Saturday, July 21, 2012

Windows Phone Showdown: Focus S vs. Radar 4G

I love being lucky enough to get to test drive a device here and there. I like it even more when I have the chance to use great devices side by side. A while back, while choosing my daily driver for Windows Phone, I was lucky enough to have my hands on the Samsung Focus S and the HTC Radar 4G. While I had my hands on these two 2nd generation Windows Phones, I made sure to take them through their paces.

Construction: The Radar 4G really wins this battle overall. While the Focus S has a larger format, the Radar just felt great in hand. The solid metal backing of the Radar just gave the device a better feel and a more solid construction. The thin cover of the Focus S certainly lightens the weight of the jumbo build, but overall, it does leave the device feeling a bit too light. The only construction flaw I found in the Radar was the "SIM cover" which to this day, I have yet to find a replacement for if it every happened to break.

Screen: This one is personal opinion, but the Focus S has one amazing screen. Once you get past the "bluish" tint that the SAMOLED screens have, it becomes one of the best parts of the Focus series. The HTC screen is a bit more muted, but has a much more true "white" color. Overall, both screens are very nice in their own way, but the edge on this one goes to the Samsung.

Internal Memory: With 16GB the Focus S seems like a clear winner in this department, but the 8MP camera also takes up more space with each photo. The Radar only had 8GB of internal memory, with about 6 left for personal use. If you are on a limited data plan, this is a major drawback. Fortunately, T-Mobile, the carrier that offers the HTC Radar, only offers unlimited plans. Sure, you will drop off 4G coverage by the middle of the month on the lower range plans, but you never lose it completely. That means access to SkyDrive is always there and that's an added 25GB of space. So, chalk one up for the Samsung here as well, but don't think that 8GB isn't enough on T-Mobile's unlimited plans.

Cameras: This was a tough one since both cameras did an amazing job. The focus had a bit more muted colors and very crisp images. The Radar had a bit more saturation and a beautiful softness to them. The Radar really reminded me of a "portrait" style lens, where as the Focus was more of an "action" lens. Side by side, they both did a fantastic job of capturing the moments. The first image is from the Focus S and the second image is from the Radar 4G. You can see the color difference in the capturing of the first image as the Focus is a soft white and the Radar is the saturated pink. The actual colors are almost in-between the two. The detail is even more obvious in the second set as the Focus almost blew out the pinks in the flowers and the Radar was almost dead on.

Finally, my favorite category, overall experience: how did the phones work for me on a daily basis. The Focus S ended up in my pocket. This had nothing to do with the functionality of the Radar, but more so of the T-Mobile network. Had I been lucky enough to snag the Radar's AT&T counterpart, the Titan or even the newer Titan II, we would probably be reading something like the Titanic Voyage of Windows Phone instead of Focus on Windows Phone. The HTC product was better in almost every aspect, except coverage. You can blame the device a bit, but ultimately a great smartphone on a poor network just isn't going to get the job done. To test my theory on this, we were blessed enough to have a Titan show up for my wife to replace her Focus Flash and can now do a side by side with that one next.

So stay tuned and we'll get it up as soon as we can!

Sent from my Samsung Focus S Windows Phone from GetSmartphones.Info

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