Hands-on with the Samsung Focus S! (Video)

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We told you to come, didn’t we? Friday night’s awesome gdgt Live in Los Angeles event brought all of the latest goods in Windows Phone excellence. Check out our hands-on coverage of the HTC Radar, HTC Titan, Samsung Focus S, and Samsung Focus Flash!

What’s big, beautiful, and thinner than a Samsung Focus? A true sequel to the original: the Samsung Focus S for AT&T! While most people won’t be getting their mitts on this one until early next week at a New York press event, Windows Phone Daily beat them to the punch thanks to Microsoft’s Windows Phone Inner Circle Tour. So far we only know about this handset coming to AT&T, so international readers beware that some things may change for the globe-trotting equivalent you will eventually receive from Samsung.

So is the Samsung Focus S really a worthy heir to the Focus’s high and mighty throne? We’ll be blunt: yes. Find out why and see it in motion after the break.

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Let us reintroduce you to the Focus S, shall we? Like most slab form factors, the front is dominated by the display and in this case we wouldn’t have it any other way. The deep blacks and vibrant colors of the 4.27-inch Super AMOLED Plus display will definitely impress new customers — a panel with such a dynamic color range on its own can really make a Windows Phone experience satisfying. Tucked away in the top-left corner is the phone’s 1.3-megapixel front-facing cam, along the right side are its power and camera shutter buttons, on the left is the volume control, at the top is a 3.5mm headphone input jack, and finally on the back there’s the 8-megapixel autofocus camera along with its LED flash.

Meanwhile upgraders coming from the original Focus should feel right at home when they get the handset in their palms. The front of the device is comprised of the same slick plastic as the original, although it does feel less smudge-happy than before. Fortunately, Samsung has opted to go with a nicely textured aluminium back cover which should reduce the chances of hefty shipping fees to send your shattered phone back to the factory. Also despite being more rectangular in shape, the phone still features the same rounded curves that made the O.G. Focus feel so good to hold.

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Of course there’s plenty new to take note of, like the much increased height and its nominally wider body. One big difference upgraders will notice right away is the slimmer design, which is down to 8.55 mm from 9.9 mm and makes a huge impact on the weight. While it is hard to really see the difference, you can definitely feel it. One change users may not be so happy with is the same issue we had with another jumbo-sized Windows Phone — namely that the area for the capacitive buttons just seems too small, and in the case of the Focus S the keys aren’t spaced out so chances of accidental taps are much higher now. Just like with the Titan, this is one of many elements of the device that has been reduced to accommodate the larger screen and slim form factor, for better or worse.

Feature-packed, a better display, and more powerful internals; sounds like a fitting sequel to us. Even though it reuses some elements and materials we were hoping Sammy would skip this go-around, we think the Samsung Focus S is still going to an awesome high-end option this Fall and a great upgrade choice for current Focus owners (and there are a lot). Feast your eyes upon video of our hands all over this beast and then aim your line of sight towards the rest of the photos underneath.

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Author Description

Saad Hashmi

Founder of Windows Phone Daily. Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Information Systems. While procrastinating on that goal I write, play games a little too often, and watch exorbitant amounts of mediocre half-hour comedies because I lack the patience to watch hour-long dramas that are probably better. Follow me on Twitter: @Saad073