Samsung Omnia i900 – another 'iPhone killer'

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Samsung-omnia.jpgLast night saw the launch of the Samsung Omnia, the latest in the line of iPhone killers to be thrown at the wall, and it certainly raised a few eyebrows, if largely for all the wrong reasons.

My experience of the event ran like this. I was invited along – which is always nice – and then, just before the event, was told that I wouldn’t be getting my hands on one that evening and actually I was rather pleased with the Samsung pr member’s honesty on the matter.

So, not particularly wishing to worship at the house of Samsung for no particular reason, I did what many good journalist would do and sacked it off in favour of the press release I would doubtless get by e-mail instead. As it turns out, I’m rather glad I didn’t go after reading Ian Williams’s account of the evening.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and slag this handset off for Samsung’s mistake. I doubt they’re feeling too clever today and, more to the point, it’s not fair on you. It may be that the Samsung Omnia is the perfect phone. So, here is what I’ve picked up about the Omnia:

It’s got a reasonable size 3.2″ touchscreen display with a 240 x 400 resolution which comes with an easy to lose stylus so you can poke about on Windows Mobile 6.1. I know I said I’d be fair but that’s more of comment on my dislike of Windows Mobile than anything else.

The Omnia’s got all the bits ‘n pieces you need, ticking all the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 7.2Mbs HSDPA, quad band, USB compatible, FM radio and GPS boxes you could ask for, as well as a 10-hour talk time battery and, best of all, a 5-megapixel camera – the one area which let’s the iPhone 3G down in a very big way.

It’s available, as of today, on all the usual networks in either a 8GB or 16GB version and, for example, just having a peak now…

…you can get the 16GB version on Orange for £200 if you go for a £25 per month contract for 18 months, or if you want to spend £40 each month instead, the handset will only set you back £50. Still, at that rate, I’d rather buy an iPhone.

So there you go. The Samsung Omnia i900. Buy it if you want to. Don’t if you don’t.

Samsung (via Inquirer & Register Hardware)

Related posts: Sony’s answer | LG’s 8-megapixel camera phone

Daniel Sung

7 comments

  • Know what u meanbout the manual!!Ive been cutnpasting stuff all day to move music n pics to a file then to the 16gb mem bit. Prob im finding iswith the camera. When itake a pic it looks great for 2seconds, then it kinda moves back and looks a lil blurry:( so far myold3.2mp sony phone has had far superior photos on it, ive been to the mobilestores and seems to new a phone for any of them toreally help,and as for the manual… lol

  • I have had the samsung omina i900 for a week now i love the phone it has got everything i want in a phone i.e wi-fi bluetooth camera and every other feature you could want on a mobile phone my only problem with this phone is the lack of instructions for the the storage of items, i am really struggling with this, it might be the most simplest of solutions but i can not find where all my bluetoothed items have gone and when i do send an item to the phone i cant find where it has gone i have installed a memory card aswel as the built in memory into this phone but still i keep getting a msg telling me that i am low on storage how does this work ??? thats what i want to know how and where do you store items on this phone. this is not in the instruction manual and i think it should be, useually i can figure out how a phone works within a day or so but not this one its TORMENTING ME sad i know but i do wish they had put how to store items in the instuction manual ( IF YOU CAN CALL IT AN INSTUCTION MANUAL )
    but i will battle on. i say that because thats how it feels like a battle,But if anyone does know how and where you store files on this phone please let me know i would be really greatful

  • I have just got My Omnia from TMobile and I am very pleased with it I am not bothered about what you have said about win mob and i think that win mob gives the Omnia the edge over the I Phone. My son has an I touch so he used to the operation of the Apple system and he ois prefering the Omnia to an I Phone. I think that it is the best Apple competitor on the market. Apples main problem was they gave O2 sole rights in the UK that for me is big shot in the foot by Apple they clearly did not do there research. As firstly they are the most expensive airtime provider in the UK. They do not have any unlimited web service like TMobile and Vodaphone and there service is very limited. Omnia is best Samsung have got it right. I like all of the little features like on the camera it has a smile detector that is very clever.

  • Thanks, Daniel. The whole “iPhone killer” thing is a bit tiresome – people should choose phones, or indeed any other device, based upon what’s best for them. The iPhone is better than the Omnia in some respects and the Omnia better than the iPhone for others. For me the latter outweigh the former. Not sure why we have to have some kind of gladiatorial contest between the two.

    As for S60; yeah I would have gone for a new Nokia but the N96 is just a lamentably late slight upgrade from the N95 and has been upstaged by the i8510 anyway. That said, since I have a N95, neither are compelling enough to get. We’ll need to wait and see what the Tube and Nokia’s later higher end S60v5 touchscreens bring.

  • A colleague of mine has had the 16GB one for a week now. On contract. So I’m not quite sure how it could have launched only yesterday.

    I’ve had a play and drawn a few of my own conclusions. To Samsungs credit, the ‘secondary OS’ as I’m going to call it works great with the touchscreen. But then it was designed to be. If you find yourself wandering through the Samsung interface you won’t have too much to whine about. Apart from all the patented and useful multi-touch functions that they couldn’t clone from the iPhone of course. Which can be a little annoying as the alternatives prove somewhat cumbersome.

    The real problem is WinMo. It just wasn’t designed for touchscreen functionality. At all. The menus and buttons are all so flippin’ small that you sometimes resort to using your fingernail to operate it. They do provide a stylus, which is tethered to the device. However, this was a blatant last ditch effort to shift units because of the fact that there is no onboard storage for it. Which is laughable, frankly.

    Don’t even get me started on WinMo’s onscreen touch keyboard. I’m still on medication for that.

    • Glad to hear that the stylus isn’t really needed, Mark, and I totally understand why you got it as an alternative to the iPhone. Tears still come to my eyes when I look at those O2 tariffs and we have it relatively good.

      And Mr Rawlins, always glad to hear your words on these matters. Good to see that the Omnia has some kind of way of bypassing the WinMob OS until, of course, you want to dig a little deeper, but I think this is a serious problem facing a lot of the “iPhone Killers” out there. The OS and UI in general is just so damn good on the iPhone that I think many handset manufacturers feel they need to offer the amount of functionality that WinMob does to keep up without considering what a pain the in arse it is to use. Give me S60 any day.

  • Fair enough. Samsung need to get their marketing up to scratch as they’ll just piss people off otherwise.

    I actually have an Omnia – I got it about two weeks ago on Vodafone. It was that or the iPhone on O2 and the Omnia was the better option all round.

    As for the stylus, never used mine. You don’t have to for the vast majority of operation cos of the TouchWiz interface and it has an optical mouse for the awkward parts.

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