Samsung I8350 Omnia W review: By the playbook
The Samsung Omnia W is equipped with a 5 MP camera with autofocus, Geo-tagging, image stabilization and a single LED flash. It can capture images of up to 2592 x 1944 pixels resolution.
The camera UI is pretty simple – you have your viewfinder and some controls on the right. From top to bottom they are the still/video camera toggle, virtual zoom buttons and an extended settings menu. On the left you have an arrow that takes you to the images taken with the camera, alternatively you can do a swipe gesture too.
The camera app on Windows Phone offers very extensive settings, ranging from scenes and effects to white balance, contrast, saturation, sharpness, ISO and more. You have a dedicated Macro focus mode but no face detection. The flash can be set to auto, forced or off.
The camera key will wake the phone with a single press – that is unlock it and start the camera. There's an option that prevents the shutter key from starting the camera if the proximity sensor is triggered (to prevent accidental launches when the phone is in your pocket). This option is off by default.
The camera on the Samsung Omnia W performs well but it does prefer very low ISO values and in turn produces slightly soft images at times where the lighting calls for something above ISO 100. Overall it does produce good results with good colors and nice detail with low noise. However some might prefer punchier colors from their cameraphone, which is something the Omnia W doesn't offer - not that it's bad, quite the opposite it does give truer colors that are closer to the real deal.
We were impressed with the macro performance of the Samsung Omnia W. Here are a couple of samples, note that they were made using the automatic focus setting and not the macro one, meaning that the phone will take the hint even if you forget to set the right mode.
Photo quality comparison
We've enrolled the Omnia W in our photo quality compare tool to face the HTC Radar and Galaxy W. The lower ISO preference of the Omnia W will be obvious here and you can see firsthand how this can affect your photos in certain situations.
The tool's page will give you all the information you need to look out for.
HD video recording disappoints
720p video recording is the best Windows Phone can do for the time being so the Omnia W follows suit. It's not a bad quality cap by any means and for many people just the economy of on-board storage will be persuasive enough to opt for HD over FullHD.
The video camera interface is identical to the still camera one and has plenty of features too. You can use scenes, calibrate contrast, saturation and sharpness, change the white balance or exposure compensation and also add image effects. You can use the LED as a video light too
Take a look at the Samsung Omnia W's 720p video sample. The frame rate hovers around 30 fps which is a stellar achievement.
We've prepared an untouched 720p video sample from the Samsung Omnia W for direct download.
Video quality comparison
Being an HD-capable cameraphone the Omnia W enters our video quality comparison tool as well. You can pit it against any device we've tested to get the right idea before you decide on a new smartphone. Compared to the best in the class its 720p doesn't exactly shine but it will do for most common situations.