Remembering the Samsung Omnia
Once the Apple iPhone became a hit in 2007, companies started designing and producing touchscreen phones as a way to take on Apple's exciting new product. One such device came from Samsung in the form of a handset called the Samsung Omnia. Originally available overseas in July 2008 as an unlocked unit, it eventually came to Verizon four months later. Big Red surprised many by making few changes, even keeping the support for Wi-Fi connectivity. Verizon, of course, was not the most open of carriers at the time.
The Samsung Omnia featured a 3.2-inch resistive touchscreen, which means it worked based on applied pressure. At the time, this was a cheaper solution compared to the capacitive screen found on the iPhone, and a lot of iPhone copycats were using it. A capacitive display is based on the electrical conducting capabilities of the human finger. With a 240 x 400 resolution, the pixel density of the Omnia was 146ppi. To put that in perspective, today's high-end models carry 450 to 540 pixels per inch. A Marvell PXA312 processor powered the device, running at 624MHz. 128MB of RAM was inside along with 8GB of storage. Keeping the lights on was the job of a removable 1440mAh battery. A 5MP camera graced the back of the unit, and Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 was installed.
Opera Mobile was pre-loaded onto the phone which gave users one of the best mobile browsers available at the time. Thanks to the resistive screen, a stylus came with the phone which could be tied to the hook on the side of the Omnia. This was placed on the device just for this reason. Besides using a finger or the stylus, an optical mouse feature produced a virtual cursor that could be moved around the screen using a pad found on the front of the unit. The phone supported a number of different video files.
The Omnia had some interesting features including a widget bar that allowed users to scroll down a list of widgets, and drag them to the home screen. Omnia owners could make two different home screens; by using the accelerometer to turn the phone from portrait to landscape, a second home screen appeared on the display.
The Samsung Omnia spawned a number of sequels including the Omnia II which launched in December 2009 with a larger 3.7-inch AMOLED screen carrying a 480 x 800 resolution.
The Samsung Omnia scored a "9" on our review, which you can check out by clicking on this link.