Samsung Omnia 7 Review
The Samsung Omnia 7 has a 5MP autofocus camera with an LED flash and support for HD 720p video recording, so naturally, its photo and video taking capabilities are of great interest. The camera interface is completely in line with the rest of the simplistic interface. It features a good number of settings such as white balance, contrast, saturation, different focus and metering modes, as well as anti-shake. It is also up to you whether or not to leave the flash on/off or in auto mode.
By the way, Windows Mobile 7 offers a great interface to quickly preview images, while in the camera app itself. You can simply swipe to the right and you're already scrolling through your images! Once you're ready, swipe your way to the rightmost part and you are back in the viewfinder, ready to take some more works of art.
Photo quality with the Samsung Omnia 7 is quite tolerable. We took our test samples in pretty unfavorable weather conditions and still managed to get some decent results. In terms of color reproduction and detail we think the Omnia 7 does a good job, with images turning out quite realistic. Objects are properly exposed for the most part, so there aren't such inaccuracies as something being too bright or too dark. Also, we like how the sky doesn't turn completely white, as the camera is trying to expose the darker objects of the scene properly, showing decent dynamic range capabilities. Still, bear in mind that all shots were taken in auto mode, so specific results may be achieved, should you play with the settings a bit.
We are also content with the macro mode of the Samsung Omnia 7, as we could capture some fine object detail, with the object being very close to the lens. Finally, noise isn't too much of an issue with this camera. In indoor situations, where light becomes a fairly rare commodity, the Omnia 7 is still capable of maintaining a proper focus, coupling it with some nice colors and details, as well as very tolerable noise levels. The LED flash does a great job when it has to illuminate a small room, though something bigger will pose a difficulty.
The Samsung Omnia 7 can record video in either VGA resolution at 30fps, or in HD 720p at 24 fps. While the quality of the produced HD video is pretty adequate, we really miss those 6 fps that can make all the difference. Sure, there isn't much stutter to it, but still, once you play the VGA sample in 30fps you immediately see how smooth a video should be.
Samsung Omnia 7 Sample Video 1 taken at 640x480 px:
Samsung Omnia 7 Sample Video 2 taken at 1280x720 px:
Multimedia on the Samsung Omnia 7 is handled by the Music + Videos Hub. It doesn't need much introduction though. This is where all the partying happens and we have to say that Windows Phone 7's way to get things done is very suitable for the job. It is really fun to see the artist you are listening to take up the background space with a panoramic image – it immediately makes the experience better than what you get on most of the competition.
Besides the playing track/video, in this hub you will also find some other data like a history of the media that you've consumed (gee, we hate the sound of that). From the menu you can jump to your music library, videos, podcasts, FM radio or the Zune Marketplace.
Overall, we are perfectly content with what we discovered within the Music + Videos hub, so we expect many hours of entertainment going on with the help of it. The loudspeaker of the Samsung Omnia 7 packs quite a punch, although not of the deepest nature possible. There are many loudness levels, so you'll be able to fine-tune your experience.
Of course the 4” Super AMOLED screen is outstanding for watching video. There is no problem whatsoever in watching 720p video files coded in MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 and WMV.
The Samsung Omnia 7 is equipped with Bing Maps. Panning the map around in the app is very smooth, same as pinch zooming. The available options are pretty standard – you can search for a specific location, go to you position, and get directions from A to B. Unfortunately, there is no support for voice-guided directions so far.
Searching for POIs is very intuitive, of course, and once you open a POI in order to see more details, you are presented with the exact address, an option to get directions and a phone number. You can also pin a certain POI to the home screen, as well as share it via text or email.
Sure, the software might not be as mature as some other offerings like Google Maps, but the interface and visual presentation are good so we see no reasons why Microsoft wouldn't build on it in the future. The GPS managed to get our location fixed very quickly after a cold start, in about half a minute.
The Office Hub is probably a place where Windows Phone 7 users will spend quite a lot of time. And unlike what we experienced with Microsoft's great new browser, we were a bit underwhelmed by what we found in the Office Hub.
While the panoramic user interface is great for the purpose, we found Word Mobile's options to be quite limited. Stuff like word correction and find is present, plus there's even the option to place comments, but when it comes to formatting, available options are as scarce as hen's teeth. However, they should be enough if you just want to add some finishing touches to a document.
Of course, you can also create, view and edit Excel files (there's a fine selection of available functions to choose from) on the Samsung Omnia 7, as well as view and edit PowerPoint presentations. However, editing here comes down to just editing text. You can also take notes using the included OneNote software, or collaborate through SharePoint.
If you feel like downloading third-party apps to lend some variety to your mobile experience with the Samsung Omnia 7, you'll have to rely on the new Marketplace Hub. Right now, the selection of apps there should include about 1000 titles, which is a good start, but of course we expect that number to go higher quickly, since there's a lot of catching-up to be done in this department. However, we are positive towards Windows Phone 7's gaming capabilities as we tried a few of the available offerings, and have to admit that they looked very well. The Xbox Live integration in WP7 lets you do stuff like personalizing your avatar, track various achievements and scores, as well as see requests.
1. mishima (unregistered)
How bad is the voice / call quality? How would you rate it on a scale of 10? Do you think it can be fixed with a firmware update?
2. yves707 (unregistered)
i would be interested to something about audio quality when listening to music. the device has no equalizer and some say its very quiet...
does anyone know? :)
3. Pio (unregistered)
Haha 8.5 ??!! In your opinion this phone is as good as Galaxy S ? Don't Make Me Laugh....
4. uui (unregistered)
why cant WP7 phones have a FWVGA (480x854) display?
5. debanks (unregistered)
if you are on Orange network, you can get HD call quality :)
6. codymws (Posts: 235; Member since: 17 Jun 2010)
I really like the user interface of WP7, but I like the customizability of Android. But overall I'd probably choose WP7. If only they had this on Verizon in America...
Oh, and I really like the Start button on this phone...
7. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)
Here's to hoping this will be on Verizon in May.
8. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)
Question, would I be able to use this device on 3G in the US?
9. Emman (unregistered)
yes, I used this on straighttalk (AtT)
10. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)
Really? What area are you in? I've been hearing that the 3G is contingent upon location in the states.
11. chorith (unregistered)
can anyone give me some ideas of buying this omnia 7 or the Focus ?? cos now i am thinking of buying one of these phone !! thank ahead !!!
12. Axial (unregistered)
Alright, so here's the sit-rep of 3G data in the USA with this phone:
1. You have to make sure that you actually got the tri-band UMTS version, because there are reports of a dual-band version floating around that will not work in the USA at all for 3G.
2. After confirming that you have the tri-band version, you need to know which band it is that the USA supports: it's the UMTS 1900 band that you want.
3. Find a carrier that supports UMTS 1900: this means AT&T.
4. Make sure you are in a 1900 MHz area and not an 850 MHz-only area. Here is a map from 2008 (newest I could find):
5. Configure your APN settings: in WP7, flip to app menu > Settings > Cellular > button on bottom of page for APN. Input:
APN: "wap.cingular" (All small letters, no quotes)
Ta da! Now you have 3G in the USA with a Euro phone!
Note that 850 MHz is the old technology, and all new equipment erected since 2008 has been 1900 MHz, so there definitely is more 1900 MHz coverage than that map shows. The good thing about the phone being 1900 MHz-only in the USA means that it will ALWAYS access the faster of the two AT&T 3G bands, so you get notably better performance.
So there you have it. If you don't mind AT&T, pull the trigger. It's an excellent device and far superior to the chintzy Focus that Samsung saw fit to insult us with. I don't honestly know why they spent extra money on R&D for the Focus when it would have been cheaper to make a quad-band Omnia 7; it will sell itself.
13. Axial (unregistered)
Got a part backwards: new equipment has been mostly 850 MHz. Still, there should be more coverage than that map demonstrates. 1900 is the better performing, but 850 has the better penetration. Seeing that AT&T is often criticized for inferior coverage compared to VZW, it would make sense for them to put up more 850MHz.
14. tommyboy (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)
I have had this phone since last June. I can't wait for the contract to run out so I can be rid of it. t promises a lot but delivers little. Apps I wanted I can't have for some reason. It is difficult to hear people speaking when the phone. Difficult to find things on and has been a very dispiriting experience. Avoid this phone at all costs. There MUST be better out there somewhere.
15. samboycott (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)
I saw this phone and the Nokia lumia, guys believe me this phone is so dull in front of a Lumia. Lumia looks very beautiful but this samsung omnia has a very much dull handrware and color. Omnia sucks