One of the first Windows Phones to hit the market was the original Samsung Focus. It’s the Windows Phone that I’ve used the most to test new apps and features. My biggest criticism is that it feels insubstantial in the hand — a lightweight piece of plastic, basically.

Today AT&T announced the new Samsung Focus 2, another Windows Phone.  It will sell for $50 with a two-year contract, launching May 20 on AT&T’s LTE network, where available.

According to the specs, it’s slightly heavier than its predecessor, at 4.3 ounces. But the initial hands-on reviews coming out of the CTIA Wireless show today make it seem like this device still has some things in common with the original.

Writes Sascha Segan of PC World, “The build quality here is okay, but not great. It’s all plastic, and while it feels firm and solid rather than creaky, the chromed plastic edges look cheap, and the backlight under the virtual buttons at the bottom of the phone bleeds into the white plastic around them. This doesn’t have the premium design you’ll find on the Lumia 900, which is also made of plastic, but spectacularly high-quality plastic.”

Says Phil Nickinson of wpcentral, “The Focus 2 actually is a tad heavier than its predecessor, but it’s in a slightly smaller form factor. It feels decent enough in the hand. It’s definitely got a plastic feel to it, which you’d expect from a Samsung phone. But, indeed, for an entry-level device, you’re not going to be ashamed to pull this one out of your pocket. And it’s always nice to see a dedicated camera button on the side of a phone.”

It’s only available in white, which is apparently the hot new trend. But with the flagship Lumia 900 selling for $99 or less in some cases, it could be a challenge for this new Samsung can find a strong niche for itself inside the Windows Phone niche.

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  • Guest

    As you say, if Nokia couldn’t generate any excitement for WinPho, sure doesn’t seem like this has any better a chance.

  • Jonah

    When i hold the Focus and the iPhone at the same time, I am instantly pleased with how much bigger the screen is on the Focus and how much lighter it is than the iPhone.  Then I drop both, and the iPhone cracks while the Focus doesn’t.  It has gone flying out of a golf cart and been unscathed.  My iPhone dropped out of my pocket and the screen shattered.

    I am sure there were people who thought the new Plasma and LCD TVs were too light and cheap looking and chose to stick with a tube TV…to each their own. 

    • Jason Gerard Clauss

      Poor analogy. Weight is important in a handheld device. It cannot be too heavy lest it become cumbersome but it cannot be too light for issues of user confidence when holding the object.

  • Guest

    Maybe this could take them from 2% market share up to 2.5%?

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