Samsung i8910 HD review

Renamed from the Omnia HD, it's a beast of a media phone

The Samsung i8910 HD
The Samsung i8910 HD

TechRadar Verdict

TechRadar's tip for Samsung's handset of the year so far, easily taking 'Best in Class' in terms of media functionality. It can match the Palm Pre and the Apple iPhone 3G S in terms of ability and raw processing power, and just works in the right way when you need it to. A handset that we really had to work hard to find much wrong with (providing you don't mind carrying around a pretty hefty phone)


  • +

    Beautiful OLED screen

  • +

    Good audio

  • +

    Responsive touch input

  • +

    Solid design

  • +

    Good array of features


  • -

    Fairly chunky

  • -

    Struggles in direct sunlight

  • -

    Not enough native clients on board

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Samsung wants to be the number one mobile manufacturer, and recent successes show it's having a pretty good go.

That doesn't mean it can rest on its laurels - the likes of HTC with the Magic and the Touch Pro 2 show that it's a company to be watching out for, and Apple's new iPhone 3G S is another step towards the ultimate mobile.

And that's before you even begin to think about the likes of a Palm Pre-fuelled resurgence, so we bring you the Samsung i8910 HD review to see if a media monster is the way into even more consumers' hands.

The samsung i8910

The i8190 HD is huge. Let's not beat about the bush with this one, it's a behemoth of a handset. And the reason for this is the 3.7-inch AMOLED screen and the HD camera stuck on the back, clearly screaming to the prospective customer: 'I like media and I don't care who knows!'

And it's certainly not one of these flimsy, plasticky, might-fall-apart-if-you-blow-on-it phones you see these days. No, we're talking a solid metallic and plastic feel with a 148g weight to it... think somewhere between the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 (3g lighter) and the T-Mobile G1 (10g heavier) and you'll understand.

The samsung i8190 hd

Something that should be noted from the outset is this chassis isn't going to be to everyone's taste; the size and weight mean it's trouser friendly, but you'll certainly know that it's in there. Although if you're like us and constantly panicking that you've lost your phone, it's actually quite comforting.

But Samsung knows what it's doing when making a mobile phone, and if this much technology has been packed into a 123 x 59 x 12.9 mm chassis, then it's probably going to be pretty darn good.

The screen is simply to die for, as anyone that's seen an OLED display in action can attest. Deep blacks, rich colours and pin sharp resolution really make every frame from this phone stand out, and it's very easy just to spend time showing your friends just how beautiful your new handset' screen is.

Slightly marring the waters is the fact that the screen, despite having all the usual OLED traits, is not much use in direct sunlight. It's no worse than your usual LCD screen, but given its potential, we were hoping for a good CSI session in Regent's Park, but ended up having to do it under a T-shirt, which probably made people assume we were looking at porn.

The samsung i8190 hd

On the hardware side, the phone is well laid out with the Korean firm taking full advantage of the rare luxury of having swathes of chassis space to put buttons. The front three, decked out in chrome, handle the call, terminate and menu keys necessary for a Symbian S60 5th edition handset, and are large and easy to press.

The camera key is in the standard place, on the lower half of the left hand side, and has some nice give and solid feel for taking pictures and activating auto-focus. Above this is the lock key, which could do with being a little lower (as on the Tocco Ultra Edition) as it's a little out of range for the average thumb.

On the top is something we internally cheer about whenever we see it, a 3.5mm headphone jack hidden by a little door to protect it when not in use. This cover is actually fairly difficult to lift, but helps keep the phone chassis sleek.

And on the right hand side, the up / down buttons and the microSD slot complete the look, with the keys feeling smooth and easy to press, and the memory card slot easy to open and pleasing to snap shut.

The samsung i8190 hd

In the box

There's a good set of kit in the box with the Samsung i8910 HD, with a charger, USB cable, stereo ear buds, installation CD, and what we initially thought was a screen cleaner, but turned out to be a great keyring-attachable stand, allowing you to use the phone as a standalone PMP player.

The stereo headphones are the standard (very decent) fare we've come to expect with from Samsung phones, but this set was sadly a one-piece item, without the headphone extender we're used to. Admittedly, the two piece set was because previous phones didn't have a 3.5mm headphone slot, and we probably were hoping for a bit much to believe Samsung would give us a handsfree set to use our own headphone with. It still would have been nice to have a clip on it though, to hold the microphone in place.

As mentioned, the screen stand is a brilliant surprise and really works, while the rest of the bits and pieces are of good quality, as we've come to expect from Samsung.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.