Samsung Omnia 7 GT-i8700 Review - Screen and Camera Review


On the opposite side is an equally pronounced, and thus thankfully responsive, volume control while up top is a headphone jack and microUSB socket, along with the ever important lanyard loop. The microUSB socket is hidden behind a secure sliding door that makes for a good compromise between protecting the socket and not getting in the way when you’re actually using the socket, like many such flaps do.

Dominating the front of the Samsung Omnia 7 is its 4.0in AMOLED screen, which is quite something to behold. While it’s the same 800 x 480 pixel panel as on the Galaxy S, the simple and strong colours of the Windows Phone 7 interface really show off its colour saturation, brightness, and contrast to full effect. In the same way, video absolutely shines when played back on this device, as do photos. However, as with the Galaxy S, when it comes to more mundane tasks, like browsing the web and reading email and texts, the screen doesn’t hold up as well as LCD alternatives.

This is due to the pentile AMOLED technology used in the display, which has two primary affects. First, it makes solid colours, particularly white, look rather mottled and fuzzy, and secondly it causes the edges of sharply contrasting objects (i.e. black text on a white screen) to look, again, a bit fuzzy. Some people have no problem with either of these issues at all but some of us find it a constant distraction, meaning we’d take a high quality LCD display, like that of the iPhone 4 or Desire Z, over an AMOLED any day.

You really will have to try before you buy on this front but if you’re happy with other AMOLED displays you’ll probably be happy with this one as well. The screen is also very responsive and supports two-point multi-touch for pinch to zoom and rotation gestures.

A five megapixel camera sits on the back, along with an LED flash (again, both stipulated as minimum for Windows Phone 7). Thanks to a reasonably speedy and easy to use camera app, along with the convenience of the shutter button, this makes for an effortless point and shoot camera. However, as always, it’s really only in the best lighting conditions that shots are comparable to a half decent proper camera. Otherwise they tend to be grainy and high contrast situations will completely defeat the light metering. Also, while a useful addition, the LED flash has very limited range (a couple of metres at most), and we’d prefer to see a proper Xenon flash (plus an LED for video, in an ideal world).

High definition, 720p video is also available but when it comes to quality, the story’s somewhat similar to photos. In decent conditions it can look quite detail and punchy. However, a slow framerate at full resolution makes for slightly juddery motion, which more or less makes it unusable unless you reduce it to a lower resolution.

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