Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO preview: First look
Touch Player is a welcome upgrade
Samsung have wisely decided to give WinMo users a new touch-friendly media player and spare them the inconvenience of installing a third-party one to substitute for the poor default WMPlayer. The one that comes on the B7610 OmniaPRO is identical to the one we already saw on the Omnia II we previewed not so long ago.
It handles both video and audio files, supports playlists and has the standard album/artist/tracks sections.
There are two main views available in the B7610 OmniaPRO player. The first one is the Library - at the top you have six tabs: all music, albums, artists, genres, videos plus Now Playing.
When you switch into play mode, you see a simple and clean interface. It has the standard music buttons you would expect - volume, next/previous track, play/pause and shuffle, while the album art fills most of the screen above them.
The options menu offers the ability to play the music faster/slower or to set the track as a ringtone.
Playing video is very simple - it's done the same way as an audio file. The player interface looks the same, but tapping twice turns on the fullscreen mode. It has the same control buttons as the standard one, but everything is changed for landscape orientation and there is no taskbar at the top or empty black spaces.
As the OmniaPRO has full DivX and XviD video support, it successfully managed to playback all test videos we trew at it - up to VGA resolution, of course.
The Photo Album is the main picture viewing app. It sorts the photos by month and shows the first six from every album. Scrolling is easy as a finger sweep.
Selecting an image loads it in a single view where you can zoom or slide to the next one. There are dedicated on-screen buttons for zooming, which toggle on and off automatically. Double tap zooming is also available although, unlike the Omnia II, the B7610 OmniaPRO zooms in on the center of the image rather than the spot where you have tapped.
Samsung have also implemented the one-finger zooming we came to know from the S8000 Jet and M8910 Pixon12. You just need to hold it on the screen for a second and then drag up or down for zooming in or out. This method works in both galleries (as well as the web browser) and it is at the very least as convenient as the pinching gesture on the iPhone.
There is, of course, slideshow functionality and you can adjust the direction, slide time and transition effect. It works fine and combined with the huge screen turns the phone into a perfect slideshow device.
Tilting the phone side-ways or opening the QWERTY keyboard shows a really cool alternative view. It displays your photos are in a 3D arc and they slightly overlap each other. You then scroll them with a sweeping finger gesture.
There is also an alternative arc of thumbnails crossing the current one - and it holds the folders. So with a single move you can scroll either the images within a folder or the whole list of folders.
It is pretty smooth and generally one of the nicest gallery apps as far as user-experience is concerned. Samsung's attempt to create a superior photo browsing app that sports 3D graphics and an innovative interface is really commendable. And so is their general effort to give WinMo the total interface makeover that it needing for quite some time.