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By Thomas McKinnon 31 October 2008

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A bit like the Korean Gymnastics team the Omnia looks fantastic on paper. It has all the bells and whistles needed to be competitive in a very aggressive smart phone market. It’s got a full touch screen interface, Windows Mobile 6.1, 7.2Mbps HSDPA 2100, and quadband EDGE. 

Above and beyond that it features a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, 3.2-inch wide-QVGA screen, Garmin powered GPS, WiFi, 8 or 16GB in-built memory with the bonus of a microSD expansion and a 624MHz processor with 128MB RAM. All this is crammed into a very sleek 122.5g brushed carbon looking plastic case with a chrome facade.

There is little doubt that the Omnia will give you plenty of bang for your buck. It matches and often exceeds the features and specs of many competitors such as the HTC Touch Diamond and the iPhone. So where are we going with this?

Well there are a few niggles that just won’t go away. The phone comes standard with a stylus, but has no slot in which to store said stylus. The device’s messaging interface proves very trying if your fingers are larger than that of a four-year old’s, unless you are in landscape mode – the accelerometer being deactivated by default. The phone’s interface lacks the polish of the Diamond’s TouchFlo 3D – it has a TouchWiz interface which works well in some applications but falls hopelessly short in others.

In saying this, the Omnia also shines on a number of fronts. Samsung’s use of a Widget bar on the device’s home screen is very cool. It allows you drag & drop a number of applications onto your “Today Screen”. This type of customisation really allows users to personalise their device. 

The device’s 5 megapixel camera is also impressive – possibly other smart phone manufacturers should take a leaf out of Samsung's book here. Haptic feedback is a nice addition to the device’s touch functionality as it offers a vibration feedback which avoids the guess work of wondering if you’ve touched a button or not.

Lastly, the handset’s multimedia features are fantastic especially the fact that Samsung have included a DivX codec out-of-the-box which means you can watch DivX videos without having to convert them first. So, a bit like the Korean Gymnastics team the Omnia looks fantastic in action, with the exception of a few unsightly moments.

PROS
It has a full compliment of wireless features, navigation software and accessories are included and haptic feedback is impressive
CONS
There is no stylus slot and you have to remove the battery to get to the microSD slot. The UI needs some work.
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