Samsung Omnia 7 review

Does the best screen make this the best Windows Phone 7 handset?

Samsung Omnia 7
The definitive Samsung Omnia 7 review

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Samsung omnia 7

The Samsung Omnia 7 is phone that uses its screen to mark itself out, especially when it has a bog-standard 5MP camera bolted on the back.

It has a sharp and angular design, and the 4-inch screen isn't too large to dominate your hand.

The 8GB of internal memory is ample-ish (the technical term) and the general layout of buttons and functions pretty simplistic and easy to use.

We liked

A year ago we wouldn't have believed we were saying it, but we love Windows Mobile. Well, what Windows Mobile has become: Windows Phone 7.

From the industrial and simple-to-use tiles to the brilliant way the screen responds to the finger, it's a top notch interface for the first time user from start to finish.

The Super AMOLED screen on the Samsung Omnia 7 also really fizzes with colour and is great to watch movies on – it may have a little trouble with artefacting with some videos, but overall it's great.

Bing Maps is a relatively good implementation of mapping software too, certainly enough for most people to get from A to B, and the contact linking is pretty good, too (although not at the levels other smartphones manage).

The media interface is like a gadget in itself (well, it did come from the Zune) and the gaming portal has a whole truckload of potential waiting to be tipped into the open canyon of expectation (or something. We may have got lost in that metaphor).

We disliked

We're not massive fans of the way Windows Phone 7 is so locked down at the moment, since it means there's no genius tinkering from the brilliant developers that can go on yet in the same way as on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S or BlackBerry range.

At launch, the Samsung Omnia 7 has very few applications to play with from the store – there's not even a YouTube or Twitter client to mess around with as yet.

The Internet Explorer is a bit slow for our tastes, especially because we thought it was going to be really, really fast, and the lack of Flash, Silverlight and HTML5 is ridiculous when you think about the heritage Microsoft has in those areas.

The back looks premium but feels a little flimsy too – we'd have hoped for a more weighty and expensive-feeling device to be honest.


The Samsung Omnia 7 is a pretty decent phone indeed – it especially impresses when you pick it up for the first time.

The screen is pin-sharp, and the operating system just blows your socks off the first time you use it – this is Windows Mobile in opposite land.

The industrial look and feel of the phone might not be for everyone, but it still feels nice and fits in the hand well – whether it's different enough from the rest of the Windows Phone 7 clan, we don't know.

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.