We've been sitting on the lovely Samsung Omnia i910, biting our tongues until we could share the joy with you. The Omnia will be offered Nov. 26th on Verizon Wireless through business sales channels and Dec. 8th through Verizon stores for $249 with contract after rebate. Remarkably and happily just about nothing has changed from the import GSM Omnia i900 we reviewed back in August. Of course, there is one major difference, the Verizon version of the Omnia is not GSM but CDMA. The good news is that means 3G in the form of EVDO for fast data, something we missed on the GSM version that lacked US 3G.
For those new to the Omnia, it's an attractive and not terribly large slate design touch screen phone that runs Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top of Windows Mobile 6.1. Read our GSM Omnia review for in-depth coverage of TouchWiz-- that is until we publish our full Verizon Omnia review. It features widgets, or little shortcuts on a sidebar that you can use to access common tasks, and you can drag them to the phone's virtual desktop (for example there's a mini media player widget).
While not as fast and responsive as Samsung's feature phones running TouchWiz (feature phones are always faster than smartphones and PDA phones), it's quite usable and makes using the Omnia fun. The TouchWiz today screen, program launcher, menus and on-screen keyboards have been re-worked to make them finger-friendly. The screen requires a firmer touch than the iPhone but is similar to HTC's TouchFLO 3D Windows Mobile phones (Touch Pro, Diamond, Fuze). For you Windows Mobile purists, yes you can disable all these features if you prefer the standard Windows Mobile interface.
If you do need that stylus, be warned that it doesn't live in a silo on-board. Instead it attaches to a grommet on the phone's side via a short lanyard.
The Samsung Omnia i910 features a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus lens. The camera takes very good images and the camera software is top notch in terms of features and speed. Really exiting feature!
The Omnia has a GPS that works with VZ Navigator, WiFi, Bluetooth with a full compliment of profiles including A2DP stereo. The GPS does not work with Google Maps or other mapping solutions. The Omnia has a 3" touch screen running at 240 x 400 resolution, and it uses resistive technology (pressure sensitive) rather than capacitive like the iPhone. The Omnia has an accelerometer that rotates the display when you turn the phone on its side and haptic (vibration) feedback.
In terms of horsepower, the Omnia is no slouch with a 624MHz PXA312 processor, an 8 gig flash drive, 128 megs of RAM and 256 megs of flash storage with approx. 50 megs free. If that 8 gigs of storage isn't enough for you, there's also an SDHC microSD card slot!
Stay tuned for our full review and in the meantime, I'll say that the original Omnia was one of my favorite smartphones of 2008, and Verizon has squeaked under the wire with their version of a very sexy looking, powerful and enjoyable Windows Mobile phone.
The phone comes with a good selection of custom Samsung software as well as the excellent Opera 9.5 web browser, an FM radio, VZappZone, Visual Voice Mail and IM. Alas, the phone lacks a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, so you'll have to use the included Samsung blade connector stereo headset.
As always, please feel free to post questions while we work on our full review!
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview
Just in time for the holidays, Verizon Wireless and Samsung announced the Samsung Omnia will be available for order online at www.verizonwireless.com and in business sales channels beginning Nov. 26. The Samsung Omnia?s advanced touch screen, customizable user interface and Windows Mobile 6.1 capabilities are powered by the nation?s most reliable wireless network ensuring that customers can browse the Web and access their e-mails quickly and reliably. It will be available through all sales channels including Verizon Wireless Communications Stores on Dec. 8.
The Samsung Omnia is an all-in-one smartphone with state-of-the-art features, including Samsung?s innovative TouchWiz? user interface which has specially designed widgets to customize and personalize the way customers use the phone. These bright and colorful icons provide a one-touch access point to customers? favorite and most commonly used applications and features. The Samsung Omnia also features a full on-screen QWERTY keyboard for fast text messaging, mobile IM and e-mail messages. The haptic feedback on the touch screen provides subtle vibrations to confirm selections; and an optical mouse provides easy navigation with the swipe of a finger. The Samsung Omnia supports Opera 9.5 Mobile Browser for a smooth Web browsing experience.
With Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, customers have access to a powerful personal computing experience in a slim, compact device. Microsoft Outlook Mobile keeps customers connected to e-mail, schedules and contacts; and Office Mobile enhances productivity with the ability to manage Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents ? all while on-the-go.
The Samsung Omnia is enhanced by a high-quality 5.0 megapixel camera with digital zoom and power LED flash, camcorder, stereo Bluetooth? wireless technology and Wi-Fi technology that helps customers capture special moments and stay connected to friends and family anytime, anywhere.
Key features and capabilities of the Samsung Omnia from Verizon Wireless include: ? Full HTML Web browser with touch navigation ? Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional o Access to multiple e-mail accounts with Microsoft Direct Push for corporate users o Over-the-air synchronization of contacts, calendars and task lists with Microsoft Exchange Server o Supports Microsoft?s System Center Mobile Device Manager 2008 that provides customers with software distribution capabilities and security-enhanced access to company data while they are away from the office ? Access to VZAppZone ? downloadable games, ringtones, wallpapers and more ? Playback of MP3 files ? VZ NavigatorSM capability ? get visual and audible directions to thousands of destinations, locate businesses and other points of interest, get maps of a location and share directions with others ? Text, picture and video messaging ? Mobile IM using AIM?, MSN?, Yahoo!? ? Bluetooth profiles supported: headset ? mono and stereo, hands-free (car kits), object push for vCard, basic imaging and phonebook access profiles ? 5.0 megapixel camera and camcorder with flash and zoom o Face Detection ? centers on a face when taking a picture o Panorama, split shot and anti-shake camera settings o SmileShot ? enables the camera to detect when a person is smiling and automatically takes a picture when in the SmileShot mode ? Wi-Fi technology (802.11 b/g) ? Support for Divx and Xvid movie files ? Personal organizer with calculator, calendar, alarm clock, world clock, stop watch and notepad ? Dimensions: 4.41? (l) x 2.24? (w) x 0.52? (d) with standard battery ? Weight: approximately 4.34 ounces ? Display: 3.2? display ? Usage time: up to 346 minutes with standard battery or ? Standby time: up to 464 hours with standard battery (subject to environmental and other factors)
Verizon Wireless has priced the Samsung Omnia for $249.99 after a $70 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Customers will receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.
When I wrote that first look, it turns out that Verizon's deployment of the GPS application and software customizations around it weren't yet complete. Now all the Verizon bits have downloaded to the phone and Google Maps no longer works. There's the unforuntate explanation.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview
Thanks for the review. I am looking forward to seeing the full review. It is a beautiful phone. I like the big screen, and it is thin too. I played with the phone at Verizon Wireless store. Perhaps it is because it is a demo phone, the screen needs to be pressed really hard compare to other WM phones. I launched the note, and I tried writing and drawing picture, and it was very difficult. Among all WM phones you have reviewed, which one has the best touch screen sensitivity? Thank you Lisa.