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Hands on: Samsung i900 Omnia review

Samsung's latest touch screen could be its best yet

Samsung Omnia
The Omnia comes with a stylus which will frustrate some people wanting iPhone functionality


  • Great looking


  • It's sluggish
  • It uses a stylus

It's important to put a disclaimer at the start of this: we are aware the Apple iPhone 3G and the Samsung Omnia are not aimed at the exact same market.

The Omnia is a business phone (as shown by the fact it uses Windows Mobile 6.1) and the iPhone is... well, you know what it is.

But no company on this green Earth can release a 2.8-inch touchscreen phone and not have it directly compared to Apple's cash cow. Especially when it's released on the same day.

Stylus fighting

And there's the problem for the Koreans. In direct comparisons, the only thing the Omnia can beat the iPhone with (apart from its stylus, should it grow arms, cognitive thoughts and emotions) is a 5MP camera.

Other than that, the interface is slow (Windows Mobile, remember) and relies on a stylus. The chap from Samsung came over and offered us one when he saw we were using our fingers; think that says it all really.

The web browsing uses the same touchscreen theory as Apple, in that you can 'throw' the web pages about. However, unless you use the bundled Opera browser it is stuck in mobile web mode, which is, frankly, rubbish.


The touch interface itself was unresponsive when it needed to be, and it took us 10 minutes to make head or tail of the messaging.

Simply put: while the device looks good and talks the talk, and undoubtedly would be great had the iPhone never been conceived, this isn't good enough to usurp Apple's beauty.

The days of the stylus should be dead by now; and the fact RIM keeps coming out with better and better smartphones means the Omnia is going to need a lot of good marketing to make waves in user sales.

Full review coming soon