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Samsung Omnia W Preview

Samsung Omnia W

Posted: , posted by Daniel P.

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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

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

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 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

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

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


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


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 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.

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Samsung Omnia W

Samsung Omnia W

OS: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Not rated
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1400 MHz
0.5 GB 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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