Samsung Omnia II I8000 Review


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.

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.

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


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 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.

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 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.

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.

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.



1. rtimi26

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 16, 2009

Okay you got certain things down right about the phone being a little laggy, but don't you think its because you had to re-skin windows ontop of windows. I would think that would be enough to slow any phone down, and yet according to all reviews, that I have read it seems to be doing well, so please why the 8 and not 9.5 or at least a 9. Well that's your opinion but all in all great review.

2. filteroff

Posts: 34; Member since: Feb 18, 2009

I wonder if you can disable the UI on this phone and use something like SPB Mobile Shell... SPB might just do the trick

4. hunter

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 04, 2009

Just got mine for a week, don't like the touchwiz. I disabled it and replace its with spbshell 3... And its perfect, no lag. Anyone knows how to get mapking working on this set?

5. tshow84

Posts: 65; Member since: Jun 11, 2009

where did they get 8 from? even if they're not basing it on the average (9.375)...if the everything else is so awesome, why not give it a 9.5, taking off .5 for one small flaw that im sure will be remedied in a future software release...or can they really not rate it higher than the iphone (the original iphone averaged rating: 3G: 8.5625, 3G s : 8.05625 - phonearena rating: 3G : 8.5, 3G s : 8.8)

8. drewsky

Posts: 147; Member since: Jan 04, 2009

You got it they can't rate it better than the Iphone.

10. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That's how my old employer used to do our annual employee ratings - you'd get above average or excellent on each individual section, then get average as your overall grade. When I asked about that, I was told it was because everyone is expected to excel, so excellence is average. Or, it's my job to do more than my job. I no longer work there, and they got NO notice when I quit.

36. Schmao

Posts: 365; Member since: Jul 05, 2009

Saying they couldn't rate it better than the iphone, makes no sense whatsoever. Obviously you are lost. Go read up on your details before making a stupid comment. Look at all the phones that have higher rating than the iphone.

3. Pure Gold

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 04, 2009

Can someone help me out with PA ratings? I don't get them. The Omnia II gets great individual scores, but gets an 8 overall compared to say the Samsung Jet which gets pretty good individual scores but a 9 overall. What am I missing? Does the overall rating depend on something different?

37. Schmao

Posts: 365; Member since: Jul 05, 2009

Go to the "HOW WE RATE" link and all your questions will be answered

6. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Phone arena always have overall rating issue. I have this phone, it is smooth, the only place need to tune is during new sms, landscape mode of touch player and photo browser. Beside this, it is cool. I also install SPB mobile shell, as it made the phone more coolest. ;-)

7. rtimi26

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 16, 2009

well people you are right that is a little confusing when the jet got a 9 and O2 got an 8, lets just hope all read the full review. Like i said to a friend iphone should be a feature phone and not a smartphone while if you want full featured phone, lets see what 6.5 and 7 would look like.

9. tedkord

Posts: 17408; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Technically, resolution is quadrupled, not doubled. 384,000 pixels vs. 96,000. Or, of you're looking at ppi, it's about 252ppi vs. 146ppi., or about 1.73X more pixels per inch. I think the iPhone is something like 165 ppi, so this display should look NICE! But, I've been reading that the daylight visibility is poor. That's my number one complaint about my Omnia. It's a great phone which is virtually unuseable outdoors in daylight.

11. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

Thanks for the note! We had it fixed immediately.

12. behold--me

Posts: 679; Member since: Jun 22, 2009

like the jet better.....smaller and DOESNT have that p.o.s. winmo ui

13. mr. anderson

Posts: 92; Member since: Apr 16, 2009

do you people not actually read the reviews? everyone always gets so caught up in the numbers, averaging this and that. first off, read their link right under the ratings. secondly, if you actually read the review (or hell, even the conclusion...hell, even the cons) you'd see that the lag killed the phone, and then youd understand why it only got an 8.

14. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

It is not ready lag, I not sure why they mention cons as lag, lag, lag. I am using it now and I am happy with it.

15. rtimi26

Posts: 42; Member since: Mar 16, 2009

speak about lag, just for you to know, what multi-tasking phone today doesn't have lag. Any phone that has to keep the memory used due to runing apps will eventually lag. According to you can increase cpu performance and not affect battery, which means to me that it can get faster. Maybe when 6.5 comes out it would be less laggy. I am currently runing cooked rom on the original omnia and doesn't seem to be as laggy as the 6.1. Lets I remind you again that ontop of the wm applications already installed, there is also samsungs applications running. Keep that in mind folks. Just wait for a featured phone from samsung like the jet with multitasking which doesn't slow down like windows. Its all about windows, which has been clarified that wm7 won't have this problem. Windows mobile 7 is said to have certain hardware requirements which manufacturers have to stick to so therre won't be many variations of it and therefore would be easy to make things uniform and fast.

38. destardi

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 24, 2009

My Droid is 5 weeks old..and doesn't lag between any screens at all.

16. ruggedruffian

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 14, 2009

Honestly Phone Arena, please be more detailed about your reviews. You spend half your conclusion complaining about the lag, but the lag is mentioned in at most 1 line during your whole review. Why don't you go more into detail. The cube is choppy, the email takes 5 seconds to pop up, etc etc. You use a lot of slick salesman talk grazing over a lot of features, but please go into more detail and give us a better idea of the UI.

17. aulton85

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

I agree with most on this review. Its solid, to the point and shows all the greats about this new phone and the major fault it has that can be fixed with a firmware update or mobile shell. But the problem comes in the average score. Both the Hero and Iphone 3Gs received their average score. Well the Hero got rounded up, but the point is the average for the samsung, when all is added together and divided is a 9 at least. Why the 8 if you base your overall rating on average. Clarify your rating scheme please because you follow average for other devices EXCEPT this one.

18. Vandro

Posts: 17; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

Hooray for firmware updates. TouchWiz is nice, and its full integration into WinMo rather than the 70% coverage of the latest TouchFlo is excellent, but I know I would have removed it and skinned SPb Shell 3.0 or ported pieces of TouchFlo3D, especially the tabbed today screen portions. HTC's apps just have better support across the board, push internet is awesome, and performance is silky smooth with a distinctively professional UI. The 800MHz processor and AMOLED screen really do it for me, even if the camera needs a little work - but, what new phone doesn't need a few tweaks. Seriously killer battery life, one of the few readily available AMOLED screens, speedy performance, a solid base interface with full inter-operability and compatibility with the whole matured range of WinMo mods: what is there not to love? This phone shouldn't be a sequel, but more like a really killer Omnia v1.5, with the WinMo 7 variant gaining the true status - the monster that it will probably be.

19. aulton85

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Damn now I really want the phone if you put it like that. I was already planning on getting it, but I was going to wait to see how everyone else felt about it. Reading your comment just fully reinforces my desire to have this phone.

20. kjack628

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 19, 2009

I don't like touchwiz all that much so I might put spb shell 3.0 on there. Wm6.1 is the problem not the device this phone should of got a 9.5..wm6.5 is a tiny step but I bet wm7 will be really nice!!..I hope the o2 is upgradable to wm7

21. aulton85

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

From what I hear from my friends in Singapore, it should be. We'll just have to wait and see on that one. I will most likely use shell on it as well, but I'll give the touchwiz a shot first.

23. dlo22

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 14, 2009

From what I've read, the widgets plus is what causing most of the lag. I believe you can disable it without turning off the TouchWiz UI - which refers to the finger friendly menus and program launcher. In my opinion, I think the widgets are more flash than practical. Like what others have already said, it would be much better to install spb mobile shell or ultimate launcher for the home screen. Plus, you'll save some ram while doing it.

24. aulton85

Posts: 4; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Yes you read right then, it is the widget plus that causes most of the lag and you can disable it under the settings option. But also remember that when they did this review they had phone running on automatic cpu power. On high power you barely lose any battery life and the widgets load a lot faster. There is still some lag though that can be fixed with a firmware update. But once again I have to agree that mobile shell is probably going to be the UI of choice for this phone.. Many did it for the original Omnia and it made the phone awesome..

26. Vandro

Posts: 17; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

It would be nice if Samsung saved us all the hour or so we would need to get rid of their comical distraction of a UI and preload SPB or TouchFlo on the device as a second option. Hint, hint, Samsung. Leave the widgets to the people who buy your feature phones.

22. mmayer54

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 15, 2009

Phone arena's grading system MAKES NO SENSE! The Touch Pro 2 had very low scores across the board (7.5 avg.) but then give it a 9 overall. They gave Samsung i8000 FOUR 10's w/ nothing lower than a single 8 score (avg. was 9.37).....But gave it an 8 OVERALL Where is the "credibility" here?

25. Maemo

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 22, 2009

Hey, does anyone know will WinMo 6.5 support 16M colours? If not the I'll forget the whole WinMo system.

27. ais250

Posts: 5; Member since: Mar 06, 2009

Inside source at Best Buy says phone to launch 09/06 per their ad-proofing this week.
Omnia II
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 1500 mAh(10.00h talk time)

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