Samsung Omnia (I8919) HD feature overview
Friday, July 10, 2009 6:40:38 PM
Samsung released Samsung Omnia HD recently, and I jumped at the chance to buy one as early as possible. Samsung Omnia HD runs Symbian s60 5th edition, just like Nokia 5800 ExpressMusic and Nokia N97. It has a gorgeous 360 by 640 pixels 3.7 inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen. It has an 8 megapixel camera and is the first phone capable of recording HD video. It has GPS, a digital compass and 16 GB's of built in memory.
Capacitive touch is not as accurate as resitive touch and doesn't work with a stylus. But because of the large screen, you won't miss resitive touch. Capacitive touch also feels snappier
Samsung replaced the default home screen with their TouchWiz widget interface, which allows you to add any of 31 pre-installed widgets to one of the three configurable home screens. Before you say wow, most of the widgets are huge disappointments. Some are pretty default home screen elements, and some are just shortcuts to web services or phone features. The music player and radio widgets are the only ones whom offer any interesting functionality. And the calendar widget does not display any information from your calendar, which makes it quite useless compared to the the s60 home screen. However, you can download new widgets from the More Widgets widget. The selection isn't that great yet, but anyone can develop and share their widgets.
The phone has a bunch of other goodies. Some applications have eye popping 3D and reflection effects. Some even make use of the built in accelerometer. When swiping left or right with your finger you'll switch to the menu or photo contacts via a 3D view. The photo contact viewer lets you assign contacts to photos from your phone, and browse through contact photos by swiping up or down with your finger, as if you were browsing through a bunch of polaroid photos.
The music player also have some nice effects. If you tilt the phone into landscape view while playing a track you'll see a cover flow-like interface with all your albums at your fingertips.
Another eye-popping feature is the MediaBrowser application. It displays your photo thumbnails in a horizontal list. Tilt your phone and the photos slide over the screen.
While I haven't compared the GPS on the phone to other phones, it's pretty good. The GPS software included on the phone is Route 66. It detects your position quite fast when in a car or outdoors. And it speaks the directions out loud while driving. It also shows information about businesses and gas stations nearby. But strangely enough I encountered several roads which weren't added to the GPS maps. There's lots of downloadable content as well, such as weather and traffic information.
The phone includes the s60 browser, based on webkit, the core of the Safari web browser. This version features an updated interface which works well with the touch screen. However, it's not as smooth or fast as Safari for iPhone, Opera Mobile or even Opera Mini, which is a shame since Opera Mini gets horribly slow after you've browsed a few pages on the web on the Omnia HD.
The phone comes with a few office tools as well. A calculator, converter, note taker, calendar, business card reader, dictionary, file manager, zip app, document viewer and PDF viewer. QuickOffice however, is a scam compared to the version you got with Sony Ericsson P1i. You have to buy a license key to create documents.
The phone excels on the camera. It's a eight megapixel camera and the first mobile camera that captures HD video. It features geotagging, facial recognition, smile shot, and blink recognition. And the panorama creator is fantastic as it snaps each part of the panorama after guiding you through the viewfinder. You can also upload your photos to Facebook, Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Photobucket, Friendster and MySpace. I was unable to log in to Picasa however, which means I'll keep using the Picasa software to upload my photos.
The phone also comes with some other nice software. Such as a motion sensitive version of Asphalt 4. Thanks to DNLA support, it's also a home media server. There's a easy to use podcast app, with a podcast directory as well. Omnia HD features the Smart search app as well, which allows you to search all your content on the phone and Google or Windows Live. The RoadSync exchange sync app is also available. I tried it on Google Sync without any luck however.
The Bluetooth settings interface is the best I've tried on any phone. It displays a radar view with the phone in the middle, and your bluetooth devices around the radar disc. Tap the phone to toggle bluetooth, tap a device to get a menu or drag the device to your phone to connect.
Samsung Omnia HD is pretty slick, and you can't mention all the features at once without losing your breath. But all the time while using it you'll have the feeling it would be the perfect phone if it didn't have these minor annoyances. But it looks expensive and the interface is fantastic. It'll make your friends go wow when they see the phone and their eyes will pop when they see the multimedia applications on the phone.