Samsung launched its newest high-end smartphones Nov. 6, the Focus S and the Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, but they're both very different from the iPhone 4S. That's because they're both 4G capable and running two different software packages. Focus S runs the Microsoft mobile system and the S2 Skyrocket sticks with Google's system so it's worth looking at all three devices side-by-side to see what else separates them.
iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2 Skyrocket's predecessor, the Galaxy S2 have both been huge sellers so far. Global sales of the Galaxy S2 have helped Samsung become the world's top smartphone maker, but that doesn't answer why they would take to the unproven Windows Phone OS by Microsoft. Windows Phone is only a year old as a mobile system, and that means the software itself and the available apps are not widely known. Microsoft has updated the system recently with the 7.5 version, called Mango, that made many, many changes, and seems to have upgraded the system to a point where the mobile industry is taking it seriously.
One area where Samsung, and Apple for that matter, haven't been as strong is with business people, known as enterprise users. Blackberry has been the home of many enterprise users for years, but as smartphones have become more affordable and powerful, some are branching out from Blackberry to other systems. Windows Phone has the Microsoft Office apps built right in, a key item many enterprise users might be looking for. Samsung could be targeting these users by teaming up with Windows Phone on the Focus S.
If many enterprise users are thinking of picking up the new iPhone 4S, Samsung seems to be going for the strategy of offering a unique selection of devices to suit just what people want. Galaxy S2 Skyrocket offers a bright screen using the Super AMOLED display and has a fast 1.5GHz chip for all your Web surfing needs. Compare that to the 1GHz speed of the iPhone 4S and 1.4GHz for the Focus S. Both Samsung devices have larger screens than iPhone 4S, but all three have 8 megapixel cameras.
All three are close in price too. Galaxy S2 Skyrocket is $250, and iPhone 4S (16 gigabyte version) and Focus S are both $200 with two-year contracts. As mentioned before, the big difference is in the software, where features abound on all three systems. As mobile software becomes more widespread, the Android, iOS and Windows Phone systems seem to converge on some feature ideas while innovating one or two new ones to capture people's imaginations.
iPhone 4S has Siri, the voice recognition software that sends your emails and texts, but also talks back to you, sometimes with sass. Galaxy S2 Skyrocket comes with Android 2.3 but will get the new 4.0 update within a couple months. Android 4.0 will feature the Android Beam where you can instantly share data using the near field communication technology. Focus S relies on the Microsoft system that features the Office apps and Windows Phone's living tile interface that focuses on easy access to all your apps and data.
iPhone users will enjoy a stylish device that talks back to you while Galaxy S2 Skyrocket users will have a phone that is more edgy and customizable via the open source Android system. Focus S users get the familiar Windows usability in a high quality device with very similar technical capabilities as the better known iPhone and Galaxy S2 phones.
Tell us in the comments what phone you are considering this shopping season.