Samsung Focus 2 Versus Nokia Lumia 900: Which is the Better Sub-$100 Windows Phone?

By Vamien McKalin | May 10, 2012 08:59 AM EDT

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Samsung might have the Android market under control with its Galaxy line of smartphones, but things are quite different in the world of Windows Phone where Nokia and its Lumia line rules the coop. On Monday, Samsung officially announced the Samsung Focus 2, the company's latest 4G LTE offering on the Windows Phone platform.

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The Focus 2 is Samsung's first Windows Phone handset to offer 4G LTE connectivity. On top of that, Samsung is pricing the device at $50 on AT&T (with 2 year contract), which is definitely a plan to undermine the Nokia Lumia 900, which goes for $99 with a 2-year contract.

Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile said in a statement: "Samsung is the unmatched leader in offering smartphones across a variety of platforms and the Focus 2 is a powerful example of our continued commitment to Windows Phone." 

 "As our first 4G LTE Windows Phone, the Focus 2 is a fast and versatile device for productivity, entertainment and social networking."

The Focus 2 is the successor to the original Samsung Focus, which was released way back in 2010 as one of the very first Windows Phone devices. It follows after the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash, which were all released 2011.

The big question now that requires an answer is, how does the Samsung Focus 2 stack up against the Nokia Lumia 900, which it will be directly competing with. Both devices are sub-$100 smartphones, both run the latest version of Windows Phone 7.5, but there are some big differences between the two that consumers should consider before taking the plunge.

Screen size

The Nokia Lumia 900 has a huge 4.3-inch Clear Black AMOLED display, while the Samsung Focus 2 could only manage a 4-inch Super AMOLED display. Winner - Lumia 900

Cameras

Samsung added the same amount of megapixels to the Focus 2 that is found in the original Focus, which is 5 megapixels. We do not yet know if it takes better stills, what we do know is it has the ability to take 720p HD videos, something every Windows Phone handset is capable of doing. Nokia on the other hand took it a step further with an 8-megapixel camera with a dual LED flash. The camera is also capable of taking 720p HD videos.

When it comes to front-facing camera, Nokia steps it up again with a 1.3-meapixel front facing cam, while the Focus 2 chooses to focus on a meager 0.3 megapxel VGA cam. Winner - Lumia 900

Internal Storage

Both devices have internal storage but lack a microSD card port. This is a restriction brought on by Microsoft, so there is nothing much handset makers can do about that. However, Samsung found a way to bend the rules with the first Focus when the company added a microSD card slot. Too bad it didn't do the same for the Focus 2. We understand that only 8GB of storage will be found in the Focus 2, while the Nokia Lumia 900 is rocking twice that with its 16GB internal storage. Winner - Lumia 900

4G LTE Connectivity

No winner here, folks. Both the Samsung Focus 2 and the Lumia 900 are packing 4G LTE on AT&T, which is a good sign for the Windows Phone platform. Winner - Draw

Design

This is a no brainer, really. Nokia is well known for its designing prowess, and the company came out guns blazing with the its first Windows Phone, the Lumia 800 which has one of the best smartphone design we have ever seen. The Lumia 900 followed suit with a similar design as Nokia continues to work its way back to the top of the food chain.

The Focus 2 design is similar to countless Android smartphones, and to make matters worse, it's made of plastic, for crying out loud. Winner - Lumia 900

Finally, price

Because of the cheap plastic design and overall weaker specifications than the Lumia 900, the Samsung Focus 2 walks away with this one. It will be available on AT&T for only $50 with a two year contract. The Nokia Lumia 900 is a little bit more expensive at $99 with a two year contract. Winner - Focus 2

Verdict

Obviously the Nokia Lumia 900 came out on top here. The Samsung Focus 2 might be cheaper at $50, but we believe it would be a better investment to get the Lumia 900 if you want a phone that is built to last, more storage, better camera, bigger screen, and better design. When it comes to applications, Nokia exclusive apps for the Lumia line of devices are unmatched. So not only would you be a part of the Windows Phone ecosystem, you would also be a part of Nokia's own ecosystem as well.

(reported by Vamien McKalin, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

 

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