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Apr 29, 2009

Samsung Omnia Thoughts - Week #2

dark-phoenix_super copy

It has been my second (or is it third?) week with the Samsung Omnia and I have to say this is one of the best WinMo phones I've used, and above all - it's a fun one.

Read my first week's review:
Samsung Omnia Thoughts - Week #1.

In this review I would like to talk about the additional software that comes with the Omnia which is mostly impressive and useful.

But, before we begin, like every professional blogger, I would like to begin with some professional screenshots of the Omnia, combined with some other Samsung phones I poses, just to show you how professional and gadgets freak I am...

So here's an image of some older Samsung phones I had in the past:

IMG_0982 copy

And here's the Omnia in my hand:

omniahandy

Perfect, and now we can finally begin with the review:


The shell parts include the TouchWiz interface (which I didn't like and immediately disabled), a nice main menu screen (including 2 pages, 1 configurable page for shortcuts and a lot of settings pages), and a second today screen with some plug-ins.

sewll Screen58

mainmenu menu33

FavoriteSettigns browser

The Omnia not only wraps the settings and menu, it also has an impressive number of applications designed in a finger friendly way providing a better experience than the standard Windows Mobile applications. Here's some of it:

Custom Clock and Alarm:

alarm

Custom Media Player:

Libraryaudioplayer

Media Album:

mediaalbum

Custom Phone Book:

phonebook

Smart Converter:

smartconverter 

And my favorite one - the Smart Reader application which scans business cards and adds the details automatically to the address book.I've tested it and it's working absolutely terrific.

IMG_0979 copy

capture

Another cool application is the Digital Frame which is working elegantly exactly as it should.

digitalframe

The nice thing is that all of those applications are working very fast and are designed to be finger friendly. They are some small improvements which should be done in some of the UI controls (for example, opening a combo-box does not show up on the selected item, instead it opens the list from the first item which is annoying), but in most cases the finger friendly UI is much better than the standard controls.

Camera:

The Omnia is packed with 5.0 megapixel camera with auto focus, but I must admit, once again, that I was disappointed with the camera. It's the second device (after the Touch Pro) which fails to impress me with the camera comparing to the iPhone.


Summary:

Since I started using the iPhone, I find it harder to get back to Windows Mobile devices. I still like the capabilities, but simple activities are harder to perform, there are many inconsistencies in the user experience, and the overall impression is that most of the new WinMo phones tries too hard to hide the fact that they are Windows mobile based.

The Samsung Omnia does a great job in adding entertainment and fun to the standard OS capabilities, but it does it without hiding the fact that this is a Windows Mobile phone.

The Omnia has good performance, it has some nice additions and a lot of built-in applications. the screen size is longer than the usual which turned out to be a big advantage, the virtual D-Pad is fun, and so is the silly virtual mouse.

The screen resolution and the camera are disappointing, I must say that.

Overall, the most significant thing I found in the Omnia is that it's a great fun gadget, one you really want to keep.

 

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