Samsung OmniaPRO B7330 Review

Interface and Functions:

The B7330 runs Windows Mobile 6.5 Standard edition. Standard edition means that we don’t have a touch screen to contend with but also that you cannot create new Word or Excel files on the phone unless you pay Microsoft through Windows Marketplace for the privilege.

The Samsung OmniaPRO B7330 also packs a home screen skin called WizPro which does a good job in exposing functionality and speeding up access to commonly used programs. The home button takes us to a cross media bar style of interface with items listed down the screen which can be selected with up and down on the d-pad and a scrolling list running horizontally along the bottom accessed with the left to right. The main screen gives you notifications of missed calls, appointments, etc. and is well thought out and useful.

The sideways navigation takes us through pages of shortcuts, an AccuWeather widget as well as links to social websites such as Facebook and MySpace. We also have pages dedicated to Yahoo! search, CNN news, music, contacts and photographs. Overall these features give the interface an air of the utility but lack any visual flair.

Samsung’s tagline is “Work smarter with Play in reach”; and the software and features we have are the typical suite of windows email, calendar and office utilities. Generally the software suite works well and gives good access and control of calls, emails and the like. Replying to messages is quick and easy and the phone dialler, which searches across names and numbers simultaneously, is a feature which should exist on all platforms. The spit and polish provided by Samsung does not extend to the standard applications however; and when composing an email or inputting a diary event you are still confronted by a sparse and feature light application that has changed little since early versions of Pocket PC.

Camera and Multimedia:

Moving onto the multimedia side of the Samsung OmniaPRO B7330; the music player can be populated through drag and drop onto the microSD card or through Microsoft’s ActiveSync program. The experience, although relatively painless, is basic. Music sound quality cannot really be appraised due to the lack of a 3.5mm headset jack, relegating you to the bundled headset. A shame as the sound through the bundled set is pretty good and would only improve with a ‘proper’ set of headphones. 

Camera wise we have a 3.2MP autofocus sensor; the phone lacks a flash but the software side of the equation is actually well laid out and easy to use making accessing the camera’s features quick and easy. The camera application, however, was one of the worst offenders in terms of performance, sometimes taking 3-4 seconds to boot up and being slow to focus. Pictures, as you can see, are poor outdoors and worse indoors; this is certainly not a replacement for a point and shoot.

The video performance of the device was more than capable of belting out video files at, or below the device’s native resolution in .wmv format but suffered when we tried to play more demanding files. Things improve when using a third party program, such as CorePlayer, but the phone is never going to challenge a dedicated PMP in this area. Sound and picture quality on the Samsung OmniaPRO B7330’s screen was very good though.

Also present is Windows Marketplace for Mobile. In terms of design, it is a little below where the Android Market was on first release and a little above it in terms of usability. The Marketplace does at least offer screenshots of applications and purchases are tied to your Windows Live account. However, we found the store to be erratic and the applications to vary wildly in terms of quality.

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