Samsung Omnia i900 review

£408
Price when reviewed

It was inevitable in the wake of the iPhonethat a clutch of iPhone “killers” would appear. But where HTC has been successful in offering a viable alternative in the form of the Touch HD, Samsung falls short.

Samsung Omnia i900 review

On paper, the Omnia i900 seems fine. It’s slim and light, and it has all of the necessary specs: Opera Mobile 9.5 and HSDPA, plus Wi-Fi, FM radio, assisted GPS (with Google Maps preloaded), an accelerometer that rotates the screen when you tip the phone on its side, and haptic feedback (the phone buzzes when you click the screen).

It even beats the iPhone in some respects. In the box is a good pair of headphones, or you can use your own via the 3.5mm adapter provided. Plus, there’s a fantastic array of software extras. With the Omnia, you can shoot video (the iPhone can’t) and edit it as well. A touch-sensitive button below the screen can act as a trackpad or mouse cursor controller. The 5-megapixel camera is excellent, and even boasts electronic image stabilisation.

Battery life is impressive, with the Omnia lasting 93hrs 20mins in our real-world tests, and there’s a good supply of memory, too. There’s 256MB of ROM for programs and 8GB of flash memory for music, video and other files, plus a microSD slot for adding a further 8GB.

It all looks very tempting – until you use the phone. Just as with the HTC handsets, the Omnia i900 runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional with a finger-friendly skin on top. In the SIM-free variant we were sent, you customise your home screen by dragging widgets from apop-out sidebar onto a blank desktop. Other enhancements include an alarm clock that can be set without filing your fingernail into a point. Samsung also provides its own full-size Qwerty and compact Qwerty touch keyboards.

But we didn’t enjoy using the Omnia. The touchscreen’s resolution of 240 x 400 is a little low in this company, it’s nowhere near as responsive as the iPhone, and the keyboard isn’t great. We found ourselves pressing the Send soft key while texting and emailing.

But the fatal annoyance is the stylus, which you attach to the phone with a bit of string. It’s messy, like the rest of the phone. We can’t recommend it.

Details

Cheapest price on contract
Contract monthly charge
Contract period 18 months
Contract provider Vodafone

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 10hrs
Standby, quoted 18 days

Physical

Dimensions 57 x 13 x 112mm (WDH)
Weight 122g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 128MB
ROM size 8,000MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0MP
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 3.2in
Resolution 240 x 400
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Windows Mobile

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