Samsung Omnia (VZW)

As the proud x-owner of a Samsung Omnia, from Verizon Wireless, I feel that I should declare my feelings of this phone, right here.

First of all, this phone is light-weight, attractive, and has an OS filled with potential. Unfortunately, it’s a let-down in most categories. First, you will read the positive points about it. They are as follows:

– Awesome camera – 5MP with fantastic focus, great zoom, and a built-in movie maker.
– Awesome video – By far, the best ever video camera on a cell phone.
– Nice display
– Decent battery life for a phone that is always connected to the web. I easily got a full day out of it, even when playing some music.
– Ability to use 9-key keyboard for someone used to T-9 texting.
– Explorable files when connected via USB.

I guess that’s it. Now for the negative:

– Very un-finger-friendly user interface.
– When on-screen keyboard was being used, the outside letters (‘Q’ and ‘P’) would barely work. The edges of the screen had poor sensitivity.
– Device would only save keyboard preferences when it felt like it. In other words, if I was using the 9-key keyboard this morning, later today it may or may not allow me to use this keyboard again. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
– The touch icon to change the keyboard options was about 1/8 of an inch wide. It required fingernail precision to be pressed, and then there was a delay of about 4 seconds. So if you missed your target you wouldn’t be sure if it was the expected delay or bad aim with your fingernail. Frustrating.
– Text messages that I sent were shown on my “new message” counter. I had to view my own message to clear it.
– Multiple messages from one user were shown in a single list, which was nice, but in order for the message indicator to disappear, I had to open and close the messages the number of times that there were messages. In other words, 10 messages from one user meant that I had to open and close the message list 10 times.
– Bad sound quality.
– “Today Screen” (desktop) was always lacking something, no matter which option I chose.
– Making a phone call from the contact list was challenging.
– Sending a text message from the contact list was challenging.

Overall, I’d rate this phone at about a 3 out of 10. It would be an impressive prototype but it is not a finished product. And now with the Omnia 2 being released, perhaps that’s exactly what it was.

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