Checkout our Samsung Focus review.

Windows Phone 7 is here, and possibly to stay. I got to play around with the Samsung Focus, one of the first WP7 phones recently released, and I have to say I’m surprisingly impressed. Click below to read my first impressions.

Normally, I’d start off talking about the phone, and maybe pointing to the OS and interface, if at all. But with the Focus being one of the first WP7 phones out, and the OS being such a huge departure from the previous Windows mobile operating systems and so very different from iOS, Android and Blackberry, it deserves as much air time as the phone itself.

WP7 is not at all like I expected. Sure, I saw it a few times before, at various electronics events and conferences, but the UI is wildly different from everything else on the market. I haven’t determined whether that’s a good or bad thing yet…but if you’re an iPhone or Android owner already, WP7 will feel antiquated…to start.

Strangely, I’m attracted to the overall design of the phone. The Focus is very much like the Fascinate, though a bit thicker and heavier. While the Fascinate did in many ways feel junky (though clearly was not), the Focus feels good in the hand, if not oddly shaped. The base, for instance, is thicker than the rest of the phone. The speaker is inside the phone, and sound comes out through several slits in the back. But if you weren’t holding it in the hand, anyone could mistake the Focus for Samsung’s Galaxy S phone on AT&T, the Captivate.

Which, once again, isn’t a bad thing.

WP7 is the biggest difference between the Focus and Galaxy S devices, and that interestingly enough makes it feel like a different phone entirely. I’ve been using the Focus side by side with the Fascinate and Epic 4G, and there is no resemblance once you activate the phones. WP7 feels smooth and steady, almost as if it were made for the Focus (unlike Android on the Galaxy S phones, which is smooth but not perfect). In fact, it’s the smoothest UI next to the iPhone, and frankly it’s hard to tell the difference.

Later on we’ll have a full review of both Windows Phone 7 and the Samsung Focus, as well as some comparisons between the phone models and OS’s. For now, I can say that the Focus is in good company beside the Galaxy S phones, and all my testing of the device and UI thus far has been a blast. Stay tuned for the full review in the coming week.










James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.