The Samsung Focus is one of the hottest Windows Phone 7 devices that launched with the new operating system back in early November. If you’re not familiar with this device, you can read all about it in our review, posted here. The Focus is available from Rogers here in Canada and from AT&T in the US. Both carriers have listed the exact same device specs – 8GB memory, UMTS/HSDPA (850/1900/2100), 1500 mAh battery, 4” super-AMOLED screen, 5 Megapixel camera, and expandable MicroSD card slot. Aside from the carrier, the Samsung Focus is physically the exact same device, except for one small thing – price.
AT&T is selling the Focus for $499 without a contract, or $199 with a 2 year contract. On the other end, Rogers is selling the phone for $599 without a contract, $499 for a 2 year contract, or $149 with a 3 year contract! Now, I’m sure the conversion rate between the US and Canadian dollar plays a part in this pricing. So, let’s take the average conversion rate from October – $1.00 USD = $1.017975 CDN – and now our numbers are… pretty much unchanged. So why the big difference in price? If someone from Rogers is willing to answer this, please use our contact form to get in touch with me. To me, this just looks like more greed from the Canadian carriers.
If you are looking for a Samsung Focus, and you’re not willing to sign a 3 year contract with Rogers, I would recommend picking up a Focus from AT&T and using that with your carrier here in Canada. Of course, there is an extra hidden cost associated with this solution. First, you need to get to and from the US or pay to have the phone shipped here if you bought it off eBay. Or, stop in at an AT&T store on your next visit across the boarder. Second, you will need to unlock the device as it will be locked to the AT&T network. This shouldn’t cost you more than $20 or $30.
All things considered, you’re better off picking up a Focus from AT&T and unlocking it, versus paying an extra premium to Rogers.