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Samsung Focus S - Did you get yours yet?

The Samsung Focus S has arrived at AT&T today, meaning you can go to your local store and see it on display or purchase outright ($550 without contract).

We have ours and are uploading a comparison/first impressions vid as we speak. So far it's a pretty killer device--extremely thin and light are the key factors here. Screen is "okay" and the reason we say that is only because HTC has really stepped up their game with Super LCD on the Titan and Radar, meaning in our opinion Samsung has lost the edge here on that feature.

In the meantime, head into our forums to discuss your thoughts and opinions, or ask any questions as we're sure some folks will answer. We'll also have some Focus Flash hands on up in a bit too, don't fret.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • Haven't got mine yet, but I probably will very soon! I want to play with it first to see if its a significant improvement over the HD7s.
  • Got mine! Only iffy thing is the placement of the camera button. My wife (iPhone 4 user) was impressed by the look and feel. Very thin. Definitely the right choice for me.
  • jealous! i won't have time to pick mine up until thursday!
  • I'm waiting to see what Nokia will have in 2012.I need more storage,16GB is not enough.
  • Same here. I do love the look of the new Focus S, but I'm waiting to see what Nokia has in store for early next year. My Focus is certainly holding its own for me.
  • Post comparisons between Titan please? I am getting either the Focus S or the Titan but I am not sure which! No hurry but if before tomorrow that would be awesome : )
  • The Titan isn't out yet...maybe a release date announcement tomorrow...I'm waiting for the Titan personally.
  • In our 1st impressions vid I do compare it to the Titan. Should be up shortly.
  • every HTC I've owned has garbage for batter life - Samsung is the deal.
  • I was ready to get one right away, but I needed it to have at the very least 32GBs of storage. My current Focus has a 32GB MicroSD and combine that with the 8GB internal and I only have 6GBs free left. So, the 16GBs on the Focus S, just isn't enough :/From the rumors, it seemed like there was going to be a 16GB and a 32GB option, disappointing that there only seems to be a 16GB version, and not even a MicroSD expansion slot. Without 32GBs of space, I'm having trouble justifying the purchase. My only hope is there is still a larger version coming. Sigh.
  • 16 on board and 32 Gigs of cloud storage is what was released today. If you keep your music in the cloud you should be all set.
  • jeez guys will yet quite with the MSD card. Its not supported by windows phone 7. Let it go...Id say none of manufacturers care about the 32GB versions. Very few people go for 32GB or more cause it pushes the cost of the phone for the average consumer. Average consumer couldnt care about the storage as long as they can store a bit of music and pics.
  • the OS DOES support uSD cards, it can just be problematic (which is why they didn't include the option this time around most likely)i can think of at least one OEM who cares about more storage options, their name rhymes with mapple. ;)
  • Sigh... Please don't be ignorant, the OS does support microSD cards.
  • The OS does NOT support SD cards, you fool.
  • Oh really? Then perhaps you can explain to me why I have a 32GB microSD card in my 1st generation Windows Phone device, which is combined with the onboard 8GB to give the phone a single storage volume of 39GB?You're either an uninformed Windows Phone owner or an anti-MS fanboy trying to spread FUD. In either case, you're being retarded.
  • The OS does not support additional SD card, the device hardware does. The OS is never aware that there are more than one SD card, and only see a larger "on board" storage. That's it.So don't say that Windows Phone 7 OS supports additional SD cards, since it's completely false. The hardware does, that's it.
  • Well if you want to live in your wonderland where the hardware magically makes everything work without any software to tell it how to handle both onboard storage AND expandable storage... then be my guest.
  • Samsung actually did some engineering on their own to get the SD card to work. When you add an SD card in it becomes part of the permanent memory on the device (so you can't take it out or it will be corrupted. So while WP itself doesn't support SD cards, the end maker can work around it.Bottom Line, Windows Phones don't support SD Cards*
  • I believe we're arguing over semantics here... the statement, "Windows Phones don't support SD Cards" implies that you cannot use an SD card with any Windows Phones. Which is false.While it may not be a recommended end-user solution, MS had to change its chasis requirements before the 1st generation devices were released per requests from OEM(s), obviously at least Samsung. So, the OS supports whatever memory the device provides it, be it onboard NAND memory, or a microSD card (hidden or not), and in the case of the Samsung Focus, a combination of the two that presents itself as one file system/volume.
  • I just realized you weren't the person who initially made this claim, so excuse the "being retarded" (somewhat)... your statement is partially correct if you mean SD to specifically mean standard "Secure Digital" cards. Because I have yet to see a Windows Phone device with an SD card slot. However, there have been a few with accessible (some with difficulty) microSD card slots, and one which is easily user accessible (1st generation Samsung Focus). It is worth noting, that it is not a "removable storage device" as in, once you initiate the storage volume, it becomes "part of the device" and if you remove it the device must be reformatted, but that does not change the fact that the OS does actually support expandable memory devices.
  • Yes it does - perhaps your phone doesn't but the OS does. What is does not support is replacing the SD card with another and retaining you previous SD card's information. I loe it when somebody calls another a fool and doesn't have the answer and probably isn't even a developer - that's fun.
  • None of the AT&T stores in the Media/Springfield (PA) area had Focus S. My original Focus coincidentally broke (my own fault) on Friday, too, so timing would have been ideal. Using a friend's old Nokia E71x; yikes it's amazing how much smartphones have improved in two+ years (whether iPhone, Windows Phone, Android) compared to Symbian.
  • Daniel are you saying that the HTC Super LCD screen for the Titan look better than Samusung's Super Amoled?
  • Basically yes, but I have to word this carefully. It's like saying my engine is better on my BMW when compared to my Mercedes--it might be true but the Mercedes is still a **** of a nice engine too.If you use a Focus S by itself, you'll think it looks great. It's only when you put it up next to a SLCD that you noticed the latter looks more natural.On Gen 1 devices, it was no contest between Super AMOLED and HTC LCD.'s a contest.
  • I don't agree with you :) I had Titan for few days and that screen is kinda washed out, not so good. My Omnia 7 screen is much, much better. I think I will never go back to LCD,S-LCD. Amoled is just perfect for me. Waiting for Lumia 800.
  • Lumia 800 for me to. Week and a half to go :)
  • Daniel, doesn't the HD7S also have a Super LCD screen? I mean, did HTC improve the quality of it's Super LCD screens? Very interesting revelation. Looking forward to the comparison vid.
  • It does and I didn't notice any major differences, in fact I criticized it with a comparison on this site.The Titan/Radar screens are a different league. Check out my Titan 1st impressions video to get an idea. Blacks are black. It's bright, smooth and just excellent looking.The Focus S feels more synthetic.
  • Thanks for the response. Look forward to seeing your review.
  • There is never a case where a BMW's engine is better than a Merc's!!! ;-)I am shocked to see how better the sLCD on the Titan is over SAMLOED. HTC has stepped their game up for sure.
  • Let's do a battery war on HTC over Samsung
  • Got mine and I'm on it now! So far it seems to be a great phone. Windows Phone rocks! And I'm also glad to be on AT&T 4G too.
  • I just wish I didn't have yo wait until February to get a new phone. Its retarded that Samsung thinks this device with 16GB is worth $550. At 32GB I would have purchased it. I really hope Nokia has a device worth my money.
  • My understanding is that Super AMOLED Plus gives you 50% more sub-pixels. In other words, 12 sub-pixels instead of 8. This makes the screen even more visible in bright light, and makes text and the edges of images crisper. For that to be considered "okay", then HTC must have stepped up their Super LCD screen quality big time.
  • Maybe. I can't tell any difference with sub-pixels, looks no different.Re: Sun, the Radar/Titan look awesome in sunlight--slightly better than the Focus S because by default they are brighter. Super AMOLED Plus has a slightly better viewing angle, but it is slight and when the device is tipped at an extreme angle e.g. not realistic. I've been harsh on HTC's screens (and cameras) in the past. For me to consider them in the same league as Super AMOLED +, yeah, it's a big change.
  • I'm personally waiting for the TITAN. On the discussion of storage, I don't see what the problem I the only one taking advantage of SkyDrive? Not to mention any pics you upload on Facebook will sync with your phone, and I'm sure the 4G speeds will now make shorter work of that situation. Apps doesn't take up too much space, so unless you're trying to save every single text/email you've ever had, i don't think 16GB is too big a deal.
  • The problem for me with the storage situation is that us Zune/ ZuneHD / ZunePass users have racked up alot of mp3's (which is encouraged on an all-you-can-eat plan, $15 a month is bs by the way) we'd like to store locally on our device. The apps, texts, photos footprint is microscopic on my v1 focus (expanded to 22 GB via 16 GB sd card). But from what i read in the comments the sd cards are not supported, wondering if that is part of my phones issue now, see belowSide note some problems i've noticed on my phone MANGO and 16GB micro sd installed are: phone hardware clicks when screen is off and connected to bluetooth speaker (when not playing music), disappearing keyboard..., sporadic laggy performance (affects whole OS for a min or two then stops), and occasional marketplace tile showing a number indicating updates available when none are.Lastly, no one ever talks about how fast WP7 phones cold!
  • Super Amoled Plus is gorgeous, the thought that HTC's new S-LCD is comparable and arguably better, is amazing. Finally a reason to go with htc again after the epically awesome HD2. Current on samsung focus, cant wait to see this comparison video, Titan vs Focus S. WHICH DO I CHOOSE! lol.
  • I picked my Focus S up this morning at the downtown Seattle AT&T store, first sale of the morning (at around 10:05am, store opened at 10).So far very happy, installing and configuring a ton of great apps.
  • first sale in Portland today and I live in UT. that should say something and if it doesn't then this will... I have IOS devices and multiple Android devices. Finally a manufacturer has embraced Windows Phone 7...
  • did u just seriously say HTC's SLCD is better than SAMOLED Plus? Wow seriously?
  • Have mine. In heaven.
  • I've got to wait until Sprint puts something on the market. They haven't even announced what they're doing for the next cycle of WP7 handsets yet... I'm really, really tired of them not supporting the phones that I want. This is why customers keep jumping ship and if it weren't for the killer plan I have, AT&T would be getting my $$ right now.
  • I'm in the same boat man. Sprint hasn't peeped a word about a new WP7 handset. So far they are overly wrapped up in iphone and anything Android. I'll give them to first quarter of next year to announce something if not it's time to bounce and sadly pay a little more money with ATT. So far they seem to be the only carrier to get several new handsets for WP7 as opposed to just 1 unit.
  • Their killer plan ain't keeping me. Data speeds are far too slow for it to be useful. Going to Tmo this week.
  • I can't believe I'm actually leaving them since I've been with them for many years. Saying that, I am seriously considering AT&T for exactly the same reason as Hysonmb above said. If they are not going to sell the devices I like then why should I stay?
  • I was not 100% successful checking out the Focus S between two AT&T stores today. My local store had the Focus Flash but not the Focus S yet. So I checked out the SGSII to see how the form factor and screen are.Very thin, very light. The screen? I'm not super wowed by it. Based on videos I think I would definitely prefer the Titan SLCD.1. It looks to have a MUCH more accurate color rendering (I do amature photography and punched up colors BOTHER me, if I am looking at a photo). This is all from videos and pictures, but I believe it to be true.2. Titan is visible outside (possibly more so) which is TWO strikes for super AMOLED plus.3. Based on how AMOLED technology works, all screens will dim themselves on full white (very much like a plasma TV) which I do not like at all. SLCD will be as bright as the backlight. And with good blacks, what's the downside to the SLCD here? Three strikes.The problem is, I don't know if I want a 4.7" device. AND I have no idea when the Titan will drop on AT&T to even hold the thing so I forsee myself just getting a Focus S, in spite of everything I said above. Obviously I'll run the black theme :)Oh, I did get a chance to play with the Focus Flash, figuring it will run about as fast as the Focus S (aside from NAND speed differences, it should be identical to the Focus S in performance). Unless the Focus S turns out to have 1GB ram, but no one seems to be able to really confirm it.Anyway, the Focus Flash worked great. Everything was fast and snappy. This was my first WP7 experience, mind you, but I was very impressed with it. One thing I will say is that when choosing a screen size, it seems like under 4" is good for one handed operation, and over 4" is best for two handed operation. But each one compromises the other's strong point so, for me, I think a thin and light 4.3" Focus S is a good overall form factor.The overall question is, do I just call and order now? Wait until tomorrow on the slim chance a Titan will appear on an AT&T store within the next week or so? Or maybe go back to a store tomorrow and get some hands on with the Focus S. Yeah, maybe that one.
  • Something tells me tomorrows announcement will tell you when the Titan will hit ATT.
  • Yeah, I would have to believe so.
  • hysonmb,I also have a killer plan with Sprint and talked myself into the Arrive until I was told the bad news: absolutely NO new smartphones without a smartphone data plan. I have a Touch Pro running WM6.5 now and evidently, it is not a smartphone (please). So I would have to switch my family plan over to a $129/mo plan (from $80 now!!!!!). Given that, and an argument with a supervisor at customer retentions, I am basically committed to switching to AT&T for a $125/mo plan. Yeah, data cap, but unlimited is less useful if I don't get the device I actually want. I was willing to live with the Arrive on my current plan but NOT if I have to pay as much as any other carrier. They said they literally could not do anything about it, so this 12 year Sprint customer will switch to AT&T pretty soon...
  • I'm not buying a samsung device never again... I have the ceppy samsung focus and wishing I never have bought it! the camera suc#ks, also the sound quality (playing/recording)I'm waiting for a cool NOKIA device.... not the current lumia that has no front camera.... can't believe microsoft is releasing new?? non-front camera devices in 2011 , come on microsoft, non-front-camera devices are 2009 devices, you are releasing 2009 old hardware? lame
  • Wow, you must have a defective model, my Focus is wonderful. The camera on mine is better then most every other smartphone I've ever seen, including the iPhone, and the audio quality is fine.
  • I don't know, I would have to agree with willdoors about the Focus' camera. Mine is complete **** I've had three focus' (one I killed, then the second the died on its own) and they have all had equally bad cameras. Compared to the iPhone 4 (not the 4S) the pictures feel like they're made with a flipphone camera... But I love the rest of the phone. Even though people say it feels cheap like it would break at any second, I've dropped mine countless times and don't have a single scratch, paint chip, screen crack or anything. So I may switch to the Focus S (I tested out the camera in the ATT store yesterday and it was much better), but I'm going to wait to test out Nokia's phones first even if it does mean waiting a while.
  • that's like blaming germany for a defect in the brakes on a mercedes. get real!
  • I bought the Focus S today (in Central New Jersey) for my wife and she is pretty excited. I went to the AT&T store with 3 possible outcomes: 1) Do nothing if I wasn't impressed with Samsung Devices2) Upgrade my wife to a Focus Flash or Focus S3) Also upgrade myself to the Focus SWhy I got my Wife the Focus S1) We simply didn’t like the Focus Flash style. 2) The Focus S is amazingly light and thin. My wife didn’t mind the size at all. 3) I liked the Focus S enough that if she changes her mind and wants an AT&T Radar (assuming it comes out on AT&T), I can always get the Radar and swap with her to take the Focus S. Why I didn’t upgrade myself1) I like the Focus S, but I want to see what gets announced tomorrow in NYC to make an informed decision. I want to see and hold the Titan in person and compare it to the Focus S2) I am still pretty pissed that Nokia didn’t launch anything in the US. I would have, without a doubt, purchased the Lumia 800 if available, even with its shortfalls! Right now its 50/50 Focus S or Titan for me!  Regarding the Super AMOLED Plus screen – the automatic brightness setting does not due the screen justice. Its relatively dim when set automatically in normal light. We had to set it to “High” see what it could really do. I assume this is a battery life saving strategy. I never would have assumed it was even AMOLED (let alone Super AMOLED Plus) if I didnt know to change this setting. Other notes on experiences:1) They had 2 Focus S phones in stock plus 1 on display. 2) They didn’t have a single advertisement in the store for Windows Phone. 3) Two sales people I spoke to were clearly iPhone and Android knowledgeable and were a little shocked by what my Focus home screen looked like and the Live Tile information it contained (MyStocks, Accuweather, RunKeeper, Sports Scores, etc.). I threw some information at them on the phone plus the fact that dual core processors are not needed on WP given the light architecture… They were impressed with customer knowledge and a little embarrassed by their own lack of knowledge of Windows Phone, but I could tell that would absolutely direct a customer who asked for “smartphone” advice to iPhone or Android. 4) They had no knowledge of the Titan or Radar… and had no idea Nokia had joined forces with Microsoft.
  • Occupy AT&T WP Powerusers!
  • I just got mine today, I am in love. I am coming from a First gen Verizon Android.. But everything this phone is amazing so far.. including service and hot spots all over the place. I love the Metro UI.. Havent played with Camera enough to comment but its not really a concern I have a nice digital camera. I wish there was 32GB's but I can make do with 16. I just have a massive zune collection of podcasts and music and you obviously want to save space for games, photo's and video's.
  • Oh yeah and mstudny I totally agree with your comment about AT@T employee's.. WP7 is foreign to them.. They had 3 Focus S in stock and they were gone in 3 mins.. good thing I got there early. AT@T is clearly in bed with apple.. its really disgusting.. its almost like they don't want people to buy anything other than the Iphone.. The only reason why I give a s*** is because I want this in my opinion awesome OS to take off. More market share the better. So far I like this OS far more than Android I cant comment on IOS.
  • While I was in a mall store, a customer was browsing different phones in a surprisingly open minded way. He picked up a Focus and seemed interested and the sales rep snapped "Atrix is better." They really do need to address this because sadly, in some sort of throwback, people still trust these guys for phone/platform recommendations. Basically, simple to use = iPhone and power user or anything else = Android. Not seeing where WP7 fits in is short sighted and lazy.
  • I threw up in my mouth a little when I read the part where the AT&T rep told the customer that an Atrix is better than a Focus.
  • I got mine this morning. I'm in love so far!
  • I thought of something else: reception on the Focus S versus the Titan. PC Mag tested the Galaxy Skyrocket on LTE and found the reception inferior to the HTC Vivid, and attributed it to a sacrifice made for thinness. I remember in one video that the reviewer indicated the Titan had above average signal strength. How does the Focus S stack up?
  • I waited for today to pick-up a Samsung Focus S, but just couldn't bring myself to do it with only 16GB of storage; I have over 1,000 CD's (11,000+ songs) and the cloud is not a viable alternative to local storage for me (I don't want to run my data plan up & I drive a tractor-trailer for a living, so I'm often in poor/no signal areas), and I don't want to carry a seperate music player around. My smartphone touts itself as a music player also and, as such, I expect to be able to use it as one.I picked-up an HTC Vigor, and really like it so far!I really want a Windows Phone 7 device, though, and I'll be back soon!
  • Is it really necessary to have all 11,000 songs with u on the road? Should pay attention to that instead of fumbling through 10,000 songs. No wonder they're so many accidents with truckers. What a dumbáss
  • @theman60099 - I've seen a number of your posts where you're either calling someone you disagree with a **** a moron, or a dumbass.  That, or telling them to STFU. Do you really think that kind of response from you is warranted, just because another person has different needs in a smartphone than you do? We don't all use our phones the same way you do, or assign the same priority to the various features as you do. Does that make us all dumbass compared to you? I'm just saying... your responses to other people is so over the edge when one consider that you are taking part in a forum comprised of people from various backgrounds and nationalities, most of who will have differing opinions about any given topic. It just seems as if you're saying that if someone doesn't agree with you then they should STFU because their opinion is worthless. It almost appears that you're so angry that, were you in the same room with one of these individuals, you'd try to punch him/her out. If that's what an online forum for smartphone fans means to you, I pity the rest of us who take part in it. Respectfully.
  • That was supposed to say HTC VIVID!!!Sorry!
  • I got mine this morning. They only got in 3 at the AT&T store I went to.
  • got mine at the Microsoft store. $499.99 to buy it outright and they had a holiday promo to take 20% off $500.00+ purchases. Paid $400 + taxes and walked out :D
  • I got my Focus S at an AT&T company store in Tacoma. They said they had a half dozen on hand. There were working models of the S, the Flash, the original Focus and the HD7S on display but no marketing materials like the displays for the iPhone. I let the clerk show me the phone and she did alright, so she obviously had been through the online training I know the employess recently got. They had no cases for the S, though they did have one available for the Flash. The clerk said they had two case models listed as coming soon on her terminal. As for the S iteself, I like it a lot. I have the original Focus and it has been a good tool and a fun companion. It will stick around as a back-up. The S has a great feel in my opinion. The weight (or lack thereof) is remarkable. The cameras have both done a nice job with the limited tests I've given them so far. Haven't tried video yet. The bottom location of the mini USB port is a big improvement over the original Focus and I appreciate Samsung not changing the port design so the car charger from my original Focus will work with the S.
  • I have had my Focus S since this morning and to be quite honest the phone didn't have the 'wow factor' that I thought it would. I not really like the visual aesthetics or build quality. Of course, this is all very subjective and a matter of personal taste, so I will fully accept that there will be several others out there that do not agree with me. I find it VERY inconvenient. Every time hit the power button to put the phone in sleep, I invariably end up hitting the volume rocker at the same time - and vice versa. I walked by the T-Mobile store this afternoon and was very impressed by the Radar. I love the design aesthetics of the phone, which was snappy and responsive during the few minutes that I played with it. I may hold on to the Focus S for a few more days to see if it grows on me, and also in the hope that the Titan will become available on AT&T in the next 30 days so that I can do an exchange. I may also give in and get the Radar.
  • I went to local AT&T store this morning to look at the Samsung Focus S. To my surprise they had them on the wall display with the other phones. The door person knew exactly where the phone was! I say this because last time they did not know anything about the HD7S. There were no banners of the Focus S and only of iPhones. What was the same is the fact I knew more about the Focus S than the AT&T person. He even stated that it might not have Mango on it...I like the Focus S. It is bigger than my Focus but is thinner and lighter weight. The windows capacitive buttons light up bright. As far a storage goes 16gb is more than enough for me because I copy all the older pics and videos onto my skydrive.I am waiting for the Titan to hit the stores so I can compare the display side by side. I love my Focus because the display is awesome. I like the Titan for the 4.7 screen but if the quality is not as good as the Focus S then the Focus S will be my new phone.The only thing I saw missing is Tango for video chat. I would think that Samsung would include a video chat program to take advantage of the the front facing camera.
  • Got mine today. I was a little bummed with the white levels and the strange dim adjustments, but after going into the extra settings and turning off "auto display intensity", problem solved. Now it's as nice and colorful as I had hoped. This is my first WP7 phone, so we'll see how I feel about it at the end of the week.
  • Amazing phone - go to the store and buy it. I have 11 phones - this is my fave now. My quiver includes IOS, Android Froyo and Gingerbread as well as WP7 Mango. Compare my love for the phone with all who say "first device" and "has no features" - they'll come around. It's a completely new concept. It's not intended to adopt the easy adopters. It's intended to change. Finally a manufacturer has embraced WP7
  • Internet Sharing or MIFI option... Samsung Focus S has it - do the HTC models have that feature? I just looked on my other WP7 device the original Focus running Mango and it does not. That's a deal breaker for me. Device must have Mobile Hotspot.
  • So is the text on the Focus S now less jagged due to the AMOLED Plus display? The PenTile display of the regular Focus led to the pixelization, so I was expecting to hear a lot about how much smoother the lines and text looked on the S.
  • It's hilarious that some are arguing that WP7 doesn't support SD (more accurately, microSDHC) cards. It doesn't support removable memory. However, it maps as one pool any memory made available to it. If the OEM includes a slot then WP7 is more than capable of mapping that memory. But, let's just stop the silly, ridiculous argument over the terminology. The bottom line is that many people DO want more than 16GB of memory, the OS is MORE than capable of SUPPORTING more memory, and competitors have devices out with more memory. The iPhone has up to 64GB. As others who have the Focus have said, I, too, have a 32GB card in mine and I only have 8GB left unused. I defy those who say the cloud is the complete answer. As much as I rely on the cloud, I can't say it's there yet---with a 2GB data limit, and the fact that I'm lucky to even get a 3G connection most places I'm at (anything less than 3G makes streaming impossible), having plenty of storage for media is a must for a lot of folks. The improvements with the Focus S are nice---but not nearly nice enough to make me want to give up 40GB of storage for 16GB. The original Focus is still a flagship, as far as I'm concerned.