All of you know that Windows Mobile devices are not everyone's cup of tea but somehow Samsung managed to change the way we used to look at WinMo powered handsets with only one model. A beta unit, by the way.
The UI is very responsive and easy to get on well with. And all standard WinMo applications have been not just redesigned. More accurate is to say "recreated". They are much more touch-friendly now and feel so not WinMo.
Yep, there was no stylus compartment (obviously it'll come as a dongle) but who'll need a stylus anyway when you have such a well thought touch-optimized UI?
Well, having all that said, we shouldn't forget that the competition isn't sleeping, too. That's the spot to mention the name of HTC Touch Diamond2, which impresses with its more refined look but looses points in terms of productivity.
However, the HTC Touch Diamond2 features the eyecatching TouchFLO 3D user interface which went through a long way in its evolution to come back after a good facelift. The TouchFLO 3D pretends to be very user-friendly, too. And in fact it really is.
But you can't compare it with the I8000 Omnia II. The feeling is just way different.
Another name that surfaces in our minds is the Omnia HD (or just i8910 HD. Whatever.). With different OS and UI, you might say it doesn't belong in here. And does it? Of course. Even if the I8000 Omnia II managed to change the WinMo completely behind the fresh look there's still the old WinMo. With all of its flaws. So if can't live with WinMo, live without it and go for the the i8910 with its Symbian OS.
There's even one more alternative to the devices running on the Windows Mobile OS. The Android powered Samsung I7500. Even if that platform is still immature it gets better day after day.
So, summa summarum, the Samsung I8000 Omnia II turned out as a very good surprise and we are more than impatient for its retail version to arrive at our office for an in-depth review.