Samsung I8350 Omnia W review: By the playbook
You must've figured it by now. If you're coming from an Omnia 7 you can pass right along - nothing much for you here. The Omnia W has a smaller screen and less storage than its predecessor - and the beefed up processor cannot quite make up for that.
The Omnia W is not an upgrade however. It's actually targeting a different set of users that were left out last year - deterred by the price tag of the original Omnia 7. The Omnia W and the Omnia 7 have nearly identical specs but this time Samsung are probing a lower market segment.
It's a different budget and Samsung are trying to bring in a different crowd. They didn't exactly keep it a secret either. Right from the start the Omnia W was supposed to be a midrange offering not a new Windows Phone flagship.
By the way, Samsung are right to save their best shots for later. Much hyped Nokia are stealing the show right now and even vastly superior phones than the Omnia W could be victims of poor timing. Many people believe it's Lumia or nothing right now on the Windows Phone market.
And the Nokia Lumia 800 is trying hard to live up to the expectations with Nokia's bespoke maps and navigation, a superior 8 MP camera and a brilliant ClearBlack display. Not to mention the one-of-a-kind polycarbonate shell.
If it's up to the Samsung Omnia W though, the Lumia 800 can enjoy its triumph while it lasts. Samsung have other things to worry about and the Omnia W should focus instead on opponents it can actually tackle. The HTC Radar is one. It has a slightly bigger 3.8" screen, but we'd take the AMOLED one on the Omnia W any day. The higher-clocked CPU of the Omnia doesn't always make a big difference but the extra speed may come in handy in, say, the browser.
The Nokia Lumia 710 is another midrange package to keep an eye on. It has a ClearBlack display but it's an LCD unit, not AMOLED. The Lumia is powered by the same 1.4GHz processor as the Omnia W. The free voice-guided navigation with Nokia Drive is part of the deal of course. The Lumia 710 has only seen a limited regional release so far.
There goes the Samsung Omnia W. Instead of aiming high, it makes itself comfortable in a relatively new territory for Windows Phone. Not ridiculously spec'd but solidly built and with enough personality. Powered by a 1.4GHz Snapdragon and flaunting a Super AMOLED screen, the Omnia W has enough of an edge over the main competition.
Of course, comparisons to the original Omnia 7 will do it no favors. You almost can't help a sneaky feeling that Samsung have been playing by the book - not by the heart. That would be wrong though. The Omnia W just caters to a lower budget. And not making a bad job of it at all.