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 Samsung Focus 2 uses AT&T's 4G LTE network, which doesn't have the best reputation for reliability. Finding reception in and around Chicago was somewhat hit or miss, with the odd dead zone popping up more frequently than it should.

When the Focus 2 does have a connection, the results aren't exactly favorable. Internet Explorer 9 chugs as it loads pages, and scrolling down reveals an additional delay as it renders the rest of the site, even when only dealing with text.

Samsung Focus 2

Testing connections speeds is difficult on a Windows Phone due to the lack of Flash support in Internet Explorer 9. Using the Free Speed Test app from the marketplace we were able to record an average download speed between 0.92Mbps-1.25Mbps and upload speeds under 0.4Mbps. The numbers seem low even considering our less than glowing experience using the browser, but it is consistent in illustrating the generally slow web browsing experience on the Focus 2.

Even on a Wi-Fi connection, Internet Explorer 9 is hardly the best mobile browser in town. Media heavy pages often fail to render properly and the same delay is still present when scrolling pages. It has the option to default all web pages to either their desktop or mobile version, but even after making the switch we found it still occasionally loaded the wrong version.

Other browser features are fairly standard, with the ability to set favorites, share pages via email, create tabs, and pin sites to the phone's home screen. Unfortunately, there's no option to sync bookmarks with your desktop browser.

As already mentioned, Internet Explorer 9 lacks Flash support, which should be a familiar experience for anyone converting from an iPhone. A paid third-party FlashVideo for WP7 app can be found in the marketplace to rectify that, though it only offers downloading and playback of Flash videos rather than full Flash browser.