Even way back when the WinMo phonebook was one of the unfriendliest platforms one could imagine, the phonebook did an excellent job. Contact management has always been one of the strong points of the OS having its roots heavily in PDAs with unlimited phonebook capacity and brilliant synchronization options. But it's all the more sweeter now that it has the looks to match.
The phonebook application of the Samsung OmniaPRO has a nice and simple interface and it is clear that it was developed with touch-operation in mind. The graphics are nice and navigation is intuitive enough to make sure your work with it is trouble-free.
TouchWiz UI also has editing contacts completely customized. It gives you a nice and simple interface, similar to the company's feature phones. You have a plethora of available info fields but no option to rename any in case something has been missed - not that there ever was an occasion when we felt that was the case.
When viewing a contact, there is a shortcut in the context menu that takes you to your recent calls with the person in question. You can also add it to the reject list or the speed dial numbers straight from there.
Finally, if you are into grouping your contacts - the B7610 OmniaPRO has that covered too. The first four groups are pre-configured, the rest left to your imagination and specific needs.
Samsung made it clear with the previous Omnia handsets that telephony was never compromised, despite the fact that the extra features are somewhat becoming the main reason for buying a mobile phone. The B7610 OmniaPRO has excellent in-call sound and no reception issues.
The phone application offers Smart dialing, which means you will hardly ever need to go to the Contact list in order to dial a number. There is also the option to record a conversation.
The built-in accelerometer gives the OmniaPRO the cool feature to mute the ringer by simply turning the phone face down on the table. Turning it face up starts the ringer again. The proximity sensor makes sure there are no accidental presses during a call.
The Call log on Windows Mobile devices offers practically unlimited entries. Samsung also pimped up the looks and added the nice extra sorting options. You can sort the entries alphabetically by name or by frequency of occurrence.
We also conducted our traditional speakerphone test to round off the phone part of the OmniaPRO review. It turned out disappointing - it achieved only an Average mark. This means we've seen (or rather heard) a lot better.
More info on our test can be found here.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Apple iPhone 3G||66.1||62.1||71.7|
|Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO||66.6||64.7||72.2||Average|
|HTC Touch Pro2||74.6||70.0||78.1||Very Good|
|HTC HD2||75.7||72.8||78.0||Very Good|
|HTC Touch HD||77.7||73.7||76.7||Excellent|
Messaging on the Samsung B7610 OmniaPRO is well heeled in terms of software. The handset can manage SMS, MMS and email. SMS and MMS share an inbox and a nice message editor.
The email editor has also been nicely skinned by the TouchWiz UI but there are no major changes in terms of functionality.
Setting up your email is easy as it is on most of the latest mid or high-end phones. You type your username and password and all the other fiddly options are configured automatically.
As to the available text input options on the OmniaPRO, it's clear that the weapon of choice is the hardware QWERTY keyboard. We looked at it in the hardware section of this review, so here we'll cover the software keyboards.
The traditional WinMo QWERTY keyboard is of course included, but it's not a real option - the keys are too tiny for even the stylus. The Samsung QWERTY keyboard is much better with its ample sized keys.
It doesn't work in landscape mode though. You can trick it by sliding out the hardware keyboard, which forces landscape orientation. But it becomes immediately clear why it's not available by simply turning the phone - it barely leaves a single line of the text box visible on screen.
Of course, the usual way around this is to have the landscape QWERTY appear in a new screen, but this solution is limited too - for example, the web browser can't offer suggestions because the text is entered in a separate window. All in all, a landscape on-screen QWERTY is not much of an option on the B7610 OmniaPRO. But it wasn't badly missed.
Good ol' handwriting recognition is available too. The phone does a marvelous job of recognizing the letters and symbols we scribbled even when we used our fingers. And of course, the stylus makes it a lot easier.