Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 Review

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Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA but without 3G.

Introduction:


The affordable smartphones that offer many functions typical of high-end devices have always been a major temptation for people who don’t feel like spending a fortune on a handset, but don’t mind getting cool extra features like a decent browser and additional applications. Unfortunately, these so-called “affordable” models are often plagued by issues, meaning you can easily end up with a handset with lower screen resolution or without Wi-Fi or find out the camera is much worse than you thought it would be, etc.

In this review we are taking a closer look at one of the latest contenders for the crown in the light-weighted Windows phone category, none other but the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 that also happens to be one of the major rivals to the HTC Touch2 and Acer beTouch E200. So, stock up on food and drinks, switch off your phone and TV set and brace yourself for a most fierce smartphone clash.

Design:

The Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 looks inconspicuous, which doesn’t mean it´s unappealing. Quite the contrary, the overall design shows utmost attention to detail, makes the phone really attractive and comes with several offbeat elements like the honey-comb pattern on the back of the phone. Our unit is jet black, but the handset is also available in versions with red or blue upper and lower parts of the body.



You can compare the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.


The resistive screen is large enough for an affordable device and measures 3 inches. Well, the image quality will certainly fail to wow you with saturated colors, but at least pictures do not appear choppy thanks to the resolution of 240x400 pixels.

The send and end keys are on the front side, along with the Action button that generally, takes you a step back into the menus and sports silver framing that gives it a more stylish look. The volume rocker and Menu buttons are on the left hand side, while the camera shutter, microSD slot and screen lock/unlock button are on the opposite. Finally, the microUSB port is on the top and the 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus, but without flash is on the back, below the loudspeaker.




The Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 looks quite appealing and comes with large enough screen, but compact overall size that makes it really handy to use with one hand. Moreover, the phone is a far cry from feeling fragile to hold, because the build is very tight, without any loose parts.

Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 360 Degrees View:




Interface and functionality:

Windows Mobile 6.5 may be quite far from perfect, but is certainly the best Windows Mobile edition to date. If you need the functionality of this particular operating system, the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 is a great option really. Not just because it runs WM 6.5, but because its runs it REALLY WELL. The software is properly optimized and we can say the OmniaLITE is by far one of the fastest Windows phones we have used. Nothing like the Acer beTouch E200 really. Well, the HTC Touch2 is almost as snappy, but still, the OmniaLITE has an edge over it.

When it comes to personalization, however, Samsung´s device is light years ahead of its rivals. You get the typical TouchWiz home screen, but you can also activate the rest of the interface functionality if you wish. Even if you leave the feature inactive, you can always start the personalized main menu with the Menu button on the left hand side of the phone.



Unlike HTC and Acer, Samsung has loaded its budget phone with its own versions of almost all applications. For starters, the phonebook looks really nice and optimized for bare fingers. Scrolling up and down between the entries feels smooth and adding a contact is as easy as ABC.



The messaging application sports really handy interface that will allow you to simultaneously handle several accounts with ease. It comes with automated email setup for Gmail, Yahoo! and AOL. You will have to manually enter all relative settings if you happen to use another service provider, which is not a problem really, thanks to the handy QWERTY keyboard.



The list of personalized applications includes multimedia player, calendar, alarms, settings, file manager, Java emulator, task manager, etc. It´s worth mentioning the calendar is a great app that offers daily, weekly, monthly and to-do note overviews. Of course, the phone ships with Office Mobile and Adobe Reader LE.




What you also get with the handset is the standard Facebook app for Windows Mobile as well as MSN Weather and MSN Money.

The Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 comes with two different browsers – Internet Explorer 6 and Opera Mobile. The former works without a hitch and is actually usable, but we would rather use Opera Mobile instead, because scrolling pages on it feels smoother, plus you can zoom with either double taps or single touch. Browsing pages on the OmniaLITE feels more pleasing than on the Touch2, thanks to the larger screen and higher resolution.

Of course, you need fast connectivity to relish proper browsing experience and the handset features both Wi-Fi and HSDPA 3.6 Mbit/s..





Camera and Multimedia:

This is a Samsung device, so we thought the camera would be great. The Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with autofocus, but without flash and this limits your options to taking pictures in properly lit areas only. Certainly, this is not something to lose your sleep over, especially if the quality of the pictures you capture in the daylight is decent. The camera interface looks appealing, features large buttons that are easy to press and offers options like white balance, ISO sensitivity, various effects, shooting modes such as smile detection, panorama etc. It´s interesting to mention that the camera shutter doesn’t register two levels of pressure like you’d expect. You need to press the button just once and the camera then automatically brings the object into focus, captures a picture and saves it.



The first snapshots we took turned out a bit unclear, as if something with the focus wasn’t quite right. Turning off the autofocus led to better results right away. As a whole, the pictures are nothing to write home about. They have realistic colors, but are rather noisy and even the slightest flinch can result in rather disagreeable blurring. The noise seems to increase tenfold with images taken inside. The macro mode turned out to work really well – you can see that for yourselves.




The video capturing function would have been perfectly implemented if the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 could actually capture content at more than 15 frames per second that results in stuttering content. Save this, the image quality is high indeed and the audio tracks sound loud and clear.

Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 video sample at 640x480 pixles resolution

Ultimately, despite the fact the overall quality of the camera is far from perfect, the OmniaLITE is a true camera phone alongside of the beTouch E200 and Touch2!

As we have mentioned earlier, the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 is equipped with Samsung´s multimedia player, so we decided to use this application for our test. We can say the handset is really usable in terms of video playback. The maximum smoothly playing resolution, regardless of the video format, is 640x360 pixels. In that res, you will be able to relish proper experience with clips coded in MPEG-4, Xvid or MOV. DivX videos are also playable at this resolution, although we evidenced hang-ups every now and then. That´s why if you feel up to a DivX movie, you better convert the file to lower resolution, or go for another format, say Xvid. Finally, we installed CorePlayer, but yielded pretty much the same results. The app copes with H.264 videos, but the playback is plagued by severe stuttering.



Music-wise, the OmniaLITE is an average phone. The boxed microUSB headset delivers sound that is flat and dull and lacks enough punch, but is passable on the overall.

You can unleash your creative potential with the preinstalled Video Editor that will allow you to combine several video fragments (or pictures) and come up with your own clips, embed cool transitions, add audio tracks and various effects etc. The application may come in pretty handy, especially if you feel up to one of those romantic videos of pictures appearing in a slideshow with some moody music in the background.





Performance and Conclusion:

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We don’t want to harp on the same string, but we must say the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 is an extremely snappy Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. We didn’t evidence lagging and scrolled throughout menus fast and without any troubles. The manufacturer has done a great job indeed.

This seems to come at the expense of in-call quality and the OmniaLITE is mediocre in this respect. On the overall, the sound is acceptably loud on both ends and we would say it´s a bit duller than we would have liked. The quality, however, is rather low with voices sounding sharp and surreal at both ends of the line. It´s a cold comfort, but your callers will be able to enjoy slightly better overall call quality than you.

The robust battery with 1,500mAh capacity performs pretty well and we found out we had to charge the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 once every three days in moderate usage scenarios.

The Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 is definitely a worthy Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. True, its 3-inch capacitive screen doesn’t deliver stunningly saturated and bright images, the 3.2-megapixel camera is not exactly ravishing, the in-call quality is average at best and the sound through the boxed headset is mediocre. All these, however, are typical of many high-end devices as well, so the OmniaLITE is a great handset for people who need a Windows Mobile phone. Moreover, the manufacturer has achieved almost perfect balance between price and quality, so you can get a really powerful smartphone that is quite usable for video playback, comes with more than proper personalization and the rich functionality of the operating system without breaking the bank.

The Acer beTouch E200, which comes in the same price range, lags behind the OmniaLITE in every single respect. It lacks Wi-Fi and features worse personalization and lagging software. Now, how about the HTC Touch2? Come to hardware, both handsets are virtually identical. The HTC Touch2 sports faster 3G (HSDPA 7.2 Mbits/s), but has a smaller display and less profound personalization. That is why we would recommend the Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 – using this particular cell phone means you will almost never have to face the standard and rather unhandy WM interface plus the properly optimized software is a guarantee that you will enjoy your handset all the time.

Samsung OmniaLITE B7300 Video Review:





Pros

  • Likeable, unobtrusive design
  • Proper personalization
  • Snappy interface
  • Built-in DivX and Xvid support

Cons

  • Disappointing camera
  • Bad in-call quality
  • Lacks 3.5mm jack

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

9.3
3 Reviews

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