Performance, Camera, And Battery Life
Even though the Focus 2 has a single-core CPU, it feels quite responsive. The user interface is responsive and we didn't feel as if we were waiting on the phone to react to our demands. Multitouch controls work well and are quick to respond when pinching to zoom in the browser or when viewing photos.
Microsoft caps Windows Phone device screens to 800 x 480. As a result, the Focus 2's screen isn't quite as dense as other screens we've seen. Overall, the Focus 2's 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED looks good. Viewing the screen outdoors under direct sunlight was no worse than on other phones with a Super AMOLED screen. In some instances, viewing the screen outdoors was a bit easier thanks to Microsoft's clean user interface and dark backgrounds on some screens. Viewing angles are excellent.
Click to enlarge
The Focus 2 has a 5 megapixel camera on the back of the phone. Some indoor images were occasionally washed out by the LED flash, but that's pretty common when taking a close-up shot indoors with any smartphone camera. Our biggest complaint is that some outdoor images didn't always display the best color. While we appreciate the implementation of the camera app and camera button, image quality is of greatest importance. The Focus 2's camera captured a number of respectable images, but since some of our images didn't really show the true coloration of the setting, we wouldn't recommend trading your point-and-shoot for this on-board camera.
The Focus 2 comes with a 1750mAh battery. Samsung says you should be able to get up to 10.4 days of standby time with 3G service or up to 6.5 days of standby time with 4G LTE service. Samsung rates the continuous usage of this phone at up to 6 hours. To put these numbers to the test and give a better feel for how the Focus 2 compares to other Windows Phone devices we've seen, we ran the WP Bench Battery benchmark. This benchmark keeps the screen on and loops a CPU-intensive task in the background.
In this test, the Focus 2 lasted for four hours and 36 minutes – just a few minutes longer than the Nokia Lumia 900. During the test, the Focus 2 was connected to AT&T's 4G HSPA network, not an LTE network. To be fair, we must point out that the Lumia 900 was connected to AT&T's LTE network during the test. Although the radio isn't exercised during the test, having it active and available in the background will make a difference. Still, this test shows you should be able to enjoy respectable battery life with the Focus 2.