Deeper aspects of the Omnia II

Below is a hand-on preview of the Samsung Omnia 2 published by a reader on our Page 2 blog. With the most views and combined, Ballistykx wins Monday’s  $20 prize. If you have any exprience or interesting link to publish, see Page 2 here.

Build Quality

General feel of the phone is a light plomnia2_12astic device, not the best build quality. The iPhone was plasticky but had a weight/heftiness to it, whereas this phone is definitely lighter.

My past phones were the Touch HD and iPhone, so I’m used to the wake up button on the top, and the Omnia II has one the right hand side where fingers don’t usually go, so it’s a bit difficult waking up, but it just takes getting used to.

Hardware buttons! I can’t believe how much I missed them! Actually pressing something and feeling a reassuring click instead of hoping you did the right thing is so comfortable!

One warning – it displays fingerprints like a stripper displays glimmer. So much that it looks greasy when you smudge them… so a big thumbs down to that. I’m hoping there will be replacements for the back cover because when someone else handles this phone, you’ll need some soap to wash off the grease!

The camera sticks out slightly at the back so when you place it on a rough surface it may scratch the lens – NOT GOOD AT ALL.

Touchscreen

The screen is brilliant. So vibrant compared to the Touch HD and iPhone, the combination of colours and pixels is awesome. It’s slightly more sensitive than the Touch HD, perhaps that’s because the UI is more responsive due to a faster CPU.

User Interface

The interface is real nice, it’s a welcome change to WinMo. You will have to tap a few levels deep to actually see any existence of WinMo. Samsung have done a grea job customising it. Widgets screen is useful as there are widgets which I couldn’t get via SPB mobile shell, but there aren’t many to choose from initially.

The 800Mhz CPU makes a very noticeable difference. I’ve rarely seen the Windows colour wheel at all.

The Samsung keyboard buttons are a nice size because there’s more screen real estate, but I quickly went to the custom keyboard Finger Keyb. The touchscreen is slightly, but noticeably, more sensitive than the Touch HD. You still have to make sure you’ve accurately pressed the right letter, but I do have a better wpm on the Omnia II than the Touch HD.

Compared with an iPhone, typing is slower and you have to be more accurate.

The default Samsung SMS client is nicer looking than WinMo, but it doesn’t have threaded messaging. It’s old style messaging.

The Cube UI is very pretty, but pointless. It’s really just eye candy. It’s a rotating cube with functions such as video files, music files, messages, contacts etc. on each side of a cube. You flick the cube around and choose what you want by clicking on which side you want. It doesn’t display any text, so you will have to use it to become acquaintant with it, it’s not really useful.

The zoom function is great, you hold your finger on the screen and then scroll up to zoom in and scroll down to zoom out. You can do this on webpages as well as photos. This is a great option to have on resistive screens, as there is limited multi-touch capabilities with them, so you can’t “pinch” to zoom.

Video Recording

Quality isn’t that great, colours are a little washed out, and you can notice the decrease in quality with the compression codec. There’s lots of options for the still camera like burst mode, timer, shake stabilisation etc. Basically, what you will find on your typical camera phone.

Extras

Just wanted to mention that this phone comes with TV out and a built in Mobile Tracker which sends a text message (I believe) to a designated phone number if the SIM card is changed.

There’s an option in the menus to select CPU performance. Basically, you can have it run on High/Med/Low performance all the time and conserving battery life or set it to Automatic. Very interesting option, but I can’t find a reason why you would set this to anything other than automatic, apart from conserving battery life.

There is also a hidden app store when you browse in Program Files via File Manager. It starts to install an app which is unsigned, so doesn’t finish. My “conspiracy theory” is Samsung placed it there for a future app store option.

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