Samsung's answer to iPhone mania: Omnia

Details on a new iPhone competitor reveal a touch-screen smartphone/media player with a five-megapixel, anti-shake camera, as well as Wi-Fi and 3G.

Samsung Electronics South Korea released on early Monday preview details on the company's new smartphone, before the mania of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference begins in California.

The Samsung Omnia (SGH-i900) is similar in looks and function to the Samsung Instinct (SPH-M800), but with a few more bells and whistles.

Artist's sketch of the Samsung Omnia (SGH-i900) to be revealed next week at Communicasia. Samsung Electronics

For starters, it sounds like it has a very promising camera. With five megapixels and anti-shake technology, this may be the first camera on a phone that produces pictures you would actual think of printing, not just posting to Facebook. This is an improvement over the 2-megapixel cameras on both the first-generation iPhone and on the Samsung Instinct.

The touch-screen smartphone, which runs on Windows Mobile 6.1 and features Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Opera 9.5 as its Web browser, will also have Wi-Fi. That's something the Instinct also lacks.

Like the Instinct, the Omnia has visual voice mail, 3G capability, Bluetooth, an FM radio, and GPS functionality. The smartphone, of course, also doubles as a music player and, with 16GB, will be able to hold up to 4,000 songs or 100 minutes of video, according to Samsung.

How it will compare with the new 3G iPhone Apple is rumored to be revealing on Monday remains to be seen.

More details on the smartphone's specs will follow when the Omnia (SGH-i900) is officially unveiled on June 17 at Communicasia, the 2008 Singapore Expo. The Omnia (SGH-i900) will become available in Southeast Asia first and then be launched to other markets over the second half of 2008, according to Samsung.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.

 

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