Friday, December 17, 2010
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Samsung Windows Phones" @ 12:35 PM
This part one of a two-part unboxing and first impressions video of the Samsung Focus, a new Windows Phone 7 device that I got from Rogers Wireless in Canada. The Focus has a four inch, Super AMOLED screen. It has a 1 Ghz processor, a paltry 8 GB of storage, a five megapixel camera with a flash, and 720p video capture. And, oh, it's one of the few Windows Phone 7 devices on the market that has an easily accessible microSD storage card slots. In fact, that was one of the main reasons I bought it - because 8 GB of storage isn't something I could live with on a phone that's going to replace my Zune HD.
In retrospect, I should have called part two "Fighting with the Samsung Focus and microSD cards". You can witness the disaster below.
The whole memory card issue is a bit of a mess; Samsung tell you to use Windows Phone 7 certified cards, but doesn't actually tell you what those cards are. I haven't seen any microSD card manufacturer announce WP7 Certified cards yet, so it's like Microsoft and Samsung are pointing a finger at each other and no one is quite sure what to do.
In further testing, a Class 4 SanDisk 8 GB card worked, but I was never able to get that Class 10 Kingston 16 GB card to work...so it's not a matter of using the fastest cards you can get your hands on as I thought. And given the problems I had getting this to work, I have serious doubts about what this means for the stability and security of the data on the card. Can you really have confidence in storing your data on something that no one is quite sure will work properly?
Oh, and I can't forget to mention that once a microSD card has been put into a Windows Phone 7 device, that card is effectively unusable in any other device, permanently. That 8 GB SanDisk card that I got to work in the Focus? If I put it into an SD card adaptor, I can't get it to even show up on my PC. I can't reformat it. The card won't show up as a drive in the Computer Management console. I tried putting the card into my digital camera, thinking a brute force reformat by the camera would rescue the card, but it didn't work. I've heard that some people were able to rescue these cards by putting them into a Nokia phone, but I can't confirm that. It's a mess.
The take away from all this is that I can understand now why Microsoft was so reluctant to embrace the microSD card slot on the Focus; they knew how problematic it would be for customers to get this working. Most people will pop in whatever microSD card they have laying around, and the results would be ugly.
So, what's the Focus like as a phone? Stay tuned for my review.
Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his wonderful son Logan, and his mostly obedient dog. He was kind of disappointed with his first Super AMOLED screen.
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