The New Samsung i900 Omnia

Samsung Omnia

Now that the excitement has died down a little regarding the new iPhone 3G, it’s about time that some products offering a genuine alternative come along.  The new Samsung i900 is just such a phone, although unfortunately for a few reasons it just falls short of a recommendation over Apple’s all-dominant i-branding.

The Samsung i900 offers a touch-screen interface, a sat-nav service built in, Wi Fi and an accelerometer for auto screen rotation, games and other unique features.  Perhaps the best point of all and reason to buy the i900 over the iPhone is the 5MP camera – it even has a decent flash, making it far better (in this regard) than Apple’s offering.

Naturally it comes with a second video camera/standard camera in case you are one of the few (in the UK at least) to actually use any kind of video calling.  Of course, it does mean that taking a picture of yourself is far easier to do also.  This is, interestingly, another area that the i900 beats the iPhone.  You could say that on the camera front therefore it is certainly well maxed out.

To add to the credentials of the phone as a multimedia device, the Omnia can play DivX video files (a favourite amongst the download community), features TV out similar to the Nokia N95 and even features a tweaked version of Opera’s web browser.  To complement these features there’s even an in-built FM radio.

Like HTC’s Diamond Touch phone, the Omnia runs on a modified version of Windows Mobile 6.1, which works reasonably well here.  However, compared to Apple’s slick interface for the iPhone it really does feel rather clunky and even at times awkward to use.  The weakest point of all is the on-screen keyboard, which doesn’t do the system any favours at all.

Going back to the very start of this review, whilst I would be unwilling to recommend this over the iPhone, I will restate that it is an alternative.  What I mean by that is if you don’t mind using Windows Mobile and you really want a high resolution camera and a host of other features along with 16GB of storage, you’ve hit gold in the Omnia.  It just doesn’t come in as sleek a package as Apple’s new toy.  That’s the bottom line.

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