By August 5, 2009

Samsung i8910 Omnia HD Review


The Samsung i8910 Omnia HD is the first mobile device capable of HD video recording and playback. This snazzy feature will certainly generate some interest but there is a whole lot more to the Omnia HD as it has superb specs all round.


The Samsung i8910 Omnia HD


The ten second review:

Device: Samsung i8910 Omnia HD

Price: £451.95

Summary: A top end Symbian S60 device sporting HD capabilities and an 8MP camera.

Best of: 8GB internal storage, HSDPA, WiFi, Camera.

Worst of: Symbian OS, Quick office, Dimensions.


What’s in the box:

  • Handset
  • Battery
  • Charger
  • USB Cable
  • In Line Headset
  • Software Disc
  • Manual


Take a look at Matt’s Samsung Omnia HD unboxing video for more details.


Samsung Omnia HD Specification:

  • Dimensions: 123x 58 x 12.9mm
  • Symbian OS 9.4 Series 60 5th Edition
  • Weight: 149g
  • Battery: Capacity – 1500 mAh
  • Display: 360 x 640 pixels/3.7 inch
  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 (Quad-Band)
  • Camera: 8 mega-pixels (auto-focus)
  • HD Video Recording (24fps)
  • Video Streaming
  • E-mail (POP3, SMTP, IMAP4, MS Exchange)
  • 8GB (internal)
  • microSDHC (external)
  • microUSB
  • 3.5mm AV connector
  • Bluetooth (2.0)
  • AGPS
  • Digital Compass
  • HDMI TV Out
  • Office Document Viewer


The top of the handset contains a speaker and also the 3.5 headset jack. It has a nice plastic cover to protect it.

Samsung Omnia HD top view

Samsung Omnia HD top view


The bottom of the device houses another speaker and also the microphone.


Samsung Omnia HD bottom view


The left hand side of the Omnia HD contains the microSD card slot and also an up/down volume rocker.

Samsung Omnia HD left side

Samsung Omnia HD left side


The right hand side has the phone lock button, the USB port and also the dedicated camera button.

Samsung Omnia HD right side

Samsung Omnia HD right side


At the top of the front of the device is the front facing camera and also a light sensor. At the bottom are the send, end and menu keys.

Samsung Omnia HD front view Samsung Omnia HD keypad view

Samsung Omnia HD front view


The back of the handset contains the 8MP camera lens and the flash.

Samsung Omnia HD back view

Samsung Omnia HD back view



Part of me was excited about reviewing the Samsung i8910 Omnia HD and part of me wasn’t. I was looking forward to checking out the hardware but the Symbian operating system defiantly does nothing for me. Anyway, I decided I would give the device a fair review so here goes.

The Omnia HD is a big handset. That’s not a bad thing but it can make using the handset one handed a slight problem. I couldn’t actually reach my thumb to the top left corner of the screen. Like many other devices the Omnia HD has a 3.7 inch screen but unlike other devices it also has a few centimetres above and below the screen. I was comparing the phone to the HTC Touch HD. The Omnia HD is not as wide as the Touch HD but is defiantly taller. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing I don’t know. It all comes down to personal preference. I would have a go of the handset in store before deciding if it’s the right one for you. Especially if you have small hands!

The device certainly feels well made. In fact it feels a bit of a beast in the hand. It’s quite weighty and feels almost rugged. The hardware buttons on the phone are made from a combination of plastic and metal and I would say they are built to last.

Like the recently launched Samsung Jet, the Omnia HD sports an AMOLED screen. This produces crisp bright vibrant colours that defiantly give the home screen the wow factor. The only downside is that it’s not great outside in direct sunlight.

Like many recent Samsung devices the Omnia HD uses Samsungs Touchwiz interface. This is a nice way of customising the three home screens with widgets. Each screen can contain different widgets and the theory is that this makes it easy to select your favourite programs. In reality though this was a bit of a pain as switching home screens can only be done once the widget bar is open. I could select programs in the menu using the same number of screen taps as if I was using the multiple home screens.

The Omnia HD has another feature while on the home screen. Swiping the screen to the right opens the main menu. A bit pointless I thought considering the device has a dedicated menu key between the send and end keys. Swiping to the left opens up a favourite contacts application. Here you can add your friends and family etc and have each one represented by there photo. This bit I liked.

At the bottom of the screen are four shortcut keys – telephone, contacts, messaging and menu. Yes a third way to access the menu! The screen is extremely responsive and these shortcut keys do a good job.

Using the on screen keyboard was a nice experience. The Omnia HD has three options for inputting text when creating a message. Option one is a standard alphanumeric keypad. The keys are really big and make typing with speed easy. The second option is a full QWERTY keypad which automatically switches the phone into landscape mode. Here the buttons are slightly smaller but still fairly easy to use. The QWERTY keyboard is made up of three rows of letters and can be switched with the tap of one key to access numbers and symbols. The third option is handwriting recognition. This works but certainly needs some practice. If you are in a hurry to compose an email or SMS then don’t bother with this option.

I was rather impressed with the camera on the Omnia HD. Most people think that more megapixels equal a better picture which is not the case. However the camera hardware is clearly of a reasonable quality as I took some pretty good pictures:

The settings on the camera were very easy to use and if you had the original Omnia they are very similar.

Viewing images on the device is also good. You have the option to view them full screen and swipe to move to the next or there is a slideshow option.

Video recording on the Omnia HD was impressive. The phone is never going to replace a real HD camcorder but compared to all other mobile phones on the market its way better. You can actually record video and watch it full screen on a PC without the video appearing blocky. The video recording interface is just like the cameras so dead easy to use and tweak settings.

Listening to music on the Omnia HD was pretty good. The speaker was nice and loud and produced a good quality sound. Once I connected the supplied earphones in to the 3.5 headset jack (thank you Samsung) and performed my “Metallica” test I was blown away. The sound quality was fantastic and I cannot fault it at all, apart from me being a bit deaf now!

The music player interface is always nice on Samsungs. The buttons are a good size and everything is straight forward to use. Rotating the handset into Landscape mode removes the music players keys from the screen and replaces them with the album cover work. You can then swipe forward and back through all the albums and select the one of choice.

There is certainly plenty of room to store music, videos and pictures. The Omnia HD I was sent came with a respectable 8GB of onboard storage and the option to extend this with a microSD card. I believe there is also a 16GB version but either way that’s a tonne of storage space.

Web browsing on the Omnia HD was as good as I expected but as it’s a Symbian device its not the best browsing experience. The web pages themselves render well and reading what’s on the page is nice. One of the nicest features with the Omnia HD is that the web browser supports both flash and java. This will allow you to watch videos on websites without having to use dedicated applications such as youtube.

Zooming can be performed by either a double tap or there is a dedicated on screen key which pops a zoom bar onto the screen. This way you can select the level of zoom.

Rotating the phone allows for a landscape view but on both views I could not get the webpage to be full screen as there are always a few on screen buttons which I could not seem to get rid of. This problem does not exist on some other operating systems.

Whatever my personal opinions are, the browser does what it’s meant to and that is lets you browse and it performs well.

The Omnia HD has built in WiFi to make web browsing as fast as possible. If you do not have access to WiFi fear not as the handset comes with HSDPA/3G.

Another Symbian disappointment is the Quick Office document viewer. You have to buy an upgrade for it which really sucks. If you are buying the phone SIM-free and paying hundreds of pounds for it, in this day and age you would expect it to be easy to at least create a word document straight out of the box.

The Omnia HD has built in GPS and although my handset did not have any pre-installed navigation software on it I did download Google maps and the GPS found my location quickly.



I would love to say I really like this device but I can’t as there is one thing that in my opinion lets it down and that’s the Symbian operating system. The hardware is good but the device would be better if it were a feature phone like the Samsung Jet.

If you are looking for a media device then it will serve you well. There are certainly other handsets out there that do pretty much the same job (apart from the camera/video recording) and these will give you a better user experience.

My advice is that if you are currently a Symbian fan or looking for your first smartphone then you will enjoy the Omnia HD. If you are already using a smartphone then I would suggest choosing Windows Mobile, iPhone OS, Android or the forthcoming webOS from Palm.

The Omnia 2 will be with us soon. It’s a Windows Mobile device with a heavy Samsung interface over the top of version 6.1. If I were you I would definitely wait for this device before making any decision.


Review by: James

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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