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.