When I wrote my first review on the Samsung Omnia I910 I had no experience at all with smart phones. All I knew for certain at the time was that although the Omnia was an extremely cool phone, I did not need, and more than likely would not use half the included features. But it was upgrade time, the price was right and I just simply wanted a cool new phone. Mission accomplished. The Omnia definitely met my requirement for cool.
Out of the box, I was concerned about the newness of the touch screen technology. Would it stand up the kind of abuse my previous phone did. Would it be plagued by new tech issues that could only be solved by replacing the device all together. My initial impression was one of pleasant surprise. Even getting use to the virtual keyboard was a snap. Five months later I am happy to report that I have experienced no problems with the screen or the motion sensor. Everything is functioning exactly as promised. It’s difficult to imagine how Samsung will improve upon the Omnia in the incarnation.
Over the last almost half a year since I activated my Omnia, I have aggressively run it through the paces, testing various applications and using as many of the installed programs as possible. I have to admit that even in this age of technological marvels, I am amazed that Samsung managed to load so many useful tools into one device, and that everything works so well. I would recommend the Omnia to anyone looking for a smart phone, whether it is going to be their first, or looking for a replacement for something that may not have lived up to their expectations.
Today, as it was the day I got it, my favorite Omnia feature remains the 5 Megapixel digital camera. I was not exaggerating in my first review when I said that it has completely replaced my stand alone camera. Granted, there are cameras on the market now, and even a few phones, that offer higher resolution, but the quality of the pictures I take with my Omnia is amazing. Recording high quality digital video is also plus with the Omnia, and unlike many phones on the market today, video recording is not limited to fifteen or thirty seconds. Sending pics and video is easily accomplished with just a few taps of my finger, and can been done in a variety of formats. Both can be edited right on the device. The available modes rival some of the best compact digital cameras sold. Because I am almost never without my phone, now I am almost never without a high quality compact digital camera.
One thing expected in a smart phone is messaging capabilities above those you would find on a standard mobile phone. Unfortunately, no matter what device you are using, the amount of data you can send largely depends on the network used and the bandwidth limitations of that network. This means that the number of pictures, or the size of messages will have certain limitations. The Omnia has successfully provided a means to expand those limits. Pre loaded on the Samsung Omnia is Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1.
Windows Mobile allows users to not just import email to the text inbox, but actually install virtually any email client on the device, allowing for the same mail capabilities and functionality you would find on a desk top PC. If a picture or video is too large to send as a text message or multi media message, it can easily be attached to an email message using a regular email server. Problem solved. I currently use two email accounts on my Omnia. The first is the same Outlook account I have on my PC, allowing me to send and receive from that address no matter where I am.
The second is my Gmail account from Google. Both work flawlessly. Using the account setup tools in Windows Mobile setup was a breeze. All I had to do was enter my email addresses and the program detected the account settings for me. Within minutes I was free to access my email, NO COMPUTER REQUIRED! Need to check mail from a work account? Omnia has that covered too. Included with Windows mobile is Microsoft Web Access. In a nutshell, my Omnia gives me total connectivity.
Also include in the Samsung Omnia’s Windows Mobile package, is Office Mobile.
When I first got my Omnia I did not expect to use this much, but I have found over the last five months that have these tools on a mobile device is more useful than I ever imagined. The Powerpoint program is something I can live without. It’s a view only program, and in my line of it is unlikely that anyone will be sending me presentations.
Excel is available and I have goofed around with it a little. From what I can tell, it functions almost exactly like the grown up version on my PC. It may come in handy some day, but so far all it does is give me bragging rights.
Word Mobile on the Omnia totally rocks! As a test of its functionality, my first Omnia review was composed and published using the program. The tools included are slightly scaled down from the PC version, but everything I need to create a basic document is there and the user interface is easy to navigate. Saved documents are easily transfered to and from a computer wirelessly or through the use of the provided USB cable.
I hate comparing my Omnia to the Iphone or Blackberry. I am obviously biased on the subject. All of these devices have one thing in common. They have all been designed with the ability to increase functionality with the addition of optional applications or “apps” as they have come to be known. The Omnia has more app options than I could possibly list here. Navigation tools, office tools, photo editing software apps, entertainment and gaming apps, educational apps and so on. Messaging and social networking apps that include Facebook, myspace, Yahoo messenger, and many more.
One advantage to getting the Omnia is that out of the box, its 8 gigs of installed memory gives you plenty of storage space to install your favorite programs. Once installed on the device, you can even put a shortcut or” widget” on the main screen, making use of the new app as simply as a finger tap.
In my first Omnia review I expressed concerns about a few of the devices shortcomings.
Ringer volume was one issue. The level at which the pre-installed ringtones were recorded or installed was seriously lacking. With the Omnia in my pocket, it was difficult to hear it ringing. After checking for updates and finding none I accepted it for what it was. Not a defect, but a design or programming flaw. Fortunately, by simply downloading louder tones that issue was resolved. Frankly, the tones that came loaded on the Omnia needed to be replaced anyway. Now my Omnia rings loud and true.
Issue number two was the poor in call volume during the use of a Bluetooth device. I had read other reviews on the Omnia and it seemed that this was a problem for many people. For me, changing to a different Bluetooth headset was the solution. In the long run, I was never really an issue with the Omnia at all.
The last, and probably my most significant complaint with the Omnia is the lack of a sensible storage space for the included stylus. Samsung attached the Omnias stylus to the side of the device with a small lanyard. It dangles from the side of the phone getting in the way each time a call is answered or placed. My solution to this inconvenience was to remove the stylus. Considering all I have found to appreciate about my Samsung Omnia, I guess I can live with this issue. Perhaps the next gen Omnia will address it.
So, having tested the Omnia over time, I find it to be more than adequate for all my communication requirements, and it has proven to be durable enough to stand up to the occasional drop. I definitely appreciate the uncluttered appearance and love the fact that if the 8 gigs of memory prove to be too little, it is expandable to a whopping 16 gigs!
I am completely satisfied with the Samsung Omnia and would still recommend it to anyone.
- As with any touch screen device I suggest investing in screen protectors. The Omnia’s screen is as tough as any on the market, but not indistructable.
The I910 Samsung Omnia is sold exclusively by Verizon Wireless.