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Samsung Omnia

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Samsung Omnia has plenty of features and includes some interesting Samsung-developed enhancements. It does fall short when it comes to full finger input and the fact that the stylus is attached outside the body of the phone is also a little disappointing.

samsung-i900

Since the launch of the iPhone, almost every other cellphone manufacturer has been trying to duplicate Apple’s success by giving their customers a product that works or looks similar to their ‘fruity’ competitor.

The Omnia is Samsung’s take on the booming touchscreen phone market, and while it is able to pull it off, there are still a few things that I’d like to see changed.

From a design point of view, the Omnia is a sexy device with a large 3.2-inch touch-sensitive display. Its specifications are not bad either and it features a 624MHz Marvell PXA312 processor with 128MB RAM and a 256MB ROM.

Impressively, the Omnia has an 8GB or 16GB flash drive for storage, depending on the model you opt for. While you can expand the memory further using a MicroSD card, you have to unfortunately remove the battery to access the memory card slot. An external memory slot would have been preferred, but with a minimum of 8GB, we don’t foresee this to be too big an issue.

The Samsung Omnia is powered by Windows Mobile 6.1, and we were pleased to see that they had developed a slightly modified version of the user interface to make it a lot easier to navigate the phone using finger gestures.

A stylus is included in the box, but the only way to attach it to the phone is via a mini-lanyard. After the first day of use, it became irritating and we reverted back to using finger taps to use the phone.

While Samsung had made an effort to make this an easy process, the problem is still largely the operating system, which was not really designed for finger input only. Many parts of the operating system require a stylus to effectively navigate it.

While this is not Samsung’s fault, this is a trend we have spotted on all Windows Mobile devices that take on the Apple iPhone market.

Impressively, the Omnia also sports a 5-megapixel camera and LED flash. While there is no optical zoom, the image quality is still rather impressive and for candid shots, it will certainly not disappoint.

Much like other devices in this market space, the Omnia puts up a good fight when it comes to multimedia playback. Samsung has even developed its own media player for this phone.

Their software, unlike Windows Media Player, is optimised for finger input and the audio and video quality was impressive to say the least.

Over the week or so that we used this device, we continually had mixed feelings about it. It does what it claims to do effortlessly, but the ‘external’ stylus and spotty finger input capabilities on some parts of the operating system left us a little disappointed.

While Samsung users or anyone wanting a touchscreen device will be happy with what the Omnia has to offer, slightly more advanced users might shy away from this device.

 

Technical Specifications:

General
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 2100 HSDPA 850 / 1900 - American version
Announced 2008, June
Status Available. Released 2008, July

Size
Dimensions 112 x 56.9 x 12.5 mm
Weight 122 g

Display
Type TFT touchscreen, 256K colors (65K effective)
Size 240 x 400 pixels, 3.2 inches

- Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
- Optical trackpad
- Handwriting recognition

Ringtones
Type Polyphonic, MP3
Customization Download
Vibration Yes

Memory
Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Practically unlimited
Card slot microSD (TransFlash), up to 16GB (verified)

- 128 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM
- 624MHz Marvell PXA312 processor
- 8 GB/16 GB internal memory

Data
GPRS Class 12 (4+1/3+2/2+3/1+4 slots), 32 - 48 kbps
HSCSD No
EDGE Class 12
3rG HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, v2.0

Features
OS Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, RSS feeds
Games Yes + Java downloadable
Colors Modern Black
Camera 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, image stabiliser, video, flash; secondary videocall camera

- Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support
- Java MIDP 2.0
- FM Radio with RDS
- Pocket Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, PDF viewer)
- MP3/AAC/AAC+/WMA/OGG/AMR player
- DivX/XviD/WMV/MP4 player
- TV Out
- Voice memo
- Built-in handsfree

Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1440 mAh
Stand-by Up to 500 h
Talk time Up to 5 h 50 min

Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct

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