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Touchwiz presents you with three home screens onto which you can drag a number of widgets for stuff like the FM radio, digital clock and weather forecasts. Touchwiz also adds a new main menu screen and a neat feature where you can quickly switch between work and leisure home screens using the W&L buttons on the left hand side of the phone. Nevertheless, we don’t think the combination of Windows Phone and Touchwiz gels all that well as there are still times when you find yourself being shunted back and forth between the between the two and the disparity between the different design approaches and menu layouts is a bit jarring and makes the phone quite cumbersome to use.
Also, performance wise the phone is a disappointment as it feels quite sluggish in general use. For example, when you swipe back and forth to move between the Touchwiz home screens the handset is slow to redraw the widgets you’ve got placed on each screen. It also takes an age to swap between portrait and landscape modes when you flip open the keyboard and moving through menus can some times feel like wading through a treacle marsh. This is somewhat surprising as the phone uses a relatively fast 800Mhz processor and 256MB of RAM, but we guess the combination of running Touchwiz over the top of Windows Mobile is just asking a little too much of the hardware.
Samsung has mounted a 5.0 megapixel camera on the rear of the phone along side a triple LED flash. The camera app takes a while to start up and there can be an unfortunate amount of shutter lag when you’re trying to take quick shots, but in it’s favour the camera app does have a pretty comprehensive range of shooting modes and it produces fairly impressive shots. Photos taken outdoors look pretty perky with strong, in-your-face colours, and indoor shots don’t come out looking too bad thanks to the impressive flash, although they’re naturally more noisy and grainy than those from a dedicated digital camera.
The phone’s connectivity is also reasonably good. It supports quad band GSM and dual band 3G, although HSDPA speeds are limited to 3.6Mbps, as opposed to the 7.2Mpbs found on most other smartphones in this price range. Naturally there’s also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support as well as GPS. The latter worked well with the pre-loaded Googlemaps applications. Call quality was also first rate, but battery life was a bit disappointing as we only got a day and a half from it before it needed to be topped up.
The Omnia Pro is certainly not found wanting in the features department, but the truth is that there are now plenty of feature rich handsets on the market vying for your attention. To stand out from the crowd a smartphone also needs to major on usability and style, and this is where the Omnia Pro comes unstuck. It’s far too chunky and the combination of Windows Phone and Samsung’s Touchwiz makes the interface unwieldy to use. Plus, its cause isn’t helped by the fact that the HTC Touch Pro2 HTC Touch Pro2 does everything the Omnia Pro does, only better.
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