The Omnia 2's tight integration with Exchange means making calls is simplicity itself. The phone app is launched via a link on the bottom left of the home page, and there's a sensor in the phone that detects when it's being held close to the head and turns off the screen.

omnia 2

Pull the phone away - to hang up, for instance - and the screen comes back on. Even if it doesn't, physical buttons for initiating and ending a call bookend the home button on the front.

A useful extra trick performed by the accelerometer is detecting when the phone is face-down. If it rings during a meeting, for instance, you can simply flip it over to silence it. Usefully, flipping it over doesn't silence the alarm so you don't need to worry about oversleeping.

Messaging

The lack of a multitouch screen has ramifications for the Omnia 2's messaging. The keyboard is hugely important on a touchscreen, and with the iPhone setting the bar so high it's no surprise the Omnia doesn't match up.

omnia 2

The problem is that it's so far away. The dictionary is surprisingly good - we found, much of the time, that if we mis-typed a single letter in a word, the Omnia 2 would correctly predict what we'd been trying to write and give us the correct final version.

The problem is that this gives you confidence after a few days using the phone, and that means your typing speed increases. Ironically, this actually means your error rate goes up. We found that as we typed faster and faster, we occasionally left a trailing finger on the keyboard while another finger pressed a new key.

omnia 2

The Omnia, confused at having two pressure points on the screen, simply stops responding momentarily, and you end up not typing enough letters for the phone to guess the correct word.

It's a pity, as the Omnia's messaging interface is otherwise good. You get a (slightly derivative) conversation-style appearance for text messages which makes it easy to track SMS exchanges, and we found that the email application ran smoothly, even with a crowded inbox.

The ability to have multiple email inboxes and out-of-the-box Exchange compatibility are further pluses.