Samsung Launches Spec-tacular ‘OmniaHD’

Korean giant once again gets the hardware spot on, but what about the software?

I make no bones about it and 68 comments aren’t changing my mind: the Samsung Omnia was one of the (if not ”the”) worst touchscreen phones of last year and had I been reviewing it 7/10 would’ve been a distant dream. This though my dear chums looks much, much better…

Rather reminiscent of the HTC Touch HD in both naming and feature set, the ‘OmniaHD’ features a stunning 3.7in AMOLED 16:9 360 x 640 pixel display and will happily playback and capture 720p video at 24fps. Yes, it almost has us at ‘display’.

That is far from the end of the story however as the impressive handset comes packing HSUPA, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, a choice of 8GB or 16GB of storage ”plus” a microSDHC expansion slot ”’and”’ an eight megapixel camera with autofocus, flash and smile detection. Add to that native DivX/Xvid playback, an FM tuner, video editing and reasonable dimensions of 123 x 58 x 12.9mm. Oh and if ‘HSUPA’ has your head in a spin that means potential 7.2Mbit HSDPA download speeds combined with up to 5.76Mbps uploads. Yep, Wow.

Given this is a touchscreen Samsung though two important questions remain:

1. Has Samsung finally embraced a capacitive touchscreen like the only truly responsive models out there (iPhone, Palm Pre and T-Mobile G1) or stuck with a frustrating, stylus loving resistive panel?

2. Has Samsung improved upon the truly abhorrent UI featured in the original Omnia? (The primary reason why that handset was truly hideous).

Critically at this stage, Samsung has not answered these points, but if they can get their act together this is going to be one phone that will cause the competition sleepless nights. If not, then once again it’s just another ill-thought out spec monster that will fail to live up to the promise of its components…

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