It's not so much the Omnia's touch screen that's drawing attention (after all, we've seen it in the Samsung Instinct), but rather Samsung's TouchWiz interface. It brings drag-and-drop widgets for the Today screen (a la LG Dare) and provides an extra level of device customization.
The Samsung Omnia and HTC Touch Diamond both use proprietary interfaces that are designed to make the Windows Mobile operating system easier to use and more consumer-friendly. The Omnia uses TouchWiz while Diamond runs HTC's TouchFlo 3D interface. Both succeed in their mission, but it's still not as simple as the iPhone.
While you will use the touch screen for most operations, the Omnia offers a couple of tactile buttons. Below the display, there are Talk and End keys, and a four-way directional pad. The latter can be turned into a virtual mouse, but didn't find a huge advantage in the feature.
The Omnia comes equipped with a 5-megapixel camera with a boatload of advanced features. In addition to video recording and digital zoom, you get a flash, auto focus, face detection, and geotagging capabilities. Overall, we were impressed with the picture quality but wished for just a bit more warmth of colors.
Though you can buy an unlocked version of the Samsung Omnia from online retailers, it's not currently available with a U.S. carrier. We have high hope that the smartphone will arrive Stateside, and rumors say AT&T, who is also expected to offer the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1, will pick up the Omnia.
With its touch-screen interface, the Samsung Omnia has inevitably drawn comparisons to the Apple iPhone. Without saying too much (you'll have to read our full review to get all the details), we think the Omnia is a solid iPhone competitor.
The Omnia is simultaneously simple and elegant, with an attractive black-and-slate silver chassis and slim candy bar design that measures 4.4 inches tall by 2.2 inches wide by 0.4 inch deep and weighs 4.4 ounces. While light and compact, it has a nice solid construction and feels comfortable to hold and use as a phone.
Before shoving the smartphone into your bag or pocket, you might want to get a case to protect the handset and touch screen. Unfortunately, one is not included in the box but you do get two power adapters, a USB cable, a wired headset with extra eartips, a 3.5mm headphone audio adapter, a stylus, a software CD, and reference material.