Samsung’s first major Windows Mobile touchscreen effort boasts a 5-megapixel camera and good video and music playback. We took the Omnia out for a spin to see if it mixes business with pleasure well or if it’s just another underwhelming touchscreen phone.
What we like
The Samsung Omnia is an attractive phone with a large screen that’s good for viewing pictures and videos on. Windows Mobile is fiddly at the best of times, fortunately the Omnia’s proprietary interface that sits on top of Windows Mobile, makes it easier to use. There are shortcuts on the homepage, for example, that give you quick access to several key functions.
We’re not huge fans of Windows Mobile 6.1 but there are some advantages, including offers Microsoft Exchange and Office support, and to the delight of everyone there’s 16GB of on-board memory for storing all your data. In addition to all of that the Omnia comes with HSDPA, Wi-Fi and GPS — so you can use it as a sat-nav.
What we don’t like
We’re not personally overjoyed that the i900 runs Windows Mobile 6.1 as it means you need to use a stylus most of the time and there’s no stylus slot, so you need to hang it on the side. It’s possible to use your finger to operate the i900 but the resistive screen isn’t as sensitive as we wanted it to be. Legibility in direct sunlight is pretty poor too.
We thought that the Omnia’s 5-megapixel camera would distract us from the Omnia’s screen but it disappointed us even more, producing sub-standard photos. Turning to the music player partially saved the day due to its finger-friendly layout but the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack had us almost in tears.
The 16GB edition of Samsung’s Omnia has a lot going for it but is let down by Windows Mobile, which makes parts of the phone clunky to use. We were disappointed by the camera and lack of 3.5mm headphone jack but if you need Windows Mobile, then it’s worth looking at, even if you don’t buy it – we won’t be.