Samsung Omnia 7 review

21 Oct 2010

A glorious screen makes this the most striking Windows Phone 7 launch handset, but the price is a touch too high

Price when reviewed: 
500inc VAT
4

Of all the Windows Phone 7 handsets we’ve used, the Samsung Omnia makes the biggest impact. It’s the screen that does it: a 4in, 480 x 800 Super AMOLED beauty, it beams forth more brilliantly than any other phone display we’ve come across to date. There’s a little more graininess than with a TFT screen (so it isn’t quite as refined as the display on the iPhone 4), but its saturated colours and almost perfect contrast more than compensate.

In common with other new Windows handsets, it’s simple to operate. Below that magnificent screen are just three buttons: touch-sensitive Back and Search keys, either side of a mechanical Start button. On the right-hand edge are the power switch and camera shutter button, on the left is a volume rocker switch and on the top is a 3.5mm audio jack and microUSB socket.

The build quality is impressive. The Omnia’s rear panel is made from a lovely matte-finish aluminium, and the plastics used elsewhere all feel top class. It isn’t exciting to look at, however. Next to the HTC HD7, which boasts a larger (but duller) screen, and the slimmer, curvier HTC 7 Mozart, it’s a slab, and measuring 64.2 x 11 x 122.4mm (WDH) it’s a bit of a trouser-bulger too. It can’t hold a candle to the gorgeous lines of the iPhone 4.

Samsung Omnia 7

Underneath that butch exterior, the specifications are as you’d expect from a flagship device, with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, GPS, Bluetooth and 802.11n Wi-Fi the main highlights. Specific to the Omnia 7 is an FM radio tuner, 8GB of non-upgradeable flash memory (the Omnia has no microSD slot) and, for Orange customers only, turn-by-turn satnav. Orange also provides a couple of additional apps for you to play with: Orange Daily and Orange Wednesdays, which offers film reviews, trailers and discount cinema tickets.

The 5-megapixel camera is decent, but less impressive than we’d hoped. It produces crisp, colourful and clean photographs in good light, and the 720p video camera shoots moving images at a similar level of quality. It’s an autofocus camera with electronic image stabilisation, and there’s an LED flash to illuminate subjects in low light conditions. The latter isn’t the boon you might expect, though, and we’d recommend turning it off. It’s overpowerful, can’t be adjusted in any way and tends to bleach out subjects badly at close quarters.

Details

Price ex VAT £426
Price inc VAT £500
Cheapest price on contract Free
Contract monthly charge £35.00
Contract period 24 months
Contract provider T-Mobile
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 3

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted 9hrs
Standby, quoted 16 days

Physical

Dimensions 64.2 x 11 x 122.4mm (WDH)
Weight 138g
Touchscreen yes
Primary keyboard On-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity 8MB
Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Front-facing camera? no
Video capture? yes

Display

Screen size 4.0in
Resolution 480 x 800
Landscape mode? yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes

Software

OS family Other