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Samsung Omnia HD (OMNIAHD / i8910)

 Samsung Omnia HD Discontinued
16th February 2009

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The Samsung Omnia i900 was one of last year's hits in the smartphone market, so you would expect that the Samsung Omnia HD would be a similar device, but with a bit of an upgrade.

In fact, the Omnia HD and original Omnia are based on completely different platforms. The original Omnia ran Windows Mobile, and the Omnia HD is a Symbian S60 device. These are fundamentally different operating systems, and it is very peculiar for a manufacturer to swap operating systems in a range like this.

However, from what we can see of the Omnia HD's user interface, you will have a hard time spotting that it's a Symbian device at all, because Samsung have chosen to add their TouchWiz interface on the top. This is the same interface that you can find on other high-end Samsung phones, so it does give a consistent look-and-feel. The Omnia had an older version of TouchWiz on top, so people upgrading from one to the other may find some familiar features.

 Samsung Omnia HD Before we go on, this phone is officially spelled OMNIAHD with a superscript, but for ease of understanding we will just call it the "Omnia HD". It is also called the Samsung GT-i8910, just to make things really confusing.

One obvious thing about the Omnia HD is that it comes with a very large display - this is a 3.7" 640 x 360 pixel touch-sensitive AMOLED panel that dominates the front of the case. Although that is a nice, large screen.. we do wonder why they didn't make it 800 x 480 pixels which is much better for web browsing. The display automatically rotates between tall and wide orientations when the handset is turned.

On the back is an 8 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. The camera has face detection and smile detection, and also a "panorama shot" feature. Video recording is somewhere that the Omnia HD really excels though, with a maximum capture resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at 24 frames per second. The Omnia HD can then perform basic video editing functions and play back via an optional HD TV out cable. Alternatively, videos can be transferred to a PC or uploaded to a web site. Samsung Omnia HD interface

Video playback is also impressive, the Samsung Omnia HD can cope with DivX, XviD, H.263, H.264, MPEG4, Windows Media and RealVideo formats, plus the usual collection of audio types. Audio playback is through dual stereo speakers, and the Omnia HD has several other audio enhancements too. Combine this with the large display, and the Omnia HD makes an impressive looking media player.

The Omnia HD also has a built-in GPS receiver, and comes with a built-in navigation application and a compass. Because this is a Symbian device, then it should also be possible to run Google Maps. The large touch-sensitive screen again comes into its own here.

We touched on the software earlier, but it is worth pointing out that the Omnia HD comes with a document viewer, can access Microsoft Exchange servers and comes with a range of personal information management tools, so there's a serious side to the Omnia HD's capabilities too.

Some other features include an FM radio, 3D games, podcasting support and a proximity sensor.

 Samsung Omnia HD Underneath, this is a quad-band GSM phone with tri-band 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz UMTS. It can support HSDPA downloads of up to 7.2 Mbps, and HSUPA uploads at up to 5.76 Mbps. Alternatively, you can connect to the Internet or a local area network using WiFi.

Internal memory is 8GB or 16GB depending on which model you buy, and this can be expanded by up to 32GB using a compatible microSD card. It's a large phone at 123 x 58 x 13mm, powered by a large 1500 mAh battery - although Samsung have not said how much the Omnia HD weighs or what the talktime is.

This is a hugely impressive device, and again Samsung have successfully challenged Nokia on their own turf with a superlative Symbian smartphone. The Omnia HD should be available during Q2 2009, no guidance was given on price but we would expect it to retail for somewhere between €600 to €800 SIM-free at launch.

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 Samsung Omnia HD (OMNIAHD / i8910)
at a glance

Available:

Q2 2009

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 900 / 1900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSDPA +
HSUPA + WiFi

Screen:

360 x 640 pixels, 16m colours

Camera:

8 megapixels

Size:

PDA-style device
123 x 58 x 13mm

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

microSD

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

GPS:

Yes

Battery life:

Not specified

 

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