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Samsung Omnia W Preview

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Our Samsung Omnia W Review is now published - click here to read it.

Interface and Functionality:

Windows Phone Mango update is a vast improvement over the first WP edition, and not only via the first things you see – the more functional Live Tiles and the social networking integration with Twitter and LinkedIn joining Facebook in WP.

The interface of the Samsung Omnia W - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The interface of the Samsung Omnia W - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The interface of the Samsung Omnia W - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The interface of the Samsung Omnia W - Samsung Omnia W Preview

The interface of the Samsung Omnia W


There is multitasking, and the apps currently running can be called when you long-press the back key (long press the home key calls the voice command service), and you can flip horizontally between their snapshots.

Multitasking - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Multitasking - Samsung Omnia W Preview

Multitasking


Besides all recent Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates from a specific contact with the respective photos, in the People hub you now have the History tab. It puts together all your communication venues with a contact – calls, text conversations, emails, and so on.

The People hub - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The People hub - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The People hub - Samsung Omnia W Preview

The People hub


The Calendar app also unifies your accounts in sub-calendars, which you can paint in different colors to tell them apart easily. And one of the greatest updates with Mango is better work with SkyDrive, the 25GB free cloud service by Microsoft – documents, photos and other media now sync seamlessly with SkyDrive. Speaking of documents, there are numerous improvements to Microsoft’s Office Mobile on the phone. For example, you can now mark several cells in Excel by dragging your finger down, plus you can now use the famed Autosum function afterward.

Calendar - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Calendar - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Calendar - Samsung Omnia W Preview

Calendar


SkyDrive - Samsung Omnia W Preview
SkyDrive - Samsung Omnia W Preview
SkyDrive - Samsung Omnia W Preview
SkyDrive - Samsung Omnia W Preview

SkyDrive

Samsung Omnia W Preview
Samsung Omnia W Preview
Microsoft’s Office Mobile - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Samsung Omnia W Preview
  

Microsoft’s Office Mobile

 

The search button calls up Bing, but there you also have two new modes – a song recognition button, and QR code scanner, which also serves as OCR software to scan a page, and then translate it in different languages. The OCR is hit-or-miss, but they all are on mobile phones, you need a really good source of light and contrast on the page to recognize the text correctly.

Bing has two new modes - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Bing has two new modes - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Bing has two new modes - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Bing has two new modes - Samsung Omnia W Preview

Bing has two new modes


The point is that all these little helpers are native for Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, and you don’t have to hit the app markets right away to pimp up your WP phone. This, along with the social networking integration are very good differentiators for a mobile OS that aims to become the third player in the Android-iOS race, since it can’t fight with the number of apps available, just with their native integration.

The simple-looking, but effective virtual keyboard on the 3.7” display is easy to use both in portrait and in landscape modes, making messaging a piece of cake. There is built-in spell checker, and nice little perks like a cursor popping up above the text box so you can easily drag it to where you want to make a correction. The minimalistic fashion of moving the cursor, marking and copying text make Android Gingerbread look downright crude in that respect.

Virtual keyboard - Samsung Omnia W Preview
Virtual keyboard - Samsung Omnia W Preview

Virtual keyboard



The Messaging Hub now puts together in a conversation thread your texts, along with Facebook and Windows Live messages with a contact. The same thread view now goes on in the Email app, which also adds a common inbox for having all your accounts at one place.

The Email client - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The Email client - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The Email client - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The Email client - Samsung Omnia W Preview

The Email client



Internet and Connectivity:

The IE9 mobile browser is filthy smooth, even in our pre-production version of the Omnia W, on account of the new JavaScript engine and hardware acceleration. Microsoft's claims that with Mango it went from the slowest browser (in WinMo) to the fastest one certainly hold water as far as everyday surfing is concerned – the only thing we could compare the browser experience in Mango to is iOS's Safari. Not only are zooming and panning around silky, but when you double-tap, the browser zooms in three stages, according to the way the page columns are arranged, instead of brutally zooming in from the minimum to the maximum. Text reflow is automatic and fits even more complex pages well on the screen real estate for easier reads. The bad part is, of course, no Adobe Flash support, but Microsoft is adamant that HTML5 is the way to go, and is not planning to include Flash support even in its Windows 8 tablets, at least not in those that are ARM-based.

The IE9 mobile browser is filthy smooth - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The IE9 mobile browser is filthy smooth - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The IE9 mobile browser is filthy smooth - Samsung Omnia W Preview
The IE9 mobile browser is filthy smooth - Samsung Omnia W Preview

The IE9 mobile browser is filthy smooth


The connectivity options on the Samsung Omnia W are plenty – 14.4Mbps HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, and FM Radio with RDS. There is no DLNA option or HDMI port for displaying photos and videos directly on a bigger screen, however. A big annoyance is that the phone doesn't have mass storage mode and you have to install Zune software for communicating with the device..

The GPS software is Bing Maps, and the chip located us for 2-3 minutes on cold start. Bing Maps has been updated to cover much more countries with detailed maps, and we liked the way it automatically switches to satellite view when you zoom onto the streets. Microsoft promised that it will offer users ways to opt out of location tracking on Windows Phone, and it delivered – you can turn off tracking completely or selectively in different apps like Bing Maps.

11 Comments
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posted on 13 Oct 2011, 08:59

1. Mube1 (Posts: 153; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Nice preview

posted on 13 Oct 2011, 09:43

2. fleanote (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 Jan 2011)


If anyone who works for MS reads this, just know I am a huge fan of WinMo, but I really don't like teh 10% loss in home screen space to put the ARROW movement in. Make a capacitive button, or a swiping gesture to get there, but dont give me a 3.5/4" screen and then rob me of 10% of the usable space when I look down at it. Its a major detractor in a new world of big bold screens from other makers.

posted on 13 Oct 2011, 10:24 1

3. Axial (unregistered)


You can swipe to get to apps already...

posted on 13 Oct 2011, 11:44 1

4. Shohid (unregistered)


Great phone for first dabble in wp7. Seems better specked than the htc radar

posted on 13 Oct 2011, 19:01

5. Hi (unregistered)


Am i the only person that dislike Windows Phone 'retro' style ?

posted on 13 Oct 2011, 21:32

6. gragonHDfones (unregistered)


RETRO STYLE??? wtf? i don't think so. samsung is the one that designed the phone

posted on 14 Oct 2011, 04:37

8. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)


You owned him. :))

posted on 14 Oct 2011, 04:36 1

7. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)


Retro? Maybe you mean "metro UI". Lol.

posted on 14 Oct 2011, 16:49

9. Zeroadhesion (unregistered)


Пич, от къде докопа телефона? :D Това Варна ли е?

posted on 14 Oct 2011, 23:12

10. rayjones09 (Posts: 149; Member since: 16 Dec 2010)


PhoneArena! I keep checking your website everyday for a HTC Titan review! Please review it soon, thanks!

posted on 15 Oct 2011, 20:28 1

11. Axial (unregistered)


I prefer the square-bodied, mostly aluminum with some polycarbonate construction on the Omnia 7. Very business-like. Honestly, I think sometimes they should save a little on R&D by just refreshing old phones. All they need to do is upgrade the SoC (for 1.4GHz and HSDPA 14.4+) and slap a front-facing camera on the Omnia 7 and I'd buy it again. Oh, and give me a 10% grey tile colour option.

In my unprofessional opinion, the Omnia 7 was in a league apart from the other first generation WP7 devices, and I've messed with them all before making my purchase. The closest phone to doing so was the HTC Trophy, because 3.8" to 4.0" is the perfect size for WP7, because it had a superbly sturdy build, because it wasn't overly huge (like the Surround), and because of the SRS sound enhancements. Camera was a let-down, however. You might call me an Omnia 7 fanboy, but I am for good reason. I want all of the WP7 devices to have the fit and finish of the Omnia 7. Nokia is looking like it will able to top it.

Oh, and the Omnia W is not tri-band like its predecessor. That means it is no-go for 3G in the USA on any network.

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Samsung Omnia W

Samsung Omnia W

OS: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
view full specs
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1400 MHz
512 MB RAM
Size4.57 x 2.31 x 0.43 inches
(116 x 58.8 x 10.9 mm)
4.07 oz  (115 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 14 hours talk time

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