Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Samsung Focus is finally available in Vancouver, Canada

I just stopped by my local Futureshop and discovered they finally have the Samsung focus in stock. They received one (1). And they wouldn't sell it to me "off contract" but if you're looking to become a new Rogers Wirelss customer you're in luck.

However I did discover that the BestBuy website is now showing them as in stock at the Cambie store - so it looks like the wait is finally over.

Now the question is - is it worth waiting until boxing day to see if they'll offer any discounts? FYI - the Focus retails for $499 US so we're definitely over paying north of the border.

Strangely, the HTC Surround is actually $50 less in Canada. This might be the one and only time I wish I was a Telus customer.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Continuing the search for a Windows Phone 7 device

After reading several reviews and first impressions of the retail Windows Phone 7 handsets I decided that I wanted to get my hands of a couple of the devices before shelling out $500 for a new phone.

Yesterday (being the last day of December) I decided to check in again with Future Shop, Best Buy and a Rogers Wireless retail store to see if anyone had any stock of the Samsung focus in Vancouver - still nothing. I did notice that Futureshop is now selling the LG Quantum with a slide out keyboard for Bell customers. Its a start but it still doesn't help me.

Today I took a trip down to Redmond to see if could get my hands on a phone south of the border. The Microsoft retail store in Bellevue Square is currently selling 5 phones for various carriers - and all of them are turned on and setup for display.

Samsung Focus: Thin, light and responsive. The color accuracy and brightness seems a little off but that could have been from the overly bright lights in the MS Store

LG Quantum: Looks like a good device but I'd like a larger screen and I'd prefer a thinner phone without a slide out keyboard. The display and responsiveness seemed good.

HTC Surround: I've used one of these devices before and its good (although a little thick) but I do notice just a bit of ghosting when scrolling through menus.

HTC HD7: A beautiful and thin device but substantially heavier than the Focus (its closest competitor feature-wise). I also has VERY vi sable ghosting on scrolling text, so much that I wouldn't buy the device which is unfortunate because it was my favorite of the phones on paper.

Dell Venue Pro: Another good phone but the weight and thickness make it uninteresting and I personally don't like the bottom slide out keyboard. The keys are smaller than the onscreen keyboard so I don't see the need for it.

After deciding that the phone I wanted to buy was the Samsung Focus I quickly discovered that the Microsoft store doesn't sell any phones unlocked nor will they provide any assistance with unlocking the phone. I was told that if I used AT&T service for 3 months they would then provide an unlock code.

I walked over to the AT&T retail store to see if I could get a different answer and they claimed complete ignorance and simply stated they don't sell unlocked phones.

It also looks like is no longer selling the Samsung Focus so I think my next step is to try ordering one online from for the inflated price of $599.99 Canadian ...