Samsung SGH-i900 (Omnia) review

The Samsung Omnia is worth a casual glance, but in truth there are more capable, more attractive alternatives out there Tested at £0.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This is a decent handset, but its multimedia performance won’t blow your mind


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    decent interface


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    Windows Mobile is a clunky operating system

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    strange stylus

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    average picture and sound quality

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At the heart of the Samsung SGH-i900, or Omnia as it's also known, is Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. Masking this operating system is Samsung's own ‘Touchwiz' user interface.

Touchwiz is a much more palatable system than the painful Windows offering, with large colourful graphics and icons making up the simple menu system.

To help with ease of use, the screen also incorporates haptic technology, which acknowledges every key press with a small vibration.

Laden with features
The Samsung is laden with features that are present on rival multimedia phones, such as A2DP stereo Bluetooth, GPS navigation and HSDPA functionality.

The Omnia comes with 8GB of internal storage and this can be boosted with a MicroSD memory card.
Worthy of mention are the numerous file formats that the Samsung supports.

Besides MPEG4, WMV and H.264 video codecs, the Omnia can also handle DivX and Xvid files straight out of the box. Compatible audio formats include MP3, AAC, AAC+ and WMA.

Some of the menus and controls require the use of the Omnia's strange telescopic stylus. It isn't particularly accurate and you often find yourself prodding away furiously trying to get the phone to recognise your commands.

Not as slick as the iPhone
You play music and video content through the phone's Touch Player. The system is competent enough to display album artwork, but it still lacks the finesse, quality and resolution displayed by the iPhone and BlackBerry Storm.

The bundled headphones fit surprisingly well and come with different sized ear-buds, which is very accommodating. They hook up to the phone using Samsung's own proprietary connection, although the inline volume control has a 3.5mm jack for alternative headphones.

This avenue should definitely be explored, as in use, the headphones sound bright and are easily agitated by lively, dynamic tunes.

Otherwise, general sound quality and video quality are okay, but not memorable. The Omnia does everything competently without ever excelling.

Video playback just about matches the quality of the Nokia N96, and musically the Omnia just treads water, failing to bring your music collection to life.

If you're looking for a multimedia phone the Omnia might be worth a casual glance, but there are more capable, more attractive alternatives out there

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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