Samsung i8910 Omnia HD review: Going to the movies

GSMArena team, 30 July 2009.
Pages: 12345678910»

Introduction

There never seems a shortage of heroes in this industry but every now and then a new breed emerges to change the rules of engagement. Ranks and titles are hard earned and we've seen enough contenders that barely deserve a hero's death. Now, here comes a gadget that knows the best shot at glory is the high-definition one. Will the Samsung Omnia HD be strong enough to bear its name with honor or will it crumble under the weight of expectations?

As all-in-one multimedia touchscreens are battling for dominance, the HD category is now making its way to cellphones. HD is a magical marketing word that has seen as many abuses as it has had just uses. In the Omnia HD case, it's an insignia of its truly superior rank. It's not the first time a handset has claimed this tempting acronym, but the Omnia HD hits it where it matters - video recording and playback.

Samsung were the first to announce and release an HD-video-enabled handset. In the not so short time since then, none of their major rivals managed to introduce a competitor. So, all heads are anxiously turned to Samsung to see if they can deliver.

Samsung i8910 Omnia HD Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
Samsung i8910 Omnia HD official photos

By the way, the Omnia HD comes equipped with everything that Samsung can put on the table. HD video recording and playback is definitely top-notch stuff but these are just the fancy extras on a full battle suit. There's also a huge AMOLED screen, powerful 600 MHz processor and dedicated graphics chip. The all-in-one count continues with an 8 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, generous 8/16 GB internal storage and DivX/XviD HD playback with subtitle support. Finally, the whole thing runs the latest Symbian S60 5th edition skinned with the new TouchWiz 3D interface.

Take the time to check out this genuine all-rounder.

Key features:

  • 3.7-inch 16M-color capacitive AMOLED touchscreen, 640 x 360 pixels
  • Symbian S60 5th edition with TouchWiz 3D UI
  • ARM Cortex-A8 600 MHz processor; HW Graphic Accelerator
  • 256MB RAM
  • 8 megapixel auto focus camera with LED flash, geotagging, face detection, smile shot, image stabilizer, Wide Dynamic Range (WDR), ISO 1600
  • HD 720p@24fps, 720x480@30fps, QVGA time-lapse and slow-mo video recording
  • Tri-band 3G with HSDPA (7.2Mbps) and HSUPA (5.76 Mbps) support
  • Quad-band GSM support
  • Wi-Fi with DLNA technology
  • Built-in GPS with A-GPS functionality
  • 8/16GB internal memory
  • Hot-swappable microSD card slot (up to 32GB)
  • TV out (Standard Definition content only)
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Bluetooth and USB v2.0
  • 3.5mm standard audio jack
  • DNSe audio technology
  • DivX/XviD video support with subtitles (HD video playback)
  • Virtual 5.1 channel Dolby surround (in headphones)
  • Proximity sensor for screen auto turn-off
  • Accelerometer sensor for automatic UI rotation, turn-to-mute and motion-based gaming
  • Magnetometer for digital compass
  • Office document viewer
  • Full Flash support in the web browser

Main disadvantages:

  • No xenon flash
  • No camera lens cover
  • Sluggish browsing in the image gallery
  • HD video recording sometimes drops below 24fps or duplicates frames to equal 24
  • Samsung Mobile Navigator doesn't come with any maps or voice-guided navigation license
  • No smart dialing
  • Touch web browser zooming needs tweaking
  • Somewhat limited 3rd party software availability
  • No office document editing (without a paid upgrade)

Well, the Omnia HD is packed with all kinds of goodies, but not without a few setbacks on the way to retail. If the whole thing is put together right though, the i8910 Omnia HD may have every reason to claim its rightful place on the throne as the unchallenged king of HD video.

Some of you must be wondering what took us so long to get an Omnia HD for a proper in-depth review as it's been around for a while. Well, it's true and it's not. Samsung i8910 Omnia HD was released in the end of May through selected carriers but shortly after that Samsung froze production and stopped supplies, reportedly due to software problems. Now, the official release has been announced and the Omnia HD is available worldwide, all bugs fixed…though let us be the judge of that. But anyway, the i8910 Omnia HD is ready to roll.

This is our third and last meeting with the handset and we're still excited about exploring an industry leading device. The verdict of course is a few pages away, but a device that ticks off the wishlist of high-end features and marries Symbian and TouchWiz is certainly worth a closer look.

Samsung i8910 Omnia HD Samsung i8910 Omnia HD Samsung i8910 Omnia HD Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
Samsung Omnia HD in our office

We hope you're as keen to join as the Omnia HD is eager to shoot those high-res videos. But first things first, let's take a look at the design and handling after the jump.

Next Page »

Pages: 12345678910»

 
Reviews > Samsung i8910 Omnia HD review: Going to the movies