Samsung Saga Review

User Interface / Programs:

Just like the Samsung Omnia, the Saga comes with Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system, but unfortunately the unique Widget today screen is not included. Previous users of WM 5 and 6 will not have issues migrating to 6.1 since little has changed with the overall layout and functionality, and there are still several themes and today screen choices to allow for customization. Included is a Main Menu feature that appears to be carried over from the Omnia, but it is hidden under the Programs screen, and only allows for 9 icons to be shown. The graphical Phonebook that we liked on the Omnia is not present, with only the standard Contacts program available.

The Calendar is standard on all Windows Mobile devices and is where you can enter your appointments. You can enter the subject, location, start and end date/time, all days, occurs, reminder, categories, attendees, status, sensitivity, and notes. Viewing the calendar can be done by day, week, month, year, and agenda, as well as setting the week to 5, 6, or 7 days. The appointments for the day are clearly shown in their time fields, so you can see them at a glance. Separate from the calendar is the ability to set 4 Alarms, including a Wake-up alarm. There is also a World Clock where you can view 3 times at once.

Other standard programs include Office Mobile (Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint, Word), Acrobat Reader, two games, standard and tip calculator, file explorer, notes, search, and tasks. Windows Media Player has to be used to playback all audio and video files, as Samsung’s Touch Player is not included.

hasn’t changed since the i760, allowing you to send and receive Text, MMS, and HTML e-mails including attachments. Most people will find the QWERTY keyboard the easiest way to compose a message, but other options include block recognizer, letter recognizer, and transcriber, all of which use the touch screen for input. One missing feature here is Verizon’s Mobile IM, which is included on the Omnia, and allows text messaging with people on your AIM, Windows Live, and Yahoo buddy lists.

The standard 2MP camera is very basic and does not allow for as many settings as the higher-end 5MP camera on the Omnia. Images taken outside have a tendency to be blurry and overexposed, with colors looking dull and lifeless. These problems become more noticeable when taking pictures indoors, with them looking even more out of focus. There is also no flash, so low light images are near impossible to take.


The Saga is capable of operating on the Verizon CDMA 800/1900 MHz voice and EVDO Rev A data networks within the US. While roaming outside the US it can also connect using GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, but UMTS 3G is not supported. The device comes with Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) that can be used in areas that offer Wi-Fi access, and Bluetooth 2.0 is also supported.

For web browsing, most people will opt to use Opera Mobile 9.5 instead of the weaker Internet Explorer. While using Opera, you can flawlessly view complex HTML pages with ease. Panning around is fluid and simple, full-screen mode is automatic, and tabbed browsing is supported. To zoom in or out on a page, you can move you finger up and down the right side of the screen, or you can tap twice (finger or optical mouse) on an area of the page to zoom directly to it. Tapping twice again will zoom out. While panning around the page, there is a small “minimap” thumbnail shown in the top-left corner, so that you can tell what area of the page you are viewing.

Pressing on the small arrow at the bottom of the browser will turn off the full-screen mode and show the address bar across the top, and icons for Back, Bookmarks, Tabs, Home, and Menu across the bottom. Naturally, you can enter in web addresses using the QWERTY keyboard. Our only complaint about the browser is that embedded flash files in pages are not shown. Thankfully, it does support the Mobile YouTube site and can stream videos, which are played in the Windows Media Player and can be viewed in full-screen mode.

Just like the Omnia, the Saga uses VZ Navigator for GPS guided directions, which of course is $10 per month if you choose to install it. It allows you to plan your trip and even will re-route you if there are traffic congestions while on the road. Other features include the ability to find local movie theaters and show times, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs, hotels, hospitals, travel (airports, bus, car rental), parking lot/garage, and Verizon stores. It is an excellent program with a lot to offer, but we whish the (free) Google Maps program was also included.

One application that is unique to the Saga and Omnia is the VZAppZone, wherein you can access news and weather, and download a variety of other programs (entertainment, productivity, utilities, ringtones, games, security, and wallpaper). The ringtones and wallpapers are only a few dollars each, but games and utilities can cost $20-40 to download. This is supposed to be a Windows Mobile version of VCast Downloads, but it is poorly implemented, and doesn’t offer a lot of content. Naturally, you can use a microSDHC memory card and transfer pictures, videos, ringtones, wallpapers, and Windows Mobile applications directly.


1 Comment

1. mmwagener

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 20, 2009

Don't buy this phone if you think you will ever need to use it when it is not plugged into a wall socket! The battery life is less than 7 hours, even with hardly any usage.
  • Display 2.5" 320 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Battery 1300 mAh(5.00h talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.