By Jonathan Bray
Reviewed: 24 Aug 2008
Review Price free/subscription
Samsung Omnia SGH-I900 - 16GB - Black and Silver (Unlocked) Smartphone
OMNIA all in one Samsung SGH i900L - Black Smartphone
Used SAMSUNG OMNIA I900
I thought the battery life was meant to be one of the selling points for this phone, but telling us it lasted a day and a half hooked up to an exchange server doesn't give much information. For example, was that over 3G or WiFi or a mixture of both. What else was the phone being used for.Maybe you could run a continuous music-play test as Sandra does, then we have something to compare with other reviews. Quoted talk time and standby time are always nice to see, but a review should really be testing these out.What about the GPS? does it come with a pre-installed package? how did it perform in tests? What was music quality like? Can we have some sample camera shots please and a real feel for the camera's ability rather than what it can and can't do.Sorry, but this review falls a bit short of thorough - The interface is important, yes, but how well do ALL the features actually work?
In what way is the "launcher" program any better than the WM default programs screen? It's just a list of programs with icons the same size as the WM one...Also, are there any sample pictures of the camera, as that is one of the Omnias best selling points!And, finally, is the accelerometer as limited in use as it is on the Diamond, or does it do things in every program?
I'm kind of puzzled by this review and the score of 7 awarded at the end. I know there's a lot of hate for Windows Mobile in TR but this is, frankly, more than a little odd especially when you compare this to the iPhone 3G which scored 10.For example, you give the Omnia a 7 for value when it's actually cheaper on contract than the iPhone 3G which you give a 9 to. In addition you state "there's a pile of features and many of these appear to match or outstrip the iPhone 3G equivalent". Well, actually on several fronts it DOES outstrip the iPhone there's no appears about it.Moving on...The Omnia doesn't provide stylus storage because it doesn't need one - for the more intricate bits of the OS you just use the optical mouse. Of course, the casual user is kind of unlikely to be venturing into that territory with the possible exception of setting the clock which actually is awkward. You kind of admit that when you mention it applies to the more advanced settings.You mention the keyboard but don't mention you actually have about four to choose from ranging from T9 to QWERTY. Although responsiveness is a personal choice I can't say I've had any problems with text input on the Omnia so far. The iPhone on the other hand, because it's a dead keyboard, certainly did give me the urge to throw it through a window.Finally you mention the battery life. I take yor point but how does this compare to the 3G? From what I can see on most tests it's better and as good as the top performing smartphones out there.So, to recap, you give a 7 for design which seems a little harsh, a 9 for features - the same as the iPhone despite it, and let's be honest here, being much better featured, an 8 for performance, a 7 for value - which you clearly seem to have got wrong because you rate the iPhone 3G as a 9 despite it costing considerably more - and a 7 overall.Shurely some mistake? as Privtae Eye used to say.All I can say is that from personal experience it's a better phone. I suppose opinions will vary but this review just seems a little short of the mark.
@Sleeper - I can understand where you're coming from but I agree thoroughly with Jon's review. Let me deal with this point by point as I have time with both devices.- The Omnia is being reviewed here sim free at a cost of 𧺋 - hence the value score- The stylus is needed on a regular basis. Just because casual users won't use them regularly does not mean they should be scared off by these areas if they do venture into them (that's a point off the features right there: inaccessibility)- The battery life is inferior to the iPhone which can achieve these impressive figures in optimum settings (how ALL phone battery scores are calculated):Talk time: Up to 5 hours on 3G, Up to 10 hours on 2G, Standby time: Up to 300 hours, Internet use: Up to 5 hours on 3G, Up to 6 hours on Wi-Fi, Video playback: Up to 7 hours, Audio playback: Up to 24 hours- Any touchscreen handset in which T9 becomes an appealing option has made a mess of the Qwerty keyboard. I also found it terrible in comparison to the iPhone (a device where a day or two's worth of practice had me typing faster than on my old Blackberry - you have to stick with it). - iPhone features the Omnia lacks: responsive multi-touch equalling gesture control, a comparable browser to Safari, comparable multimedia playback, comparable html email system. So the iPhone is superior in interface, web browsing, multimedia and email. That should explain the scores for both devices given the Omnia wins with only its camera I think a 9 is generous. - You have to live with an iPhone for a week to fully appreciate it. In my mind the two are leagues apart unfortunately. G
Thanks, Gordon. However, I'm not sure I agree:"The Omnia is being reviewed here sim free at a cost of 𧺋 - hence the value score"Fair enough, however since you can't buy the iPhone 3G sim free at all shouldn't the comparison be based on contract costs? "The stylus is needed on a regular basis. Just because casual users won't use them regularly does not mean they should be scared off by these areas if they do venture into them (that's a point off the features right there: inaccessibility)"Again I disagree. The stylus isn't needed because it has the optical mouse. Sure, it's nice as an option to have one but necessary? I don't think so."- The battery life is inferior to the iPhone which can achieve these impressive figures in optimum settings (how ALL phone battery scores are calculated):Talk time: Up to 5 hours on 3G, Up to 10 hours on 2G, Standby time: Up to 300 hours, Internet use: Up to 5 hours on 3G, Up to 6 hours on Wi-Fi, Video playback: Up to 7 hours, Audio playback: Up to 24 hours"Up to or actuals? What tests were run on both units? What criteria were used? If it's exactly the same then fine but there's not enough detail here to see that."- Any touchscreen handset in which T9 becomes an appealing option has made a mess of the Qwerty keyboard."Gordon, I didn't say that, I said there was choice. I use the QWERTY for mail and T9 for SMS because that's what I'm used to and I appreciate the choice of input methods. Could I use the QWERTY keyboard for texting? Sure but I don't want or need to."I also found it terrible in comparison to the iPhone (a device where a day or two's worth of practice had me typing faster than on my old Blackberry - you have to stick with it)."With a day or two's practice? Well, yes, but one wonders had you stuck with the Omnia if you would also get used to it? I understand it's user preference though - like I said the iPhone's dead keyboard just frustrates me. "- iPhone features the Omnia lacks: responsive multi-touch equalling gesture control"True. Never found this much use though to be honest."a comparable browser to Safari"I'm sorry, Opera 9.5 isn't comparable? Are you sure?The rest is kind of subjective. "- You have to live with an iPhone for a week to fully appreciate it. In my mind the two are leagues apart unfortunately."Fair enough. I lived with the iPhone for about ten days before I realised it just wasn't for me. Have you lived with the Omnia for that long?I don't want to get in a silly argument over devices because, like all things, opinions are subjective. I suppose you guys have to call it as you see it. It just seems you've glossed over some of the 3G's failings and the Omnia's virtues.Ah well, I'm sure they'll both sell by the bucketload anyway!
@Sleeper - re RRP, this is how we were presented with the phone and therefore how it must be reviewed. As for everything else, In my professional opinion I sadly disagree - as clearly does Jon. None more so than your thoughts about multi-touch:http://www.trustedreviews.com/...Also - Yes Opera 9.5 is inferior. No the multimedia superiority of the iPhone isn't subjective ;) And personally haptic keyboard feedback drives me nuts. I'm glad you like your Omnia - it is a very nice phone and obviously suits you very well but I doubt you'll find many professional reviews that back up your opinion. If Omnia sales come within 1/10th of the iPhone 3G over the course of their lifetimes then Samsung will have done extremely well.
It seems reviewers don't like to criticise the iPhone, where as they'll happily pick up all the faults (and some that don't exist) on WM. Is Apple paying you, or are you just biased?The optical mouse also brings better one handed use than a stylus.Also, how often do you actually use multi-touch on an iPhone? It's used in the photos program, and Safari, and that's it! And, it's no use one handed! (although, neither is the iPhone as holding the damn thing is difficult enough)Opera is faster than Safari - even if Apples adverts disagree, an iPhone on WiFi (lets face it, you're not actually going to be able to load a page before the signal breaks on 3G) against virtually any WM device with Opera on WiFi will loose on page load times, and Opera 9.5 is still beta!And, even if the IM on the iPhone is better than the Omnias, how many third party SIPs are there for WM, which are better than the iPhones? (I would ask the same about iPhone third party SIPs, but you can't get those, so another point to the Omnia!)
Having not used an Omnia personally I can't possibly comment on some of the details, but I find it kind of galling there's no 3.5mm jack on the Omnia. It just seems like a really simple and obvious thing to have on a phone with plenty of storage. Would you buy an MP3 player that required an adapter to plug in a pair of headphones? I think not.
@Oliver - do you think there might be a reason WHY professional reviewers don't life to criticise the iPhone? Perhaps it might be similar to the reason professional cinema critics don't regularly criticise the year's best films?!Not sure of your point here: the iPhone doesn't need an optical mouse or a stylus. If you ask this multi-touch question you clearly have not used an iPhone since there is no way other than multitouch to control it. Contacts, emails and music are scrolled using it, photos, maps and the web browser manipulated using it. Multi-touch is not something you can turn off it IS the control system. Browser speed is also dependent heavily on the horsepower of the handset it is installed on. The iPhone has an 800MHz CPU so you'll have to try and back up your claims on that one. Re third party support: it's call the App Store and has completely changed application support for mobile devices.Sorry all these points are redundant. Good day fellas.
"Multi-touch is not something you can turn off it IS the control system." Where (other than the photos and Safari) is multi touch implemented instead of normal (single point of contact) touch screen? Multi touch is nice, but its capabilities are so under used in the iPhone, it may as well not even be there!The iPhone has a 624MHz processor downclocked to 400MHz... That's half 800MHz!"Third Party Support" - Whoop! I can pay money to be able to write an app that can't run in the background (so, as I said no SIP replacements), and can't do much because when Apple checks the code (as they do to everything so you iPhone nuts don't end up crying because you downloaded something without reading what it said) they'll notice you trying to access things you can't have because you're not Apple (eg decent location awareness).Anyone can download a free IDE and compiler for WM, and write an app for free and then release it for whatever they like without Apple taking anything for them selves!Apple haven't revolutionised anything, they've just marketed the iPhone in such a way as to brain wash the general public into buying outdated, under powered hardware because it has a pretty Apple on it.@Andys comment "Would you buy an MP3 player that required an adapter to plug in a pair of headphones? I think not." People bought the original iPhone even though most headphones wouldn't fit into its headphone socket, and look, reviewers didn't really care, 'cause it's an Apple product and therefore must be perfect!
"Not sure of your point here: the iPhone doesn't need an optical mouse or a stylus. " WM doesn't "need" an optical mouse or Stylus to do everything the iPhone does. Its just helpful when changing settings the iPhone doesn't have!
"@Oliver - do you think there might be a reason WHY professional reviewers don't life to criticise the iPhone? Perhaps it might be similar to the reason professional cinema critics don't regularly criticise the year's best films?!"Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the name of this site "Trusted Reviews"? There should be no bias.Anyway, critics are ALWAYS criticising the years best films! That's what they do best :)
The only part of the review I disagree about is the design score, it's certainly objective but in my opinion the samsung looks much nicer then the 3G, I just find Apples design so bland and boring whereas someone obviously made a little bit of effort with this.
I have no issue criticising the iPhone for two simple reasons - it's too big and I don't like its dependence on iTunes. That's my personal opinion, and just goes to highlight why a lot of this debate is down to personal preference and whether each individual user is willing to sacrifice one thing for another...
Got to say, I was looking forward to this review and I've been sadly disappointed by it's lack of real testing. In fact I've learned more and have been more entertained by the comments page.Given the mauling that has been dished out, do you think we could have an addendum to the review adding the detail and true comparisons that have been asked for in the comments so we end up with a decent review that is actually helpful to people looking to get a new phone in the next month or so...either that, or give it to Sandra who regularly produces thorough and consistent reviews of excellent quality with no discernible bias.Sorry guys, but it really isn't up to scratch.
I can't believed I've even bothered to register to post a comment.You got to realise most reviews done here have such bias views that only suits their own personal needs and preference. If you look at all mobile phones reviewed here, what plays high on TR is STYLE. If it's slim and sexy then it will have a chance to score high and get a recommended rating. They focus so much on how thick/thin a device is!I just read reviews here for a bit of fun and look elsewhere for serious reviews.
Personally I like the samsung omnia and can cope with it fine, people I know who are not tech literate have picked it up and used it with ease so I'm considering buying it as a phone. Ultimately I think it's much better value than an iphone because it has a similar pixel density to the iphone, has far more features including the ability to play many more file types, use msn, opera mobile which is far better than mobile safari without a doubt, office software and many other extras. The iphone has the built in 3.5mm jack etc and is better for consumers who just want a media player with a cool interface, and occasionally use it to phone people but beyond that the iphone 3g is useless when compared to the functionality of the omnia or diamond or even blackberry bold, it's not a smartphone and doesn't even come close to one which is why I think you should never compare it to one.
Gordon, no professional reviewers?Well I did a quick Google on "Samsung Omnia review" and the first one was this:http://www.phonearena.com/html...Interestingly they appear to go into far more detail than your review does - to the extent they go through the phone's capabilities and frailties in some detail, including a video review. They do this with most other phones, including the 3G as well. Interestingly the 3G gets an 8 whilst the Omnia gets a 9.Whether they are professional or not they do appear to believe in thoroughly covering their subject material it seems, something that appears to have been missed here. So whilst you may consider the Omnia to be a weak offering regrettably I must extend that criticism to your coverage. Still, I must thank you for making me search, thus enabling me to find a site where the product is actually reviewed comprehensively.
@Sleeper - you quote a 'review' "translated from the Greek" which states the Omnia has a 3.5mm headphone jack!?! Think you need a better source mate...@dave - "the iphone 3g is useless when compared to the functionality of the omnia or diamond or even blackberry bold" - I'm sorry that's completely ridiculous. Other than a superior camera in the Diamond and Omnia there is nothing to be missed here. As for the Bold - have you tested it or are you just throwing random handsets in?@AlmostDone - Bias? You clearly didn't read my comment in regards to my hopes for the new Samsung Innov8 (http://www.trustedreviews.com/... - we WANT phones that compete with the iPhone. We WANT choice. It is latest to throw Apple fanboy labels around, do your homework. @ILoveGagdets - from what I understand Sandra would have been even more scathing of the Omnia than Jon. @piesforyou - you are clearly missing the point: what I am talking about is a consensus of opinion. There will always be snipers but as professional reviewers we have time with far more handsets than the man on the street. This gives us more perspective. Many comments on here are from those who have already bought or are committed to buy an Omnia and feel the need to justify their decision. I'm sorry fellas, I love you guys but it happens...In sum, we WISH LG, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia even (!) Motorola would come up with some genuinely innovative handsets that really gave the iPhone a run for its money. Sadly what we are seeing is a lack of craftsmanship and instead a misplaced emphasis on 'specsmanship'. When you see past raw hardware specifications you will understand the problems. Come on manufacturers! We KNOW you can do better...
@GordonThe site Sleeper referenced, didn't say it had a 3.5mm jack but adapter (this is directly from the site and not a translation).*http://www.phonearena.com/html...I really think this review is a bit harsh. I know the iphone is a very good multimedia phone but since its launch, there has been no week that i dont come across a problem that users are experiencing. From firmware issues, bad reception, battery life, to even its material casing( about not being rain friendly).A lot of reviewers get sucked into its design (interface and body), do not give a thorough review on its functionality and prefer to sweep all its shortcomings underneath the carpet when some phone capabilities are meant to be standard in this generation of mobile technology.Am a bit disappointed with this review and its just because i feel generally, there is partiality when brands are reviewed. People just have their preferences or a brand that resonates with them more than other offerings. Am not talking about fanboy-ism(which is when some keeps ranting about a particular brand they like). I think you guys try your best to play fair everytime you review gadgets/technology but maybe not this time.Another thing (slightly outside the discussion) i wanted to mention is something which i actually tested out. A lot of guys do tend to dislike samsung as a brand when it comes to mobile phones. I think it has something to do with a conception of it been more suited to the feminine audience?!
I haven't read through all 20 (!) comments above but I just wanted to counter adoniteINK's suggestion above that Samsung phones are for girls. I have owned several Samsung phones myself, and know several more male friends who have also. I'm not aware of any female-bias in the brand. I chose the phones on tech-spec alone, which is more of a bloke-thing than a girl-thing to do (if I'm able to get away with saying so). If people dislike Samsung phones in general it may be more to do with their experiences with the interface / OS which in general falls short of the slickness of a Nokia or Sony Ericsson. I'm sure more recent Samsungs are better though.
Just want to chip in on behalf of the site Jonathan and Gordon. I've been reading TrustedReviews since it started and it is very obvious to me that they take an editorial style with all their articles and reviews. This means that their opinions and mischievous comments are threaded throughout the site. With this in mind I know that the reviews are not going to be so scolarly as some sites where they spend pages and pages unpacking boxes and analysing every feature in a very dispassionate way.I know those sites are out there and I will read them if I'm considering a purchase, but I always look here to see what TR has to say. For me they give what I'd call a "gut instinct" review of a product. Which is sometimes more acurate than the analytical approach.Give them a break. They produce fun copy on a daily basis. That is not easy.
"For me they give what I'd call a "gut instinct" review of a product."The number of years they have both been doing it - it's usually on the money.
I have a cheap 㿀 siemens phone which can send picture messages, does this make it better than the iphone, as I want a phone that can send mms and the almighty, multimedia king of all phones who all should bow to cant send a simple little picture message. Hmmmm, how many camera phones today cant to this, iphone really is in a league of it's own.
@Steve - win some, lose sum. It's the same with any handset - even if Apple's decision is completely baffling.
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