your account and earn achievements in mobile games.

The app marketplace for Windows Phone still lags behind those found on iOS and Android devices. You can finding big name apps like Netflix, LinkedIn, Spotify, Angry Birds, and Cut the Rope, but deviating from well known titles usually has results that are highly suspect at best.


The Focus 2 includes two map options between the default Maps app and the AT&T Navigator app. Both offer turn-by-turn directions and can point out local highlights for restaurants, shops, and activities nearby.

AT&T Navigator offers the benefit of traffic tracking to offer alternate routes and provide accurate arrival times, though the actual maps take significantly longer to render and is especially a problem when trying to scroll across the map. AT&T's app also requires a $9.99 monthly fee after an initial 30-day free trial, making Microsoft's faster traffic-less Maps app the preferred choice.