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9/10

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8-megapixel cameraphones are getting more and more common. Only last week I took a look at Sony Ericsson's first Walkman branded mobile with an 8-megapixel camera, the W995. Now this week I have a new addition to the Samsung 8-megapixel line-up. Following on from the M8800 Pixon and the i8510 Innov8 comes the i8910 HD, which you will also see referred to as the Omnia HD.

This is a stunner of a mobile phone. It boasts some superb credentials as a multimedia handset and while it won't slip easily into a small, tight pocket, the upside of that is a vast screen. At 144g, it's a bit heavy, which is surprising given the amount of plastic used in the casing. For a top-notch handset at this kind of weight, I would have expected a little more metal, though I can't fault the build quality. At 123mm tall, 58mm wide and 12.9mm thick it's the height that's noticeable in both pocket and hand.


Still, as I said, the size means there is room for a huge screen. Measuring 3.7in, it dwarfs almost every other mobile phone touchscreen available. Its resolution is good, too, at 360 x 640 pixels, and the AMOLED technology makes it clear, sharp and very readable in most situations. It was not outstanding in strong sunlight, but otherwise it did very well.

The touchscreen is capacitive and responsive. It is a little jarring that some elements require a double tap to select while others require one. For example, on the main applications menu you tap an icon to select it. On the next screen, you tap once to highlight a choice, the second time to select it. Then on the next screen, if there is one, you again need to tap twice, once for highlighting, once for selection. It may take you a short time to get used to the convention.

Samsung has implemented its Widgets system again. As usual, you tap a tab on the left edge of the main screen, and out pops a scrolling vertical menu of widgets that you can drag onto the screen. There are plenty of them, but their icons are large and I found I could only get away with about three on screen at any one time. That is dealt with by having three screens you can flick between using an on-screen selection bar. There aren't any live widgets such as a weather feed, which is a bit of a missed opportunity.

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