Samsung Omnia i900 Preliminary Review

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Update: A full review of this device is now available: Samsung Omnia i900 Review

When the Samsung Omnia i900 was unveiled a few months ago, this smartphone’s features quickly drew attention as a possible worthy competitor for the iPhone.

Samsung Omnia i900

I’ve had a demo unit for a few days, and I’m going share some of my preliminary impressions about this device and its massive feature-set.

First thing’s first: I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw a shout out to the folks over at eXpansys, who happily and quite painlessly provided my review unit.

They sell the Omnia in its factory fresh state, including multiple colors and both the 8 GB and 16 GB models, and they only ask your first-born child in return. In all seriousness, the 8 GB model runs $730.

It’s not like you’re not getting anything for your money, though. The Omnia is, arguably, one of the most high-end Windows Mobile devices available on the market today, if not the most high end.

In enumerating the Omnia’s hardware, the best question to ask is, what doesn’t it have? While it lacks a high-res screen like the HTC Touch Pro and Sony Xperia X1 have, it does have widescreen, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, FM radio, TV-out, DivX playback certification, tilt sensor, 5 MPx camera with image stabilization, 8 GB or 16 GB of internal flash on top of its MicroSDHC slot…

It does not, however, make bagels.

Samsung Omnia i900For all that stuff inside it, the Omnia is surprisingly light and compact. Putting it to your ear won’t make you feel like you look funny, and it comfortably slips into a pocket.

I will tell you what the Omnia doesn’t come with, though — a decent keyboard. There’s no hardware input buttons, so everything goes through the touchscreen, and the included software keyboard is not great. In fact, it’s not even particularly good. Replace it with Resco Keyboard and you’ll be a lot happier.

The second issue is that being originally intended for release outside the U.S., the Omnia doesn’t support the 3G bands used in North America. That means no high-speed Internet, only EDGE. There’s persistent rumors about an NA-friendly version of the Omnia slated for later this year, but as yet those are still only rumors.

The Omnia comes with a customized finger-friendly launcher.

Stay tuned: We’re going to have a full review on the Omnia i900 coming up in the very near future.

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