I don’t usually comment much about phones or technology in general because (to be honest) I don’t really know nearly enough about it to give an accurate review. That being said, I feel the need to write a brief review of the Samsung Focus Windows Smartphone I acquired about 6 months ago when I was eligible for a phone upgrade with our AT&T plan. Unfortunately it was a bit late since I dropped my phone in the water filled bathtub when I was 9 months pregnant. Don’t ask!
Before getting this awesome phone, I (like many others) was using an iPhone 3G. My husband and I were quick to jump on the iPhone bandwagon when it was released a few years ago. Admittedly I thought the phone was pretty cool with the way you could customize each screen with your app icons and all of the free/low cost apps (especially Angry Birds and some various cooking related ones). That being said, after about a year or so of use I noticed some things I didn’t particularly enjoy about the phone. The phone was really slow after the iOS4 upgrade, it tended to freeze A LOT while trying to switch from apps to the browser or from a phone call to an app (pretty much switching from one thing to ANYTHING else), and the general fragility of the phone (when it was dropped just a couple of times it tended to be damaged and/or scratch way too easily even with a case on). So when the time finally came to switch phones I said enough is enough and decided to switch to the Samsung Focus.
Now that we’ve got the background story out of the way let me get to the meat of the discussion here: why the Samsung Focus Windows Smartphone is AWESOME for moms!!
1. Durable – This sucker has been dropped on the garage floor countless times, fallen out of my pocket onto the laminate floor in the kitchen and the bathroom, and been shaken and played with by my two year old daughter. In all of those potentially disastrous events the back has only fallen off once and was easy to snap back on in about 2 seconds with absolutely no damage to the phone.
2. Easy to Use – The customizable tiles make it the phone incredibly easy to use.
From the start screen you can..
- Quickly find the contact you’re looking for to make a call, check out their Facebook/Twitter posts, find their address, etc.
- Pull up a map to get yourself back on the correct route when you miss a turn because your toddler is in the back seat wreaking havoc
- Check the forecast for the day so you can plan what your kid and you should wear for the day
- See your next appointment/event for the day (This be can done from the lock screen also)
- Play a game
- And LOTS more!!
3. Extremely easy to stay connected with your friends and family – Another tremendous feature this phone has to offer is the ability to view your contacts’ posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Windows Live all from the People Hub or the individual contact cards. You can also post to any/all of these social media outlets directly from your own card. Without having to switch from site to site to view/post all of the latest updates you’re able to save a TON of time.
4. Easy and fun to take and share photos and videos – As a stay at home mom to a toddler girl I take WAY more photos and videos than anyone probably should but I enjoy doing it and our family and friends like looking at them so I continue to indulge in my addicition…uh…habit (we’ll go with habit!).
To take a photo all you have to do is press and hold the button on the lower right side of the phone and the camera screen automatically pops up. And (get this!) the phone can even be locked and it will still take you to the camera. Press the button quickly again to take the photo and you’re done. It’s that easy! From there you can touch the elipsis and touch Share. You can send/post it via text message, email, Facebook, Skydrive, Twitter, or WordPress in just a few seconds. If you want you can add a caption as well. The whole process takes less than a minute and is totally worth it for the smiles and comments you get from family and friends.
Video is just as easy. Press the video camera icon on the lower right side of the screen. You’ll see a timer with 00:00 appear on the upper left side of the screen. To start recording press the button on the right side of the phone. To stop you press that same side button again. When you’re done you have the same options to share. SO AWESOME!!
5. Keeps you organized – The calendar on this baby is terrific. I’m sure you’re thinking a calendar feature can’t be all that exciting but this one is so easy to use and works great for making it easy to quickly glance over the schedule for any given day. You have a large tile on the “home” screen that displays the times and titles for each appointment. From there you can simply click on the tile to open it and view the appointments in detail. If you set up reminders the phone will chime and also display a “pop up” which you can dismiss or delay for a later time. If you’re looking to plan some things out a little further in the future you can view your agenda. This allows you to scroll through all upcoming appointments. To edit an appointment simply touch the listing on the screen and press the pencil icon at the bottom. From there you can change the time, date, title, details, reminders, attendees, etc. Even though I’m not working at this time this has helped me so much in keeping medical appointments straight, planning when to buy supplies for upcoming birthdays and events, send birthday cards, you NAME it!
6. Useful apps, fun games, and integration with Xbox Live – While the Samsung Focus Windows Smartphone may not have as many games and useless novelty apps (how many fart apps do people really need?!) the ones that are available in the Marketplace are really useful and entertaining.
One that I use ALL the time is Office, in particular OneNote. I use OneNote to make grocery lists, shopping lists for birthday gifts and party supplies, lists of books I want to buy for my Kindle, etc. The great thing is you can choose which lists you want to pin to your main screen so while you’re out shopping you can simply touch the tile and open it up right from there. Makes things much easier while you’re trying to keep your toddler from standing up and falling out the shopping cart while simultaneously trying to remember what all you needed to get at the grocery store.
I also LOVE the Epicurious and Betty Crocker apps (both are free). So many awesome recipes with very clear cooking instructions! Saves me a lot of time trying to figure out what to make for dinner tomorrow (or next week).
There are a lot of fun games available through the Marketplace too! My husband plays Angry Birds frequently (I finally got over my obsession with it), we both have Ilomilo and WordSearch, and I have a handful of other random games. The REALLY cool thing is that the phone integrates with Xbox Live! This means you can view and edit your profile, view and edit your avatar, and view gamer points and achievements. You can also view those same things for your Xbox Live friends. How cool is THAT?!
All you moms out there, give the Samsung Focus a look. You won’t be disappointed!