Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review

Samsung Omnia II

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The Samsung Omnia II I8000 sports the same 5MP resolution as the original Omnia, but it now has a dual LED flash and video recording has been vastly improved.  It now records at DVD quality (720x480) at 30fps, and can go as high as 120fps at QVGA resolution for slow motion recording.

Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camcorder interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review


Samsung Omnia II I800 Sample video at 720x480 pixels resolution
*Note that due to codecs support, you may not be able to play the file.
** Keep in mind that the video file is about 12MB.

There is some noticeable delay in the camera.  It takes about 3s to start up, another 3 to snap a picture and then another 4-5 to snap another.  These times are acceptable, but not really great. Pictures turned out so-so as well.  As the light got worse they got grainier, and even in bright sunlight color saturation was poor.  Detail was good though, even blown up we were able to make out individual leaves pretty well.

Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Outdoor pictures shot with the Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review

Strong light - Indoor samples - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Medium light - Indoor samples - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Low light - Indoor samples - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Darkness - Indoor samples - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light

Darkness



There are plenty of options to play with.  In camera mode the user can select 5, 3, 2 or 0.3 megapixel resolutions, set the ISO from 50-400 or let the device do it for you, adjust the contrast, saturation and sharpness, choose from four preset or automatic white balance and enable Anti-Shake, WDR and geotagging.  There are several different scene modes to produce more realistic images: Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Dusk & Dawn, Night Shot, Text, Sports, Backlight, Party & Indoors, Beach & Snow, Fall Color, Fireworks and Candle Light.  Features we’ve seen from Samsung before, like Smile Detection, are also available. The easy-to-use panoramic mode has gotten even easier, now taking 8 shots with the camera virtually doing all the work for you.  All the user has to do is snap the first shot and then slowly pan to the right or left while the camera lines it up and snaps the rest of the shots.  Results were good, but the resolution gets significantly lowered to 2912x400

Panorama made with Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review

Panorama made with Samsung Omnia II I8000


Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Camera interface - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review



Multimedia:

Samsung’s Touch Player handles music and video playback.  No surprise here, but it’s very well laid out and has large icons for easy finger use.  The layout is pretty straight forward, you can view all tracks or by album or artist, and can create your own playlists. Sound quality with the included headphones was excellent, especially after enabling the WoW HD. Samsung’s DNSe technology is employed for more realistic sound reproduction. Even though the included headphones were very good, since the  Samsung Omnia II I8000 has a 3.5mm headset jack you can choose to use whatever headphones you wish.

The Touch Player of Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
The Touch Player of Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
The Touch Player of Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
The Touch Player of Samsung Omnia II I8000 - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review


The Touch Player is much more polished this time around, with better controls and a more professional look.  One cool hidden feature is that when listening to music, if the device is locked you can swipe down from the top to reveal music controls.  We do have to mention that it failed to read any ID3 information on 2 of our 6 test albums, which was a disappointment.

Music playback - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Music playback - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Music playback - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review


Video playback was brilliant. It supports MPEG4, WMV, DivX, XviD, H.263 and H.264 and was able to handle every file type, frame rate and resolution we threw at it. It should be noted that none of our test files have a higher resolution than the Omnia II’s native WVGA. The quality of video was amazing, everything looked fantastic on the wonderful AMOLED screen.  There are two preloaded promo videos which really highlight the brilliance of the screen.

There is an FM radio tuner that uses the headphones as an antenna.  It works as advertised. The onboard video editor left a bit more to be desired; it was a bit awkward to use, and does not support videos taken at the phone’s highest resolution.  In theory you can stitch videos together, add text and/or audio to them or auto clip them based on certain parameters, but we were not impressed.

The same 3D cube interface we first saw on the Jet is available on the Omnia II. It is a watered down multimedia interface, and we’re really not sure what Samsung is trying to do here. In addition to music, videos, games and photos there is a favorite contact side and web bookmark side. Functionality is OK we guess, but it’s a very primitive app that doesn’t fit with the theme of the device and really offers nothing in the way of convenience.

The 3D cube - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
The 3D cube - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review



Software:

The Omnia II is a Windows Mobile 6.1 device which will be upgradable to Windows Mobile 6.5 once it is released.  It runs on a lightning-fast 800MHz processor with 256MB of RAM and 512MB ROM.  One would think this should be plenty muscle to power the device, but as noted earlier we saw too many beach balls for our liking and there was noticeable lag at times.

Besides all the Samsung software found on the Omnia II there are a few other helpful programs. DNLA’s Connected Home allows the user to access music libraries from remote computers, and Midomi will listen to the song playing and return track information.  The Streaming Player is similar to HTC’s Streaming Media player, neither of which are all that practical for playing internet videos. Qik allows you to share live video from your phone with friends and family. There is an RSS reader and Podcast feed reader for keeping up with the latest current events. There is a communities option that lets you link your Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Photobucket, Picasa and Friendster (people still use that?) accounts so you can upload photos or go to the website (where you’ll have to login again,) but that’s the extent of it.

DNLA’s Connected Home app - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Midomi - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review
Communities option - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review

DNLA’s Connected Home app

Midomi

Communities option


The Samsung Omnia II I8000 comes with included NAVFone Plus software, but that did not do us any good here in the States.  Fortunately any GPS program you can get your hands on will work since it is unlocked, and we had no issues downloading and using Google Maps.  Samsung uses their XTRA software to give quicker GPS locks, much like HTC’s QuickGPS program.

Smart Reader app - Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review


There is a very interesting Smart Reader application
which will not only scan business cards, but also documents and will even translate words captured with the camera (in our review unit’s case, from English to French and vice versa.)  Last but not least the Office Mobile suite is included as well as Adobe Reader LE for .pdf documents.





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PhoneArena rating:
8Very good
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
800 MHz
0.25 GB
Size4.65 x 2.36 x 0.47 inches
(118 x 60 x 11.9 mm)
4.34 oz  (123 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 10 hours talk time

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