Samsung i900 Omnia review: The whole nine yards

GSMArena team, 25 July 2008.
Pages: 12345678

Introduction

Now that the dust of the Diamond vs. Omnia PocketPC battle settles down, our up close and personal look at the rivals continues with Samsung i900 Omnia. Slick looks, great feature-pack and ingenious software solutions are things that hold true for the i900 Omnia in the same extent as for the Diamond.

And since the Samsung i900 Omnia boasts loads of character and personality it's no wonder it holds the crowd hooked ever since it was announced. The first five megapixel Windows Mobile cameraphone has inspired quite a following and now that it's already market available in Europe we are more than happy to welcome the Omnia back after a well deserved breather. Well then, we've seen it race, let's watch it cruise.

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Samsung i900 Omnia official photos

Key features:

  • Quad-band GSM support
  • 3G with HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS
  • 624MHz Marvell PXA312 CPU and 128 MB RAM
  • 3.2" 65K-color touchscreen with resolution of 240 x 400 pixels
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with wide dynamic range mode, face tracking, smile detection, geotagging
  • 8 to 16 GB of storage memory, microSD expansion
  • Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS
  • Wi-Fi
  • Stereo Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Optical joystick with virtual mouse functionality
  • Built-in accelerometer for auto screen rotation and call muting
  • TV-out
  • Solid build and great finish
  • Slick design and slim body
  • Nice battery life
  • Fast response and performance
  • Excellent thumb-optimized software package
  • Thumbable virtual QWERTY keyboard with optional landscape mode
  • TouchWiz UI
  • DivX video support right out of the box
  • Above average audio quality
  • Headset comes with a 3.5mm audio jack

Main disadvantages:

  • No stylus slot
  • Poor sunlight legibility
  • Memory card not hot-swappable
  • Non-standard display resolution
  • No dedicated 3D accelerator
  • Non-standard USB port
  • Web browser lacks real Flash support

The PocketPC mid-season may as well be a hush before the storm with the HTC Touch Pro and Xperia waiting to be unleashed. But for now we have two other bitter rivals to keep us busy: Samsung i900 Omnia and HTC Touch Diamond. It truly is a great achievement for Samsung to have a gadget fit to stand up to the top PocketPC manufacturer HTC.

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Samsung i900 Omnia all over

The two devices are doing a great job standing their ground to the Apple iPhone 3G and it's no wonder since each of them is technically more advanced than Apple's creation. In fact, they have a lot of things in common with the iPhone - the full Touch UI, the nice multimedia capabilities and the superior web browsing experience. But we digress.

We already saw the Diamond and Omnia in action and you're free to replay the game here. The Diamond surely has a few things to offer over the Omnia (VGA screen, smaller size, 3D acceleration, and magnetic stylus) but it also has its issues here and there to make it a tough call indeed. We do hope however that this review will bring you a little closer to deciding your allegiance.

Some of you that have already gone through the Diamond vs Omnia article might be probably wondering if this review is worth your time. Well, truthfully, we have put our every effort to make it worth it.

First of all, since we finished the grand battle between these two high-end handsets, we received a final retail unit of the Samsung Omnia, which proved much better both in performance and software equipment. We've taken care to reflect all those changes in this review. And there's even more:

  • we've added more than 70 new interface screenshots (and there are new studio shots too)
  • we've added a whole bunch of camera samples from the retail unit
  • we've covered new topics such as the FM radio, the organizer, the mobile office and the full range of pre-installed applications
  • we've covered the Opera 9.5 web browser in greater detail

So if we've got you interested enough, take the jump to the hardware inspection of Samsung i900 Omnia.

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