By October 20, 2009

Samsung Omnia II review

The original Samsung Omnia i900 was an extremely popular device and I loved mine when I first got it. Unfortunately as time goes on and smartphones get better and better it didn’t actually take me very long to swap my Omnia for a bigger and better device. Lets see how Samsung’s new offering, the Omnia II, compares in a market that is being pretty much flooded with new devices at the moment.


Samsung Omnia II i8000


What’s in the box:

  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • USB Cable
  • Software/Manuals
  • Case

Take a look at Matt’s Samsung Omnia II unboxing video to see what the device has to offer.


The Ten Second Review:

Device: Samsung I8000 Omnia II


Summary: Pretty much everything you could want from a phone plus more!

Best of: Nearly everything!

Worst of: On screen keyboard


Samsung Omnia 2 Specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional
  • 8GB Internal Memory (17GB available)
  • Processor – 800 MHz
  • Amoled Resistive Touchscreen, 65000 Colours, 480 x 800 Pixels, 3.7 Inches
  • Operating Frequency – 2G Network – GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G Network – HSDPA 900/1900/2100
  • HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
  • Wifi – 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
  • Built-in GPS with A-GPS
  • MicroSD socket supports up to 32GB
  • DixX / XviD / MPEG4/ H.263/ H.264/ WMV player
  • Camera – 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, Auto-focus, Dual Power LED flash
  • Li-Ion 1500mAh battery
  • Stand-by Up to 430 h (2G) / Up to 430 h (3G)
  • Talk time Up to 10 h (2G) / Up to 10 h (3G)
  • 118 x 59.6 x 11.9 mm
  • Weight – 117 grams with battery



The top of the Omnia II contains the 3.5mm headset jack and also the USB slot.


Samsung Omnia II Top

The left side of the device houses only the up/down volume rocker.


Samsung Omnia II Left Side

The lock switch and camera button can be found on the right. In addition there is a cube menu shortcut button.


Samsung Omnia II Right Side

On the back can be found the 5MP camera lens and flash.


Samsung Omnia II Back

On the front of the device are the send/end keys, the menu button and at the top can be found the front facing camera.


Samsung Omnia II Front



  • Wi-Fi/HSDPA
  • Camera
  • OLED Screen
  • UI
  • 8/16 GB Storage + MiceoSD



  • On Screen Key Board
  • Finger Print Magnet



A few months ago I did the review of the Samsung Jet and was extremely impressed with it, so I was looking forward to the Omnia II and expected good things.

First impressions out of the box were positive. The device feels great in the hand. Its fairly large but lightweight and I imagine would sit unnoticed in a pocket. Due to its nice rounded edges it actually feels smaller than it is.

In terms of build quality the device feels solid but very plasticy (is that a real word?) The phone is defiantly a finger print magnet but at least with the new OLED screens, that Samsung are now using, a swift wipe on a shirt sleeve will remove these marks.

All the buttons on the handset give a real click/press and feel like they will stand the test of time.

Like when I reviewed the Jet, once I turned on the Omnia II I was amazed with the screen. The colours are super vibrant and sitting beside my HTC Touch Pro2 it really put my phone to shame!

The screen is also wonderful to use. Its really smooth and makes gliding your thumb/finger on it feel almost effortless. Good work Samsung.

When it comes to the user interface on the Omnia II you have two initial options. You can go with the new Windows homescreen or use Samsungs Touch Wiz interface.


Windows Mobile Home Screen


The Windows Home screen as seen above is made up of a list of most common features and you can either scroll the whole list up and down or scroll the highlighted bar that selects the feature you require. The OLED screen make this a wonderful action. The home screen picture can obviously be customised. The device didn’t come with the above eye. I just liked it!

Screen01 Screen02


The TouchWiz option is like on many other Samsung devices and comprises of three homescreens that can be changed but flicking the screen left or right. You will see three bars at the top of the screen which shows you which screen you are on. On the left hand side of the screen is the widgets bar. From here you can drag and drop widgets of your choice onto the homescreens giving you access to common features. These can be positioned anywhere on the screen you like. The new addition on the Omnia II homescreen is the block of features at the bottom of the screen. Again these can be customised and you can have up to 10 applications here.

Both options work well as the screen is so responsive. It just comes down to personal choice which one you use. I preferred the TouchWiz option, sorry Microsoft.

When going into the menu on the phone you again have two options. You can either press start on the top left of the screen and like on all the new Windows 6.5 phones this will show you the new improved menu.


6.5 Menu

Option two is to press the hexagon between the call send and end buttons. This will pop up Samsungs own menu which is made up of four screens that can be scrolled left or right.


Samsungs Menu

As you will see above there are three option keys at the base of the screen. The “others” tab takes you into another screen that contains mainly the Windows apps that Samsung have not included in there menus, such as Facebook, Marketplace, MyPhone and Bing. Why they didn’t just put it all together baffles me but that’s just the way it is.

The cube option presents you with a onscreen cube that you spin using touch and it has multimedia features on each side of the cube. Use this if you are not in a hurry to find what you are looking for. I found it it be a bit of a novelty.

The “edit” tab does exactly as you would image. You can remove items from the menu screens and add others if required.

Both menus do the job but the Samsung one lets you edit properly and therefore I think you will find the desired app quicker than using the Windows menu where the only edit option is to move an item to the top of the screen.

Another nice feature that Samsung have brought to the Omnia II is the quick access connectivity manager.


Connectivity Manager

By touching the top of the screen it gives you quick access into Bluetooth, volume control, power options and the wireless manager where you can manager things like airplane mode. This Samsung add-on is a welcome option and makes getting to the connectivity tabs quicker than on other Windows Phones.


As the Omnia II is a phone I thought I had better cover the phone options. The home screen gives you quick access into both contacts and the dialer. The dialer is really nice to use. The keys are big and sensitive. The contacts section of the device has been tweaked by Samsung and gives a few added options over some other Windows Phones. At the top of the contacts page is a bar with five tabs on it.  These are phonebook, category ( where you can put contacts into groups), speed dial, reject (where you have the option to reject or accept all calls) and search.  As with all Windows Phones the amount of contacts you can store is virtually unlimited. Another nice touch Samsung!

Messaging on the Omnia II is pretty straight forward. You can set up multiple email accounts very easily and using SMS was as simple as expected. However I did have one problem. Although the Omnia II has an accelerometer I only managed to get it to work in a few applications excluding messaging, so when compiling emails or texts I had to use the keyboard in portrait mode and this caused me problems.

In portrait mode the keyboard looks nice but I found myself making so many mistakes it was ridiculous. When tapping a key it does give you haptic feedback and also pops an image of the key you have pressed above where you have pressed it, but I struggled. I recently reviewed the HTC Touch2 which has a smaller onscreen keypad but I was much better with that one! In landscape mode its fine but if you cant use that when messaging it kind of sucks. Maybe I have missed something in the settings but I did have a look on the internet and found some other people that had the same problem.


The camera on the Omnia II was better than I expected. The interface is very nice with lots of on screen options. You can have the flash on, off or on auto. Focus options include macro, face and auto. You can change the exposure so in low light conditions you can let more light into the lens. There are many shooting modes including, single, continuous, smile, mosaic, panorama and action. All work well. There are also many scene modes – portrait, landscape, sunset, dusk & dawn, night, text, sports, indoors, beach & snow, fall colour (autumn), firework and candle light. Samsung really want you to get the best results possible. Its a shame the other major manufactures cant supply as many features with there cameras! In the settings you can alter white balance, effect, ISO, contrast, saturation, sharpness, metering and quality. There is a timer and an anti shake option as well.

Samples – click image for full screen


Sample in auto mode (no sunshine)



Sample in macro mode


The video recorder was not quite as good as the camera but that’s no surprise. The videos were okay and looked great on the phone but once on my PC they were a little grainy.


Watching online videos on the Omnia was great. It has a built in YouTube player that is fantastic. The Omnia II supports many formats but as its Windows Mobile you can always download Coreplayer which plays pretty much any format.

Music was another superb feature. Through the speaker the music was loud and of good quality. The music player interface it pleasant and easy to use. The supplied Samsung headphones do a great job and really boost the quality of the music. Its wasn’t the best quality I have had on a mobile but not far off. The “Metallica” test was a big success! If you prefer to use your own headphones you can do as the Omnia II comes with a 3.5mm headset jack. Bonus!


The calendar was also very nice on the Omnia. I think we are finding out that most things are! Its very easy to use and there are multiple ways to view it, by month, week or day. Entering appointments was simple and nice work Samsung for re-skinning the calendar interface. It looks real good.


MSN weather comes pre installed on the device. Here you can set up numerous cites and see them in a list showing the current weather. Click on the city and it will give you a five day forecast. Nice!

The clock options on the Omnia II have also been heavily tweaked by Samsung. As well as the normal multiple alarms you get with a Windows Phone there are also tabs for anniversaries, world clock and a stopwatch. All which are really easy to use.

If you listen to podcasts the Omnia II has a podcast application. It does comes with the standard WinMo RSS reader but having a dedicated podcast app really is a bonus as podcasts are becoming more and more popular.

Being Windows the device comes with Office Mobile. This allows you to not only view, but create Word, Excel and OneNote documents. You can also view PowerPoint shows you either put on the device or receive via email. And its free of charge unlike some operating systems!


The device comes loaded with two different web browsers. The first is the latest version of Internet Explorer which I am not so keen on. The second, and better one,  is Opera Mobile. This was one of the best features on the phone. As the Omnia screen is so good, web browsing looks fantastic. Scrolling is super smooth and it scrolls faster than some other smartphones. You have the option to view the web pages like you would on a PC or you can select “mobile view” which takes away a lot of the adverts on certain websites and presents the page to fit the phone screen allowing you to only scroll up or down. I prefer browsing this way and the Omnia rendered the pages beautifully.

An added bonus, which I was not expecting,  is that the Omnia II supports flash. For example – when viewing I scrolled down and found an unboxing video. Now on a lot of phones you cannot watch the video but on the Omnia II you can just click play and the video starts just like on a PC. The video quality is not the best but its better than the other option of nothing!


The Omnia II comes with some nice games as standard. As you would expect from a WinMo device you get Solitaire and Bubble Breaker but in addition Samsung have also included three others. The first isn’t really a game. Its a set of dice. Shake the phone and the dice spin. Handy I suppose if you play a lot of board games. Next we have Asphalt 4 which I was expecting to be rubbish but its actually really good. You race a Mini around circuits and use motion to control the cars movements. Tipping left and right to steer, tipping away and down to use boost and pulling up and back to brake. I think I will have another go when I have finished writing this! Last is Crayon Physics which is a bit odd! Its a puzzle game which involves drawing on screen different shapes or lines to complete the puzzle, Its quite clever but not my cup of tea. Maybe I would have a good crack if I was really bored.




The Omnia II is an amazing device. Its a million miles away from the original Omnia. That one was good but this one is supa-doopa with a cherry on top!

The screen is without doubt the best I have seen to date. Windows Mobile 6.5 works flawlessly and a lot of the time you wouldn’t even know it was a Windows Phone.

The Omnia II offers pretty much everything you would expect from a high end device. If you are happy with a touch screen only device then at this moment in time I think this is the one to get, however there is some competition coming very soon – the HTC HD2 with some impressive hardware and a 4.3 inch screen.

Let the battle commence!


Posted by: James

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

Five year veteran of the site. BlackBerry specialist, but experienced in most operating systems. Enjoys flower arranging and cross stitch.
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