Update: After updating the Samsung Focus to NoDo, loading times between the two devices is almost indistinguishable (whereas before the Arrive had a distinct edge, as expected). The Focus seems to be a hair fast almost consistently across the board, after loading 10 different games on the two devices. They both re-hydrate at an almost identical rate, but it seems that if the game has not been played for a while, the Focus is faster loading, by about a second on larger games. These results should not come as a shock, but rather confirm what we already knew - The NoDo update speeds up loading times.

While both the HTC Arrive and Samsung Focus have essentially the same internals, they externally sport very different form factors. These differing form factors do affect the gameplay more than you might think. How so?

Click through the break for video and other thoughts.

A Quick Note

We are having problems with our video software that will hopefully be solved later this week. That didn't stop us from putting something together with Windows Movie Maker, but as such, the cuts may be a little rough. Bear with it, as the content is worth it. Below the video you will find a quick little summary of what is detailed in the video.


The Samsung has a nice 4” super AMOLED screen. It is a beautiful screen for games. I was pleasantly surprised by the HTC Arrive when placed next to the Samsung display. While I expected the Arrive to look a little washed out compared to the Focus, it instead looked nearly identical thanks to the super LCD that it has. Yes the difference is noticeable when in scrolling through the live tiles on the home screen, in games there appears to be almost no difference. I did find in some games that the greens were a little richer on the Focus, but in the game used in the video, there is almost no discernable difference when side by side. I still favor the Focus display as it is slightly larger, which is always nice.

In Hand

The HTC Arrive is much heavier, so this could lead to fatigue quicker. With that added weight also come with bulk that is actually nice for added grip. The material that makes up the Focus is cheap and slippery, which is not the most friendly if your game requires you to shake the phone or whatever. Since both phones have capacitive buttons, one must be careful not to accidently hit the back or home button. I found this to be more of a problem on the Focus due to the bezel between the buttons and screen being rather thin, and also due to a poor grip on the phone as mentioned above. As for speaker placement, depending on the game, you may find yourself accidently covering the speaker on both devices, however I found this happening more on the Arrive.


Is nearly identical on both handsets. Even though the Samsung Focus has the supposedly faster NAND memory, the HTC Arrive has the NoDo update, which speeds up game loads. Most games load noticeably faster on the Arrive, but once in the game, with only a few exceptions, both games perform identically.


While I said at the end of the video that if I had to choose a phone for gaming, it would be the Samsung Focus for the slightly larger screen, I still find myself playing all my games on the Arrive – maybe because it is the newest toy, or perhaps because I enjoy the added grip. Either way, I don’t think most people will have a choice between these two handsets, as they are for two very different carriers. But what I do conclude from this is that both offer a very similar gaming experience, which is mostly a credit to Microsoft in purposefully keeping the platform a very cohesive experience across the many devices. If gaming is a priority, you won’t be able to go wrong with either device.

Check back later this week for the final article in this series, which will cover a lot of miscellaneous issues and my final thoughts on the two devices.



03/31/2011 1:20am

could you upload a video,show the loading speed between Samsung Focus(update to NoDo) and HTC Arrive?

Carson Kuehne
03/31/2011 7:18am

I will post a video late tonight or early tomorrow. I would have done so already, but I was building a new system since my last one was on its last legs (and also why we couldn't edit video forever).

04/01/2011 2:26pm

I'm looking forward to the new comparison video.

Carson Kuehne
04/01/2011 2:28pm

I actually shot the footage early yesterday. But my editing woes continue - onto a new system. Hell or high water, I will have it up later today.

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