Samsung Omnia 7 review
A glorious screen makes this the most striking Windows Phone 7 launch handset, but the price is a touch too high
Review Date: 21 Oct 2010
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: Free, on a £35.00 per month, 24 months contract.
Features & Design
Value for Money
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.
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.
"typical light-use scenario, the Omnia performed admirably."
Is this the same test you described as "After our tough 24-hour, real-world test," in the iPhone4 review?
By CraigieDD on 21 Oct 2010
hehe I like what you're saying there CraigieDD
By TimoGunt on 21 Oct 2010
The only Windows Phone 7 that is being promoted as having Gorilla glass seems to be the Dell Venue Pro. However, I note that the Samsung Galaxy-S has Gorilla glass. Have Samsung also used this on the Omnia 7?
By CDSLtd on 21 Oct 2010
Not impressive build quality
I have to disagree with comment on impressive build quality. I received one of these last week and immediately noticed the poor build quality! The battery cover fits loosely so it moves and rattles, and the whole device is made of far too many seperate metal and plastic pieces that don't fit together evenly. Finally, the windows button on the front feels far too 'squishy' and makes the whole device feel cheap. I am not convinced that this phone will last more than a couple of months as a daily phone in somebody's pocket!
By gregwhitehouse on 9 Nov 2010
Build quality is good in my experiance
I have had my Omnia 7 for one week now and find that the build quality is of a high standard. My battery cover does not rattle as it fits perfectly.
The phone overall is very good, especially with the deal I got where there was no cost for the phone on a low monthly plan. There are some little annoying things about Windows Phone 7 OS however I have found ways to get around most of them. The one thing you cannot get around though is the lack of applications for the phone. There are hardly any useful ones available other than say weather and stopwatch.
By kade1234 on 14 Oct 2011
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