Samsung i8910 Omnia HD Review
After using the Samsung i8910 Omnia HD for over a month now, I’m still having some mixed feeling about the phone. At one hand, the specs and features are awesome but one the other hand, the S60 platform kind of ruined the experience a bit. Let me share with you my thoughts in this review.
The Samsung Omnia HD looks gorgeous — really large screen, slim and sleek.Â The capacitive touchscreen itself is pretty good with enough sensitivity Â so you don’t often re-tap on icons and widgets. Scrolling is smoothÂ Â as wellÂ (except when using the browser) and seems pretty close to the responsiveness of the iPhone 3G. See more photos here and complete specs here.
The 3.7″ 640×360-pixel real estate, one of the largest I’ve seen on a smartphone, makes for watching videos very enjoyable. I loaded up a couple of DivX files and they played smoothly with the display crisp and bright even at an angle.
I bumped into a bug though — some of the DivX videos would not show up on vertical orientation but would play just fine in horizontal (scaling problem, perhaps?).
Samsung used the Symbian S60 platform here but added the TouchWiz UI as well so aside from the familiar interface of the S60, you also get some added navigational menus like the sliding bar at the left where you can pull up widgets. There’s also a floating bar on top which gives you 3 layers of desktop-like display. Checkout the screenshots below.
The 8-megapixel camera takes great pictures, especially hidef (720p @ 24fps) videos. The built-in flash is bright enough to be able to lit objects within 2 meters from the camera. Close-up shots, like the one below, show some decent depth of field.
The i8910 has quite a number of storage, both built-in and external — 58MB NAND Flash, 148MB RAM, 8MB ROM, 8GB internal memory card, up to 32GB external memory card (microSD). With the 16GB model and a 32GB external microSD card, you can rack up to 48GB of storage on this phone.
Web browsing via WiFi or 3G/HSDPA is fairly fast although the built-in browser is a bit cumbersome to use.
The battery is rated at only 1000mAh and would normally last about 2 days Â on regular use but it gets easily drained when you play videos/music or browse the net using WiFi or 3G (the commercial units are reported at 1500mAh).
Some nice additions:
Digital Compass – something the G2 and the iPhone 3GS also have. Not really that usefull unless you’re the hiking-type of person.
Smart Card Reader – scan a business/calling card with the camera and it automatically recognizes the information (name, phone, email, webiste, etc.) and stores it on the phone. Pretty accurate at around 80 – 90% character recognition.
LBS Services – Samsung included a number of location-based services in the unit to make good use of the GPS/AGPS features.
The Samsung i8910 has all you’d ever wanted for a multimedia phone and more. However, despite the powerful engine under the hood, it feels like the S60 platform is still somewhat slow and laggy at times, giving you an impression that it’s underpowered. We first saw this S60 5th Edition platform with the Nokia 5800XM but since that one had a slower CPU, smaller screen and uses resistive touchscreen, the Samsung i8910 beats it in almost all aspect.
Since the handset I am using is an engineering/prototype unit, some of the bugs/kinks might have been fixed or improved on the commercial release.
I did a comparative chart of features pitting the Samsung i8910 HD against the iPhone 3GS, Nokia N97, LG Arena and the HTC Magic here earlier and the i8910 got top marks. It’s not cheap though — expect to shell out Php32,000 for the 8GB model and Php36,000 for the 16GB model.