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"Wrapping a turd in attractive wrapping paper doesn't make a turd any nicer a present," we postulated back in June, during a memorable little tantrum about Windows Mobile 6.1. It was running on the just-leaked Samsung Omnia 2 -- a phone we've just unwrapped, sniffed and felt bad for in person.

We jest, we jest. It's not that bad. Really. But, just moments earlier, we'd been eyeballing Samsung's first Android phone, the Galaxy -- a mobile evidently built for life's winners. Then we came to the Omnia II (for you Roman numeral fans -- Samsung is inconsistent), its sluggish interpretation of Windows Mobile 6.1 filling us with boredom and whatever makes eyes feel heavy and full of salty liquid.

In a world of Android phones, the Palm Pre and the iPhone, using Windows Mobile and the resistive touchscreens it requires is tantamount to torture. Some folk -- probably those who consider being whipped and stamped on erotic -- seem to like it, and with Samsung's reasonably pleasant, if sluggish, overlay theme, it raises a flag they'll have no trouble saluting.

But for us, and many others, it's not going to be as lush an experience as the i8910 HD, the new Galaxy or the Pixon 12. It does have some decent specs though: a 5-megapixel camera, a brilliant 94mm (3.7-inch) AMOLED display, up to 16GB of internal storage and 7.2Mbps HSDPA Internet connectivity.

Is that enough? No, friends, enough it is not. Not in our books, anyhow. It might be a good Windows Mobile phone, but in comparison to other smart phones that's just not enough to save it from the wrath of our hateful fingers. Samsung makes some awesome mobiles, but unless our full review turns up gem-like features tucked away inside it, the Omnia 2 won't be going in our next list of them. Photographs over the page.

Notice the front-facing camera for video calls, and some on-screen widgets you can customise the home screen with.
The main menu, activated by hitting WinMo's Start button, or that big button at the bottom there.
The back of the Omnia 2.
The top, featuring a real 3.5mm headphone socket.


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