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Samsung Omnia II (GT-I8000)
The Samsung Omnia II I8000 is a follow-up to the original Omnia announced a year ago, and it is a Windows Mobile phone, like the original Omnia, and unlike the confusingly named Omnia HD which runs Symbian.
Similar in appearance to the new Samsung Jet, the Omnia II has a very large 3.7" 480 x 800 pixel display, a 5 megapixel camera, 3.5G support, WiFi and GPS.
The display is huge, and it is certainly bigger and sharper than the iPhone 3G S. Using Samsung's AMOLED technology, the Omnia II also features "resistive touch" to make it more accurate. The WVGA resolution will certainly be useful for web browsing, and when combined with the Omnia II's mobile Opera web browser, we think that this is likely to be one of the best portable web devices about.
The five megapixel camera on the back may seem a little tame compared to the likes of the Pixon 12, but it does come with dual LED flash, autofocus, face detection, smile detection and geo-tagging. Video capture resolution is an impressive 720 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second.
This is a Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional device, so all the usual multimedia and productivity features are here. Windows has been enhanced with Samsung's TouchWiz 2.0 interface which makes it easier to use, and provides a consistent look-and-feel between high-end Samsung phones.
The Omnia II can play back most major media types, and it also has an FM radio. You can listen to music through the 3.5mm audio socket or a stereo Bluetooth headset. Internal memory seems to vary between models, with 2GB, 8GB or 16GB available internally. This can be expanded by a further 32GB with an appropriate microSD card, giving a theoretical maximum of 48GB.
The Omnia II has built-in GPS and is supplied with a mapping application. Because this is a Windows Mobile device, you can choose from a wide range of other satellite navigation systems as well, and the large display is ideal for use with this kind of application.
3.5G data is supported on the Omnia II, maximum download speeds on HSDPA are 7.2 Mbps, maximum upload speeds on HSUPA are 5.76 Mbps. WiFi is also available, and local connectivity is via Bluetooth 2.0 or USB 2.0.
Samsung claim that the large 1500 mAh battery provides up to 10 hours talktime on 3G and 18 days standby time. If those figures are correct, then the Omnia II is truly impressive for a 3G device. Measuring 118 x 60 x 12mm, the Omnia II is almost the same size as the iPhone, although it's still not quite as impressive to look at.
We have seen a lot of these black slabby touchscreen phones from Samsung and its rivals recently, but instead of being boring it turns out that a lot of them are rather good. So, it seems to us that the Omnia II will make an excellent option when it comes out.
There's no word on pricing or availability at present, but we would expect the Samsung Omnia II to be roughly €600 or so SIM-free when it hits the streets.
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