Just Sold My iPhone 4 - Bought a Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7 -Honest Critique

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JohnMKeynes, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. JohnMKeynes, Aug 20, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

    JohnMKeynes macrumors member

    Jun 15, 2010
    First and foremost let me say that I know this is a iPhone forum. I thought I share my thoughts on Windows Phone 7. The reason I sold my iPhone 4 was in anticipation of the release of iPhone 5. I figured I sell my iPhone 4 now(which I did for $470 roughly) before it lost more value with the new iPhone 5 release imminent. I needed a smartphone to hold me over during the transition and thought I try a Windows Phone 7 since there has been lots of of buzz about the new Mango update.

    Also I will say that I've been using the iPhone OS since 3.0 first with an iPhone 1G, and the last year with an iPhone 4. I really liked my iPhone 1G and absolutely loved my iPhone 4. However this being said, no matter how much I liked my phone, I just had an itch to try a different OS/Smartphone. I have played around with an Android but never owned, and thought it was just not good or fluid.

    Again, I been paying close attention to Windows Phone 7, but would not trade-in given the lack of features initially. Like everyone I was ready to get a new iPhone 5 in June but, it never came. Finally with iPhone a few weeks away I figured I play out my curiosity and try a Windows Phone 7 since there has been an update that addressed it's shortcomings. So I was able to purchase a Samsung Focus for $160 which in my opinion was a steal. It came with a NODO build which added many features such as the biggest I could not live without, copy and paste.

    I've had the phone for about a week which I ran NODO. I'll just go ahead and provide quick summary:


    The user interface is a nice change of pace from the grid icon layout. The OS runs smooth and is responsive just like my iPhone 4. The Metro is quite intuitive given the limitations of screen size and works well. The live tiles are nice however there are not too many apps that utilize this function and often don't work. This is to be fixed with Mango release which provides better API. OS goes without saying is breathe of fresh air. There is nothing there that I miss coming from iOS other than SBsettings which does not come with iOS standard.


    Display is simply stunning! I'm coming from an iPhone 4 and still was surprised how rich the colors looked. It's not as sharp as the iPhone 4 retina display but that's a tradeoff which in my opinion only matters when you're reading text like on forums such as these. The super amoled is rich and colorful which has garnered many compliments and interest in public.


    Apps is somewhat of a mixed bag. Some apps like a 3rd party Youtube by Liveworm just shows what kind of apps can be developed on this OS and tools. Most of the vital apps I used on iOS 4 are there but with time and popularity hopefully this will improve. Again, there isn't one important app that's missing on my WP7. Obviously iOS has a huge advantage in this department if you rely on a variety of apps.


    I haven't really played any games since I hardly played any games on my iPhone 1 or 4. Obviously if games your thing, then here the selection is quite lackluster.


    Hardware on this Samsung focus is nice but not great. What sells this phone is the Super AMOLED display and thinness. The phone is much lighter than iPhone which has it's tradeoffs. I can't really critique the camera, but taken a few photos it doesn't compare to iPhone 4 camera. Maybe I'm being critical but I was spoiled with iPhone 4 being able to snap photos rapidly and pick a good one from the bunch. Probably my biggest issue with this phone since I tend to take lots of pictures.

    Battery is comparable to the iPhone 4. But again this another tradeoff since I was able to pickup two spare batteries with charger for $15 and now never have to worry about my phone being without power. This especially useful taken trips and having three charged batteries at your disposal. Honestly this part I really like about this device.

    Memory is unacceptable. This phone only came with 8GB however, one is able to expand the memory. But this has been a mess when expanding memory given the OS is very picky about Microsd. I'm use to 32GB, can live with 16GB, but 8GB is simply not enough.


    This is probably my favorite feature of the phone. Zune playback is awesome. I love that you can switch songs by just swiping which is great. The killer feature for me on this is being able to just tap a letter or number and being able to quickly jump song, playlist, album or artist. Again I can't stress how great this feature is when you are sorting through 20-25GB of music. The Zune player blows my old iPhone 4 player interface out of the water. My only critiques and hopeful update coming soon, are gapless playback and scrubbing to quickly jump from long songs. Either way the Zune UI is much better than the old iPhone 4 player. Syncing is quick and easy which is great when just wanting to add a couple of songs and not wait an eternity to sync iTunes.

    That being said recently installed Mango RTM. I will play with the phone a little longer and provide more feedback. However the IE 9 browser which is an update in Mango is lightning fast. First impressions, is that this things makes my iPhone 4 seem slow. Again, I'll go ahead and answer some questions. I'll try to critique more features and functions.
  2. JetBlack7 macrumors 68020


    May 14, 2011
    Can't say good or bad move since I never used an Android/Windows OS phone. If you like it and it does what you want, that's what matters ;)
  3. JASApplications macrumors 65816

    Nov 24, 2010
    Scarborough, United Kingdom
    Good Post. I've never tried a Windows Phone 7 but I've tried Android and it wasn't for me. The iPhone does what I need to do and it's fine for me :)
  4. Maccleduff macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    Interesting read, Ive always wondered how windows phones holds up vs iOS. Sounds like it just needs a little more time to mature, I do like the metro look.
  5. Muro macrumors 6502

    Aug 4, 2011
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
    And how is the premium feel of this device compared to the iPhone 4?
  6. spooky2k macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2008
    Glad you like the phone. Good critique. I have to point out though that the 'killer feature' you mentioned in the quoted text is something that the iPod app does too.
  7. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    I tried Win7 and it was a JOKE! Mango is what they should have introduce in the first place. I could not even get it to sync with OutLook! Imagine a Win7 phone that could not sync with OutLook! LOL
  8. sk1wbw Suspended


    May 28, 2011
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    I had a Focus for two months. WP7 is not a good OS at all. The live tiles and badges constantly quit working, the large icons were nice but after a while it got boring.

    And the apps SUCKED. There were maybe two or three good apps that I had and rest were just awful. There is simply nothing comparable to Things, Omnifocus, Pages, Twitterriffic Premium, Words With Friends, et al on the Windows store.

    I gave it up after just two months.
  9. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    I am also currently using WP7 while I await the iPhone 5 release (HTC HD2 running NoDo). I have a very similar opinion that you do. However the one aspect that is making me want an iPhone 5 is the uniformity and compatibility Apple has between their various products. Although I am thoroughly enjoying WP7 and it's a nice change of pace, but an iPhone fits better in my life and with my MacBook Pro and iPad. They just wok very well together. But as a temporary phone, WP7 is great. I think when Mango releases I'll pick up a WP7 device and swap my sim card back and forth whenever I just want a change of pace.
  10. Savor Suspended


    Jun 18, 2010
    Great review. That phone should tide you over until the next iPhone.

    I am not a big fan of Samsung, but I do love their S-AMOLED screens and it mixes well with the deep blacks from the Metro UI. Only thing that bothers me is Sammy went for the cheap plastic again. But for $160 on a phone that is only 9 months old, I think that is a steal. You can always turn around and sell it to recoup your losses. The Focus has always been on my watchlist just because I find it to be one of the sexiest first gen WP7 phones and how you can get it for cheap. Much more appealing than the HTC Surround and LG Quantum.

    WP7 also feels "light." The bootup time is fast and the transitions are fairly smooth. I like it more than Android. Microsoft is known to be the least original out there, but this is the first time they didn't try to copy Apple and made it their own. This is why I liked webOS so much. Palm tried to marry the clean GUI of Apple since they had some ex-Apple engineers and mix it with some of Android's geekiness without trying to ripoff either one. Anybody who tried a Zune HD will know how severely underrated it was and had an amazing UI. Glad to hear the batt life is pretty solid.

    Hopefully, Nokia's global popularity help boost sales for WP7 platform even if Microsoft may not catch up to Android or iOS in the USA. Nokia has never really marketed or catered here in the States. The continent to target for rapid adoption is Asia. China and India are populated in the billions and RIM is getting stronger in Indonesia. We will see how well Windows 8 tablets will do next year. Things can turn around fast in this industry. Some thought Android would never do well back in late-2008/early-2009 and look it now.
  11. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Don't like Samsung. They just copy the crap out of apple on every single products they make. While others try to differentiate themselves, this company just copies apple so much.

    Had terrible experiences with samsung in the past and not buying any of their products in the future.
  12. DanteMann macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2011
    Well if you think the OS ran smooth with the Focus, imagine Mango on a Galaxy S2 or better yet a galaxy S3. That was the problem with Windows Phone 7 at launch, lack of high end hardware. But Microsoft has it covered for Mango; now that Samsung is on board to provide the high end hardware. Microsoft showed their version of the Galaxy S2 running mango at the last Worldwide Partner Conference. Android at the moment is completely dominating the Market, with iOS a good distance behind. But Windows Phone 7 is the dark horse and definitely has a chance to make up some serious ground.
  13. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    it isn't an oversight...they don't want you syncing with outlook. They want the mail coming in OTA from whatever mail server it happens to be...hotmail, exchange, gmail, whatever. They don't want users to end up relying on outlook sync to get their mail on. They do let you export your outlook to windows live and sync it that way, so that anything you have on outlook will transfer over, but really, when you think about it, outlook is just like apple mail (obviously with more advanced features)...the iPhone doesn't sync with apple mail...it syncs with the mail accounts themselves, which then sync to apple mail. That is the kind of system they want, not mail accounts syncing to outlook and then to the phone, but rather the phone and outlook both syncing to the mail accounts, so that changes on one can instantly be reflected on the other, and the web portal that the mail can be accessed from...no sync required


    the focus is a galaxy s phone in hardware...its all exactly the same. think back to when it was released: the galaxy s phones were top of the line then. The focus is really a relatively old phone (though I love mine, save a few annoying glitches).

    also...iOS is a good distance behind? How do you figure? Sure, android sells more units, but I'd say iOS is really the dominant platform. A good amount of android sales are people who wanted iOS but couldn't get it on their carrier (its no surprise that compared to other carriers, ATT has poor android sales). And Apple as a company is the single largest provider of cell phones IN THE WORLD right now.
  14. Zepaw macrumors 65816


    Apr 18, 2010
    I tried a Trophy a few months ago. The OI has some slick smart features but it a pale comparison against iOS at this point. More importantly the app store selection was tragic. All things that could improve with time but I am not looking for a phone to use 2 years from now.
  15. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    the only thing iOS will have on it come this fall when mango releases is the app selection, and MS is doing a good job getting that to grow...it'll never catch up, but it will get to a healthy point. The phone is very usable now, and will be even more so this fall. You don't have to wait 2 years for it to be usable....
  16. Zepaw macrumors 65816


    Apr 18, 2010
    I like this chunk of a WP7 Mango review by cnet, sums it up well.

    My biggest issue is none of the actual phones are very appealing to me yet. Another problem time can (and will) rectify. Also how is Pandora still not on WP7 :mad:
  17. deanfx4u macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2010
    I think the Focus has a plastic snap on back. Primo right there. Form is huge for me, and I guess that's why I am an apple fan first.
  18. lamewing macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2005

    The OP practically described my very same story. I owned an iPhone 3GS but sold it (out of warranty + my bad luck with electronics = NOT GOOD) to buy a lightly used iPhone 4. I sold the iPhone 4 after a week. :eek: Why? I cannot stand the form factor. The build quality is outstanding, but the sharp edges were just uncomfortable to hold (too skinny), plus I was always concerned about the glass construction. I really hope the iPhone 5 has an iPhone 1 aluminium back styling.

    So I bought a practically new Samsung Focus. The phone body is very nice to look at, especially the screen. I like the slide door covering the micro USB port. IF Samsung has simply made the body out of metal (same color would have been fine) I would have no problems with the phone's construction. The plastic just feels slippery and cheap. :(

    The Windows Phone OS is very fast and easy to use. Simple and elegant. If this were simply a choice of OS, I would happily use Windows Phone OS over iOS. BUT there is more involved, specifically apps. The Windows Phone Marketplace is a mess filled with very amateur-quality apps and a sprinkling of good apps. I use iOS for Japanese language study and Windows Phone OS simply doesn't have the same level of support for those type of apps. There is also no live365 app. I had hoped to be able to play live365 through the browser (like mobile Safari), but is doesn't work on this OS's version of Explorer.

    I have owned and used a Zune and Zune HD alongside my iPods. The Zune has better sound quality (except for the original iPod shuffle - WOW!!!!), but most of my music is purchased from the Japan iTunes store...which, get this, still uses fairplay DRM :mad: So, it is a pain to put those songs on my Samsung Focus or Zune. If I only listened to music from CD or purchased in the U.S. this wouldn't be a problem, so take my comment with a grain of salt.

    I also feel that Mango should have been released earlier...this summer at the latest. This seems to be a habit of MS. They didn't even provide Japanese kana and kanji support for the Zune until the Zune HD came out. :eek: They are always so far behind the rest of the pack.

    Right now Apple just is a better choice (for me and MANY others). I really think the only thing that will take Apple down is Apple itself. Just like Sony's hubris cost it the portable music market. I simply don't think MS will ever catch up. Too slow a release on the OS updates. Too many variations on the phones that run Windows OS...and none of them match the physical build quality of the iPhone. We saw what happened when MS built its own mp3 player....they failed, so I don't know if they could do what Apple has done with the iPhone (building, err designing it themselves).

    As it stands, I am selling my Samsung Focus and renewing my contract with AT&T today with another iPhone 3GS. $49 is cheap. I will save my money and in six months just buy a factory unlocked iPhone 5.

    I guess I am staying with Apple for the foreseeable future unless I go back to a simple dumbphone.
  19. ataboc macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2007
  20. AAPLaday Guest


    Aug 6, 2008
    Manchester UK
    Good review thanks for sharing. I have the Omnia 7 myself which is similar to the Focus you guys have, and the HTC 7 Mozart. Love both. Previously had a Nexus s and Galaxy s but i much prefer WP7. Its so much faster/sleeker and you can go and buy any handset and know its going to work as good on them all.
  21. lamewing macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2005
    The Omnia 7 is an example of the quality construction the Samsung Focus should have had here in the U.S.
  22. tirk macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2010
    Wimbledon, UK
    Sorry, but that's an utter dealbreaker for me. For security reasons I cannot (contractually) use an OTA/cloud service for contacts/calendar so unless I pay for a hosted Exchange service, it's out. I used to be a happy WM6 user too.

    Not that I'm interested in it anyway, I still think the UI looks like a cross between a toy an something designed for the partially blind. :eek:
  23. aziatiklover macrumors 68030


    Jul 12, 2011
    Location: and
    thanx for the review, but as for me I went with Android and webOS instead!
  24. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    WP7 looks very promising, but my only fear is that it will remain a "promising" OS and never take off (like webOS). Although Microsoft and Nokia is a very strong partnership that should take care of this...
  25. AAPLaday Guest


    Aug 6, 2008
    Manchester UK
    Agreed. Its so well made it feels more like a HTC than a Samsung :D

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