Samsung Omnia makes pre-CommunicAsia debut

A day before the CommuniAsia show Samsung introduces a fancy new touchscreen cell phone.

The new Samsung Omnia Samsung

Editor's note: Though Samsung has not announced U.S. availability of the Omnia, rumors indicate that it may come to AT&T. For a full Samsung Omnia review please see CNET Asia.

At a regional press event held in Singapore Monday, Korean handset maker Samsung showed off its latest touchscreen mobile, the Omnia (also known as the i900).

Omnia, which means "everything" in Latin and "wish" in Arabic, will be the flagship model in Samsung's Infotainment handset lineup. (The other five key categories Samsung will be focusing on include Style, Multimedia, Connected, Essential and Business.) The iPhone-like handset runs on Microsoft's latest Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system and features Samsung's unique TouchWiz user interface, which allows for more intuitive tap, sweep, drag-and-drop operations.

Microsoft's corporate vice-president for Mobile Communications Business, Todd Peters, who was speaking at the event, believes the Omnia is the one device you'll need to manage your lifestyle. And it's hard to disagree with him on that. After all, the Omnia has almost everything you can ask for in a PDA-phone, from GPS and HSDPA to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth stereo. So it's a pity this comes with only a WQVGA-resolution display, a choice Samsung oddly attributes as due to a limitation on Windows Mobile. But the Korean mobile manufacturer makes up with a generous 3.2-inch touchscreen panel and a slim 12.5mm form factor.

If we didn't know any better, just going by the camera specs alone, the Omnia could have been mistaken for a compact point-and-shoot with its 5-megapixel sensor, autofocus, image stabilizer, face detection and even Smile Shot. Two storage capacities of 8GB and 16GB are offered in addition to an external microSD card slot.

The Omnia will be showcased at CommunicAsia 2008, which kicks off tomorrow until June 20 in Singapore. Samsung's flagship touchscreen mobile is expected to roll out in Southeast Asia this week, followed by Europe in July, and other key worldwide markets (including China) a month later. The 16GB version will retail for S$1,098 (US$722.37), while the 8GB version will be available later.

 

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