Hands on with the Samsung Omnia HD

The Samsung Omnia HD offers a stunning display. We give it a brief-shakedown at the GSMA World Congress.

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As Samsung made an impressive showing at the GSMA World Congress it's difficult to pick one of its new phones as the most notable. Yet, the company's Omnia HD certainly would be in the running. We had the opportunity to check it out while visiting with Samsung in Barcelona, Spain.

Though the Omnia HD is the next-generation model of the existing Omnia, it shows a few design differences. The curved ends give it a more eye-catching, aerodynamic look. It's also slightly bigger than its predecessor is, but we'll gladly take the extra heft with the stunning 2.7-inch 3.7-inch, 16 million-color display. In all ways, it's bright and beautiful--colors were vibrant, graphics were sharp and video lives up the HD name.

The display uses Samsung's TouchWiz interface with a customizable widget bar on the left side. The touch interface for both finger swiping and selecting icons was responsive and the Symbian interface is intuitive. The display works in landscape and includes an accelerometer for certain functions like the virtual QWERTY keyboard. Speaking of which, the keyboard is very comfortable, thanks to the display's large size. We had no problems tapping away.

There's no doubt that the Omnia HD is striking. Samsung

The three physical controls below the display include Talk and End/power button; they're rather thin, but we didn't find them to be problematic. There's a single VGA camera lens above the display for video calling while the main lens for the 8-megapixel shooter is located on the rear. It has a flash but no sliding lens cover. Other exterior controls include a volume rocker on the left spine and a camera shutter, a screen lock control and a Micro-USB port on the right spine. The headset jack is located conveniently on the top of the device, but the memory card slot is behind the battery cover.

Features include HSDPA 3G support an 8-megapixel camera, an FM radio, assisted-GPS, Bluetooth, a music player, organizer applications, a speakerphone, and Wi-Fi. We'll get a review model as soon as we can, but check out our Samsung GSMA photo gallery in the meantime.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.

 

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