Software and User Experience
As we said in our review of the Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone, Windows Phone 7.5 has made great strides and now feels much more refined and elegant than previous versions of Windows Phone. This OS is finally at a state that can compete with Android and iOS.
Thanks to Windows Phone 7.5, the Focus 2 is able to offer a threaded email inbox, Office Mobile, and Microsoft SharePoint support. In addition to searching the web, Bing Search lets you search for music by having the phone "listen" to a playing track; scan barcodes, QR Codes, Microsoft Tags, and more; and dictate searches using the voice controls.
Microsoft is also focusing on providing information that's relevant to your location with Local Scout. Once the phone finds your location (it didn’t take long on our test model), you can page through nearby restaurants, activities, shopping, and highlights. This app is easy to use and visually very appealing.
Like the Nokia Lumia 900, the Focus 2 also comes with Internet Sharing enabled, which lets you share the phone's Internet connection with up to five other devices. As far as browsing on the phone is concerned, the latest version of Internet Explorer is a definite improvement over previous editions. The browser felt smooth and responsive during our testing.
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The Microsoft Marketplace app store is growing, but the number of titles available is still relatively small in comparison to what you'll see on iOS or Android. First time smartphone buyers will likely be happy with the Marketplace offerings, but long-time Android and iOS users will likely find some missing apps in comparison to these larger app stores.
Windows Phone 7.5 also supports multitasking. Just press and hold the Back button and you'll see a card-like interface that lets you quickly switch between apps.
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