- Gorgeous display
- Innovative Swype keyboard technology
- Good camera and battery life
- Painful e-mail experience
- Average voice quality
The Samsung Omnia II is the newest smartphone offered by Verizon Wireless. It has a few standout components, such as a 3.7-inch, WVGA, AM-OLED screen and a 5.0 megapixel camera/camcorder with flash, some new technology such as the Swype keyboard, and the usual features today’s consumers have come to expect, like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
It is available now for $200 with a two-year contract and a $100 mail-in rebate.
BUILD & DESIGN
When I took the Omnia II out of the box, the first word that came to mind was “sexy” — this really is a nice looking device. It’s a little on the large side compared to other phones, but that’s due to the 3.7-inch, AM-OLED screen, which is absolutely gorgeous. The overall design is sleek and modern, mainly black with chrome accents on the buttons and hematite around the edges of the device.
The battery cover on the back is basically black, but it has really cool red accents that show up more depending on how they catch the light. It’s a subtle effect, nothing too over-the-top or cheesy, but just different enough to set the Omnia II apart from the crowd of similar-looking devices. The top of the back panel is where you’ll find the lens for the 5.0 megapixel camera with flash and video capture capabilities.
This device has a nice heft to it — it’s not so heavy you don’t want to carry it with you, but it’s not so light it feels like an insubstantial toy. At 4.75 inches tall, 2.4 inches wide, and 0.5 inches thick it’s not something you’ll forget that you have in your pocket, but it does fit.
Buttons and controls are relatively minimal, though there are quite a few of them. The call and disconnect buttons on the front of the phone are lightly textured, while the navigator button in the middle is smooth. The left side houses the standard headphone jack, the very small volume up/down buttons, the uncovered microSD slot, and the OK button. The right side has the covered charge/sync port, the lock button, and the camera button. The lock button is easy to manipulate and is cleverly recessed in comparison to the camera button, so you shouldn’t have any problem with the phone being accidentally unlocked when in your pocket or purse.
I’ve already mentioned the display, and for good reason — it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a bit larger than usual, and everything is so big and bright it made me realize just how much squinting I seem to do with other devices. Everything is sharp and neon bright, with saturated colors. Video looks great, with no ghosting issues.
Whether you’re viewing pictures or video or just composing a text message, you’ll like what you see on the Omnia II’s stellar display.
This device has a virtual keyboard, not a physical one, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the same-old, same-old. This is the first device I’ve used with Swype technology, and it’s nifty.
Instead of picking up your finger or your stylus each time you want to move to the next letter, you just slide your finger or stylus to the next one. It was a little strange at first, but I’m really starting to like it. It’s easier on my fingertips than pounding the virtual keys (I always tend to push harder than I need to) and it’s fun too.
If Swype perfectly understands what you just entered, it’s exactly like typing. If it doesn’t, you’ll get a selection of as many as eight different possibilities. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how the Swype system works. Typically turning off the auto-complete or word suggestion utility is one of the first things I do when I get a new device, but so far I really like how Swype is working for me on the Omnia II.
If it turns out that you’re not a big fan, you still have your choice of block recognizer, letter recognizer, the standard Windows Mobile keyboard, the Samsung Keypad, or Transcriber.