Verizon Samsung Omnia (SCH-i910) Review


26.05.2009

We won’t refrain from stating that the Samsung Omnia is a Windows Mobile smartphone that manages to impress. The large touch screen (with haptic feedback), the Wi-Fi connectivity, the built-in GPS, the Bluetooth, the Ev-Do Rev support and many other things are just a few of this phone’s advantages. In addition, it features a 5megapixel camera that takes pretty good photos.

While the fact that you can customize a lot of the interface, you are limited to the preloaded Widgets that come with this phone. This is a flaw (or at least some people think it is) that you will encounter in almost all Samsung smartphones.

If you are a Verizon customer and if you can get past the occasionally sluggish response the Omnia provides, this is a touch screen smartphone that you should buy if you can afford it.

Buy Samsung Omnia

The Long Story :

It is a pity that this phone did not reach the shelves of U.S. carriers faster. The demand was there, the phone was great, but it was still unavailable. Now, Verizon Wireless plans to offer the Samsung Omnia (SCH-i910) as soon as November 26 online and December 8 in the stores.

The Verizon Omnia is in many ways the same phone that reached the European market last year. The same TouchWiz interface, the same camera, the same connectivity features. One of the welcomed additions is the support for Verizon’s EV-DO Rev.A network, which loosely translates into faster browsing and Web downloads.

Since the Omnia does not have a physical keyboard, writing text does not go that smoothly, but other than that, the phone is great and is worth the $249.99 (with a two year deal with Verizon after rebates and discounts). It is our opinion that the Omnia is one of, if the not the most strongest competitors for the Apple iPhone.

Buy Samsung Omnia

The Design

The 3.2 inch TFT screen that stretches for the most part of the phone’s face can display 262,000 colors and has a 240×400 pixel resolution. It is a top screen, although not as good as the ones featured by the HTC Touch Diamonds’ or the BlackBerry storm.

The full QWERTY keyboard is the easiest way to input text with the Omnia, but as mentioned earlier, it is not very spacious. In portrait mode it is too crowded while in landscape mode you will get by, but with some discomfort. The haptic feedback makes the phone vibrate a little (or a little more if you want) to confirm an action.

The accelerometer featured in Samsung Omnia makes the display change the orientation depending on how you are holding the phone. The response time is probably the best around while the small vibration you feel when the display changes orientation is a nice thing to have.

The TouchWiz interface is, without a doubt, one of this phone’s strong points. The various widgets that come with this phone can be added to the tray so they can be accessed with ease. The tray can be minimized by pushing the arrow button. It is basically like creating your own menu. Speaking of the menu, it offers a swift navigation, making it hard to believe it is actually based on Windows Mobile ( )

There are 16 widgets you can choose from, but if that is not enough for you, you can always switch back to the Windows Today screen or choose other themes.

The Verizon Wireless package contains the phone (duh), the AC adapter, a stylus, a USB cable, a 2.5 mm adapter, a 3.5mm/FM radio antenna, software CD’s and the manual.

Buy Samsung Omnia

The Features

As with all other aspects of the Omnia, the features are basically the same as with the unlocked model, with some exceptions. A basic list of features includes: speed dial, voice dial, speakerphone, conference calling, visual voice mail and text/multimedia messages. The contact list is limited only by the available memory.
The phone has DUN capabilities but you will have to sign up to a Verizon Broadband Access plan (starting at $15/month) to use you phone as a wireless modem.

A feature you will enjoy if you are planning to use the phone to browse the Web or for downloads is the presence of EV-DO Rev.A network support. This means you get an average boost of 50-100Kbps when downloading and 250-300Kbps when uploading. This increase of speed makes a lot of a difference.
The presence of Wi-Fi connectivity means you always have a cheaper and faster alternative to the 3G network. In addition, the phone comes with both Internet Explorer Mobile and Opera, which brings a plus to the internet experience with the Omnia.

The GPS/A-GPS support will pinpoint your location by using satellites and cellular triangulation at the same time. To enhance the GPS support you will have to opt for the Verizon VZ Navigator service ($9.99/month or $2.99/day).

Samsung Omnia runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition and comes with the same suite of applications as most smartphones based on this OS. Other applications include a POP3 and IMAP e-mail account wizard, a suite of PIM tools (task manager, PDF reader, etc), but you can download other interesting software from the Verizon AppZone.

Buy Samsung Omnia

The Entertainment

There are quite a few multimedia features you can use with the Omnia. The Windows Media Player 10 Mobile is nothing new, but the Touch Player has an interesting interface and it runs great. There are multiple music and video formats you can use with this smartphone: MP3, WMA, ACC, 3GPP, H.264, DivX and Xvid. In addition, the phone has podcast support and a player for streaming media. Only an 8GB model will be available from Verizon, which should be enough, but it can be expanded through the use of a microSD/SDHC card (up to 16GB).

You can use the 5 megapixel camera equipped on the Omnia to take photos in three quality modes, six sizes, 15 shooting modes and add various effects to them. You can also use the sensor to take videos with less customization but in three sizes and as many quality modes.

The picture quality of the media captured with Omnia was great as you will enjoy the antishake feature. The colors are good in both photo and video mode, while the pixelation present in the latter can be neglected.

The Performance

The call quality is good but the speakerphone could have used some improvement. You lose a lot of sound quality and getting the proper volume is a tricky task.

Like mentioned in “The short story” you will have to wait sometimes for the phone to perform a task. The lag is smaller than with the BlackBerry storm -only of a few seconds- but it can still bother you at some times. The included Task Manger will help you optimize some of the performance but only up to a point.

The EV-DO Rev.A network gets you the boost in internet speeds and the Wi-Fi network connection runs smoothly, making the Omnia one of the best smartphones on the market in this domain.

The battery will hold for about 5.7 hours of talk time and up to 19 days of standby time.

Buy Samsung Omnia

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