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To further complicate matters, Samsung has added its own TouchWiz v2.0 UI over the top of the native Windows Phone interface. This is the same UI that the company uses on its non-Windows touchscreen phones. It presents you with a home screen that has three separate panels that you move between by swiping your finger from side to side across the display. These home screens can be populated with a range of widgets that you drag and drop from a pop out side bar on the right hand side of the screen. There are widgets for Facebook, YouTube, Weather, music playback and a whole host of other functions. However, some of them are quite limited in their functionality and overall the UI feels a tad sluggish.
As well as this shell, Samsung has also added some extra applications. These include its own video player, which is DivX certified, as well as the Opera Mini web browser, which is still a step ahead of Microsoft’s re-jigged and much improved Internet Explorer that’s native to Windows Phone.
The Omnia runs on a 624MHz Marvell processor, but although that sounds like it could be quite rapid, as ever clock speed is no guarantee of performance. That’s certainly the case here as even though the processor is supported by 256MB of RAM it often feels quite sluggish to use as it seems to pause before performing some actions and with lots of apps open things can get a little bit too much for it. On the storage front, there’s 512MB of ROM for your files and apps, but you can supplement this using microSD cards and the card slot is conveniently placed on the right hand edge of the phone.
Samsung usually tries a bit harder than most when it comes to the cameras on its phones, but sadly the one it’s opted for here isn’t all that impressive. The snapper has a pretty standard 3.2-megapixel resolution and lacks any kind of flash. It does have autofocus but it’s pretty slow to actually grab a snap after you’ve hit the shutter. The resulting photos don’t look too bad as the sensor picks up a decent amount of detail, but shots taken in low light are very graining and noisy.
We had no issues with the phone’s call quality as the earpiece delivers crisp and distinct audio and the mic isn’t too directional. Battery life was pretty much par for the course on Windows Mobile devices, as we got about two days of pretty average use out of it.
The Omnia Lite rather awkwardly straddles the space between a feature phone and a fully-fledged smartphone. Unfortunately, we think it’s not quite easy enough to use to work as a feature phone and the sluggishness and small screen mean it doesn’t quite work as a smartphone either. Overall, it’s a pretty average offering from Samsung.
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