With version 6.5, Microsoft has lent color to the ageing interface of Windows Mobile, but aside from the home screen and Start menu, everything else looks just as simple and antiquated as before. Samsung, however, has come up with its own solution to eliminate most innate shortcomings of the OS interface, called TouchWiz 2.0 that is a deeply penetrating personalization pack. As we have already seen with the Samsung Omnia II, there is virtually nothing to tip you off you´re using a Windows Mobile phone, except for the Start button in the upper left corner that calls up the standard Start menu. The manufacturer has fallen over backwards to modify the face of almost every single menu. The interface is finger friendly and the fact that everything is colourful and motley is a clear sign the interface has been made by none other but Samsung.

Typical of TouchWiz, the home screen consists of three separate parts and where you can place various widgets for, say, access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, Picasa or select stock market indices. Unlike the Omnia II, there is a W&L (Work and Life) button on the left side of the Samsung OmniaPRO B7610 that allows you to quickly switch between two interface modes – one better suited for your pastime and one tailored for work. The function reminds us of Nokia´s latest E-Series handsets (the E75, E72, E71, E66 etc.). Both modes can be personalized to your own taste with different themes, can visualize varying information etc.

Opening the slider switches the interface to landscape mode and automatically starts the Composer menu featuring shortcuts to the search function, messages, emails, calendar and notes. This is something we do like and know from the HTC Touch Pro. Of course, you can turn it off anytime or simply use the OS interface in portrait mode in case you don’t share our opinion.

In a nutshell, TouchWiz 2.0 looks better and sports larger buttons than the standard OS interface, but comes with certain disadvantages as well. It´s not the first time we´ve said we aren´t eager fans of widgets. Most of the preinstalled ones are boring, because they lack interactivity and are nothing more than shortcuts to various functions and web pages (social networks). Moreover, Samsung´s interface is exceptionally sluggish, despite the snappy hardware components of the device and it´s such a shame the phone lags no matter what you do.

Organizer, e-mail and Office functionality:

As with everything else, Samsung has stamped their personality on the PIM applications as well. The calendar is large, finger friendly and you´ve got dedicated tabs for monthly, weekly, daily and agenda views located at the top. Smart Memo is improved version of Notes that allows users to draw with their fingers, type in using the on-screen keyboard and attach voice recordings, sounds and images. There are certain aspects that Samsung can definitely improve on, though. The contact list is easy to navigate, completely revamped and features tabs for your phonebook, categories, speed dial and favourites. Sadly, the Tasks application is unaltered. In fact, the standard WinMo apps for Contacts, Notes, Calendar, Task Manager and a few others are available under Edit via the main menu. Why would anyone want to use any of them is beyond us, given Samsung´s versions are far superior in every respect.

Come to messaging, we are really glad to see Samsung provides the same on-screen keyboard we know from the Omnia II. The manufacturer has redesigned the app, but its functionality remains unchanged. All told, Windows Mobile is truly capable text messaging system. The phone doesn’t come with preinstalled chat clients, but you can always install as many as you feel like.

Working with Office 2007 documents is not a problem at all on the OmniaPRO B7610 and you can open and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Adobe Reader LE 2.5 comes preloaded, so you shouldn’t encounter any issues with PDF files either.

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