By September 9, 2008

Samsung i900 Omnia review

Now it is time to review the iPhone look alike Samsung i900 (Omnia). This is yet another high end, flag ship of a phone. Can it stand up to the claim from Samsung that it is ‘A truly all-in-one phone’?

For various reasons I have not really been a fan for the later variations from Samsung, in the early days of splashing out cash for phones, my 1st choice was always for a Sammy. Lately I have been tempted away from them to seek the joys and delights of Windows Mobile, so, now Samsung are even entering that market, can I be tempted back?

Samsung i900 Omnia review

The Samsung i900 Omnia (click images to enlarge)


What’s in the Box?

  • i900 Omnia
  • Mains charger with propriety connector
  • USB to propriety connector PC data cable.
  • 2 part stereo headset allowing own set connection through an adaptor.
  • Spare earpiece plugs
  • Detached telescopic stylus – see review.
  • Getting started disc
  • Minimal quick start guide

As always, you can check out Matt’s Samsung i900 Omnia unboxing video for more information on what’s in the box as well as a quick demonstration of the interface.


Samsung i900 Omnia review specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • 8GB Internal (ROM) 16GB model also available.
  • 128MB RAM.
  • 3.2” WQVGA Touchscreen (240 x 400 pixels)
  • Quad-Band 850/900/1800/1900MHz, HSDPA (7.2 Mbits)
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • WiFi 802.11g
  • 5 megapixel (auto-focus) camera, with face and smile recognition
  • LED Flash
  • GPS
  • microSDHC (up to 16GB)
  • TV Out
  • FM Radio with RDS
  • TouchWiz User Interface
  • 1440mAh battery
  • 112mm (L) x 56mm (W) x 12.5mm (H)


Around the device



The device is very well made, the chrome and black casing feels solid and doesn’t seem to attract the usual finger marks problems seen on most phones these days to the same extent. The back especially is difficult to mark. It is also not overly heavy at a stated 125g. It appears to follow along with a current trend to keep phone fascias uncluttered and minimal.

Samsung i900 Omnia front view

Samsung i900 Omnia front view

Top of the device there is the power switch and an LED status indicator. Also a very small reset hole.

Samsung i900 Omnia top view

Samsung i900 Omnia top view


On the left hand side of the phone, at the top end there is a lanyard connection or maybe the detached stylus connection, more later. Towards the bottom is the covered multifunction jack used for headset, PC connection and charging.

Samsung i900 Omnia left side

Samsung i900 Omnia left side

Top of the right hand side is a dedicated Main menu launch button; below this is the volume up/down rocker and finally the camera key.

Samsung i900 Omnia right side

Samsung i900 Omnia right side

The bottom of the unit holds nothing more than the mic.

Samsung i900 Omnia bottom view

Samsung i900 Omnia bottom view

On the back you can find the 5 megapixel autofocus camera and LED flash.

Samsung i900 Omnia back view

Samsung i900 Omnia back view

The screen on the i900 dominates the front as it is a 3.2” WQVGA Touchscreen, above you can see the small VGA camera, and below is the a Talk / Speakerphone button and an End / device lock key, these straddle the centred Trackpad.

Inside the back of the device is the side by side SIM card holder and the microSDHC card holder. The battery has to be removed prior to removing either card so no hot swapping here.

Samsung i900 Omnia back off view

Samsung i900 Omnia back off view



  • Great camera
  • Easy to use
  • Great specification


  • Non standard Connectors as usual
  • Missing stylus compartment.




At first I was determined that I did not like the i900 Omnia, it is too long and also resembles the iPhone so much, I was happy not to be a fan. The only reason for me that I took a second look was the specifications appeared impressive. Unfortunately, faults mentioned apart, this is a very nice device that I easily learned to live with and enjoyed a lot more about it than I thought I would have.

Samsung i900 Omnia vs Apple iPhone

Samsung i900 Omnia vs Apple iPhone


There are some points I do not like, for example, it is relatively expensive in its group; however there has to be reasons why it is sold out almost everywhere. So here are some of my thoughts, good and bad.

Firstly when switched on everything is different, the usual Windows screens etc. are nowhere to be found, it took me by surprise to start with, and I have to say I did not like it. I felt that the main menu screen appeared childish in form, the icons appearing in a cartoon style, and the Samsung widget sidebar seemed a waste of time. Now having spent some time with the unit, I have to admit that it probably one of the easiest phones I have used it quite a time, connecting with my car kit and network etc where an absolute doddle. The layout and functionality as a breeze and the icon simplicity made it easy for even those not familiar with Windows mobile to get on in a plain and uncomplicated manner.


The unit certainly responds well and is quick in its opening of applications and the larger processor than standard is also noticeable.



The Samsung widget is handy to use as it is acts as a shortcut to a lot of commonly used programs such as clock, photo album, games, music, radio, profile, notes etc. which can be dropped and dragged straight on to the main screen for launching.


It also boasts Dix VOD straight out if the box once registered. There is also a themes editor allowing the user to change the standard background colour and text colours to one of the multitude of colours available.

The vibration touch screen option was fun at the beginning where a touch of the screen was registered by the phone omitting a gentle buzz, I found that overall this was a little erratic, sometimes it would not register but carry out the command anyway and vice versa, for me in the end it was better switched off. The same can be said for the Auto orientation motion sensor settings, I found that this was better for me set on low as, the simple act of putting the phone down would trigger the screen flipping into landscape, and then having to flip it back again, although it was a handy addition when you did want it to work.

It was also good to be able to rid yourself of the Samsung settings and revert straight back to the standard Windows menus etc. in a way like have 2 different devices really.

Included in the settings are add-on’s such as GPS extra, which I assume downloads satellite positions on a regular customisable interval. There is also a facility to switch the Trackpad between a 4 way navigator or finger mouse, neither of which I find useful, but I know a lot of people do. And as more common on Samsung devices there is also the TV out connection.

Programs are again pretty standard as the device goes, Google maps as you would expect works very well. There is a smart converter for quick conversion of weights, areas, volumes temperatures and lengths. A Touch Player, specifically designed to be able to play music, videos etc at the touch of the screen.

ShoZu enables sharing and watching music videos, shows and photos delivered to your phone automatically again subscription and registration are required.

Apart from the few points already mentioned above, the other good and bad points are as follows;

There is no stylus compartment anywhere on the phone, there is a telescopic stylus included in an attachable case, I find this completely unusable and would imagine one of the easiest ways to scratch the unit would be to attach the stylus and then stow it in your pockets. The advice from Samsung is not to use pens, pencils or any other implements to activate the screen; it fails to mention how to reset the device with your finger?!

The Camera is great, the options and use of the 5 megapixel autofocus was superb and probably the best I have used in a long time, also included was smile as well as face recognition, which seemed to work well enough. I liked playing with such options as the panoramic mode. The photos achieved overall means that you can do away with your extra point and shoot camera, when going out.

Samsung are still insisting that they use their own connectors which drives me crazy, why can’t they adopt the standard miniUSB connections used by so many other manufacturers?

Samsung i900 Omnia USB connector

Samsung i900 Omnia USB connector

The screen is not quite a bright and vibrant as certain new devices lately, although adequate and I definitely preferred the manual settings over the automatic mode, I also had a minor issue with the fact then when displaying a photo, occasionally the phone would fill in the side with a section of the photo repeated, to make up for the longer screen. Having said that, when searching through lists and websites the longer screen was a pleasant extra, as you can see more of the page that you are viewing. Opera worked very well in this form and there is also a built in page zoom when the side of the screen was touched.

The call quality and signal strength indicator appear more than adequate, the earpiece and speaker phones work very well. I also found that the battery life was reasonably good with light to moderate use a couple of days between charges, heavier use of Sat Nav etc. reduces this dramatically.




It is very nice to have Samsung on the Windows Mobile road and this phone was I mentioned above really did grow on me, which was not a real advantage. I am still torn between the Diamond and the Pro, this makes the choice even worse, and the Xperia is likely next week!

I think for me, the advantages of the HTC devices still holds its for me, the VGA screen and the stylus issues mean that i900 not my preferred device of choice. But I was pleasantly surprised on how good it really is. It will be well received by many and also well liked, get over the length of the machine and get involved with the preloaded applications and the ease of use and this will prove to be one of the best phones around. As I covered at the start of the review those in the know have already brought theirs, and that’s why they are sold out!

It has got to be one of the best times in the mobile world for choice of good devices at the moment and more due to follow, will there ever be the ultimate device, or will the makers keep bringing out more and more great devices to part us from our money?



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