"A surprising experience"4.5 starson by Mafiul
Pros: 3.7-inch 65K-color resistive AMOLED touchscreen, 480 x 800 pixels
Windows Mobile 6.5
5 megapixel camera with LED flash
3.5mm audio jack
Office document editor
Full Flash support in the web browser
Cons: No xenon flash
No camera lens cover
65K color limitation of display results in banding in color gradients
microSD slot is under the back cover
Browser has issues with Flash support
Summary: The Samsung I8000 Omnia II is certainly a device that is hard to match, let alone beat and that much is clear with just a cursory glance at its specs. It also carries the aura of a new OS version pioneer, which in itself is enough to generate excitement. But that can hardly be a selling point as all recent HTC devices have also been promised free WinMo 6.5 updates one the things gets out.
The thing that caught our attention the most is that the handset has the performance to cash all the checks that its specs are writing for. Virtually every part of the once sluggish and boring looking WinMo interface has been overhauled: it is now pleasantly designed, fluid and responsive to such a degree that it might rival most of the other touch-centric platforms out there.
Now add the vast amount of software available, which has always been one of the strongest selling points of the devices powered by the Microsoft OS, and you get yourselves a really nice package. And let's not forget the smooth design, by no means a small issue in this handset's many features.
The closest that the market has to offer to the Samsung i8000 Omnia II is the HTC Touch HD. It packs a slightly larger screen but some users might still prefer the AMOLED charm of the Omnia II. Besides, the Touch HD runs on a slower 528 MHz CPU and it isn't yet cleared for a WinMo 6.5 update. And truth be told, the Samsung Omnia II is just on the verge of becoming the burden for single-handed usage that the Touch HD already is.
HTC Touch HD
No one should forget the HTC Touch Diamond2 either, though it doesn't even come close to a 3.7" AMOLED screen or an 800MHz CPU. However at this stage the HTC champ has a more attractive price tag and that combined with the time-tested TouchFLO 3D UI might be enough to keep users interested. HTC devices usually have a wide user base and there are some quite strong communities of HTC users always ready to give you a tip or help you tweak your gadget.
Another pretty interesting Windows Mobile offering is the Toshiba TG01. It packs an amazing 1GHz Snapdragon CPU and a huge 4.1" touchscreen. Yet somehow we feel that its dimensions (except for the thickness) have crossed a certain line and make usability a problem. The higher price and the relatively limited market availability are also hurting the TG01 chances in this battle.
Looking outside the WinMo world for a moment shows us some more competitors to the Omnia II. The Symbian-powered Samsung i8910 Omnia HD offers an almost identically-sized screen, although of lower resolution, but makes up for it with impressive imaging and mostly video recording performance. However the touch experience provided by the Omnia II seems quite better than the one that of its Symbian cousin.
Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
Finally, we come to the omnipresent iPhone 3GS. Packing a less impressive camera and some peculiar limitations such as no Bluetooth file transfers, for instance, the Apple device still remains THE thing to beat when talking touchscreen experience. Its applications database is also pretty impressive.
Apple iPhone 3GS
We guess that once the Samsung Omnia II price settles down there will hardly be any serious contender to its looks and performance. Samsung are clearly targeting a large chunk of the HTC market share and from what we are seeing it might just have the resources to get it. The original Omnia was the first bullet in this war but now the South Korean company is bringing out the big guns.
The Samsung i8000 Omnia II and the Samsung B7610 OmniaPro match and even exceed what's out there right now, and along with their lower-end Omnia siblings look set to make the next step to achieving domination in a territory where Samsung traditionally didn't venture. Now we might not be the greatest of prophets but if the rapid improvement continues we cannot see anyone stopping them.