Samsung Omnia i900 Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £467.64

Samsung’s phones are as widespread and popular as Nokias these days and that success has come as a result of consistently producing sleek, good-looking handsets with mass appeal. But Samsung also wants a slice of the (article:Apple-iPhone iPhone) action, it would seem, and has made a big effort to produce one of its very own.

The Omnia, like the (article:HTC-Touch-Diamond HTC Touch Diamond), is based on Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 and like the Diamond it replaces large parts of Microsoft’s ugly and fiddly smartphone user interface with one of Samsung’s design in an attempt to provide an iPhone-style touch screen experience.

Physically, it’s very similar to the (article:Apple-iPhone-3G iPhone 3G), much more so than the Diamond, complete with slim, candybar form factor, a large screen dominating the front panel and minimalist controls. Compare the phones side by side and you’ll find that dimensions are remarkably similar too, though the Omnia is a little slimmer, narrower and shorter than the iPhone 3G, at 12.5 x 112 x 56.9mm compared to 12.3 x 115.5 x 62mm.

So how exactly does it stack up elsewhere? Well, as you’d expect from a modern Windows smartphone, there’s a pile of features and many of these appear to match or outstrip the iPhone 3G equivalent. It has a five-megapixel camera on the rear with an LED flash and a VGA video call camera on the front – the iPhone’s is three megapixels less and it has no video call feature. It also has HSDPA of up to 7.2Mb/sec, a 624MHz processor, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a GPS receiver and an FM radio. Plus it comes with a decent helping of storage – either 8GB or 16GB with microSD expansion as well.

Its screen, however, at 3.2 inches isn’t quite as luxuriously spacious as the iPhone’s and its 400 x 280 resolution is also inferior. There’s also no 3.5mm headphone socket and though a conversion dongle is included in the box, we’d sooner not have to carry an adapter around just to listen to music and it seems a needless oversight given the capacious storage on offer.

The camera, however, is the main highlight here. Its resolution is the main headline: five megapixels is the highest resolution I’ve seen in a Windows Mobile device, but it also has image stabilisation, which means you don’t have to rely on the less-than-ideal LED ‘flash’ in difficult lighting. The results are impressive. Inevitably given the pinhole lens shots are a little noisy in low light and focus a touch soft, but they’re more than acceptable. You can use the Omnia for proper snaps – not just contact profile pictures.

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