The right side of the Samsung i8910 hosts the hold key (to lock/unlock the touchscreen), the camera key and the microUSB port. It's a welcome benefit that the phone charges off the microUSB port so you can transfer data and charge your battery simultaneously.
At the top of the Samsung i8910 we find a loudspeaker and the 3.5mm standard audio jack. Much like the USB port, is the audio jack is hidden under a small lid to keep dust away. There is a slight difference to the beta unit here as well. The loudspeaker now is in the center and the stripes are replaced with dots. No big deal.
A second loudspeaker is located at the bottom (dead center, again), along with the mouthpiece. This layout seems a respectful nod to the Omnia HD exceptional video skill, around which everything seems to revolve. We guess a landscape desk stand will be an essential and widely appreciated accessory.
In our first i8910 Omnia HD preview based on a very early pre-production sample, we were more than impressed with its full metal battery cover and the handy release latch. Unfortunately, the more recent version takes a completely different approach.
Neither is it made of metal, nor is the release mechanism so reliable. The Omnia HD rear is now all glossy plastic, which turns into a fingerprint nightmare. We fear that with time the cover is expected to start playing up - at this point it doesn't fit firmly in place and will occasionally pop open at the slightest pressure.
Along with the Samsung logo, the back side of the Omnia HD also hosts the 8 megapixel camera lens and the LED flash. With video recording so high on the agenda, it's quite understandable why they went for the LED technology instead of xenon.
And finally, there's no lens protection - that's another unwelcome change from the first unit we previewed.
But the sun will shine even on the Omnia HD rear and in our case it's the great 1500 mAh battery, which we found under the cheapish battery cover. Given the AMOLED screen with its low power consumption, the Omnia HD should count on above average battery life. After all, this is crucial for a multimedia device.
During the testing period, we got some good 5 h and 30 min of constant video playback with the screen set at maximum brightness. That's better than what most laptops offer.
The general build quality of Samsung i8910 Omnia HD now is lower than expected. The huge AMOLED display is true high end stuff but the plastic bits (especially the battery cover) are below par. The hardware and design changes are a mixed bag really but we guess the multimedia performance will make up for it big time.
Finally, we should again point out that the huge screen real estate calls for some extraordinary body dimensions as well. Samsung i8910 Omnia HD is easily among the largest handsets on the market, even though it's reasonably slim. Comfortable single-handed operation will definitely be an issue for some users - so a try-before-you-buy is advisable.