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CNET First Look
Samsung i8910 Omnia HDWhile the lack of 3G and expensive price tag will keep it out of the hands of the masses, the Samsung i890 Omnia HD is a powerful multimediasmartphone that rivals the other high-end touch-screen devices.
>> Bonnie: Hi everyone, I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the Samsung Omnia HD; this Smartphone was first revealed at GSMA 2009 and, unfortunately, it hasn't been released here in North America. But Samsung was nice enough to send us an unlocked version of the phone to check out so let's take a look. The first thing you might notice is that it's big. The Smartphone is pretty long and heavy especially compared to the original Omnia. I do prefer the more rounded edges and sleeker design of the Verizon version. But the Omnia HD is very solidly built and there's a good reason for the extra bulk and that would be the Smartphone's awesome display. It's larger than most and measures 3.7 inches diagonally and it's also an AMOLED touch-screen which offers a couple advantages over regular LCD's. Colors are brighter and images and videos look sharper and it consumes less power so it should improve battery life. I didn't really notice a huge difference in battery life but I can say that Omnia HD's display is one of the best I've seen on a Smartphone. Everything from photos to web pages to simple text looked extra sharp and bright and the larger screen definitely makes it great for watching videos. The display also has a built-in accelerometer so it will automatically switch screen orientation when you turn the phone. The touch-screen itself is sensitive and for text entry you get a full QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode and a regular alphanumeric key pad in portrait mode. The Omnia HD also uses Samsung's Touch Wiz interface which lets you customize your Home screen with various widgets. We saw this on the first Omnia but Samsung has made a number of improvements to the UI to make Touch Wiz more useful. When you press the Main Menu key you'll be taken to a great view of all your applications and you might notice that the Omnia HD doesn't run Windows Mobile like the original Omnia, but instead for better or worse it runs Simian. You still get support for Office documents and email but it's through third party apps like Quick Office. And with the email you have to manually enter the server information unlike some other Smartphones that do it automatically. But more than productivity the Omnia HD is about multimedia and this Smartphone definitely shines in that department. It's got an 8 mega pixel camera that not only takes great photos but also has a number of advanced features like blink detection, anti-shake, ISO settings and it can record HD video. Though the video quality was good especially for a camera phone, and it's got video-out capabilities so you can share your clips through your TV. This Smartphone also supports the playback of numerous video files and, like I said before, the Omnia HD's awesome great display makes it great for viewing videos. This Smartphone is a pretty decent music player with 5.1 channel sound and equalizer and Podcast support and an FM radio. You don't have to worry about storage either because the Omnia HD comes in either a 16 or 8 gig models and both have micro SD expansion slots that can take up to 32GB cards, so there's plenty of space for your media files. Really the only thing missing on the Omnia HD is support for North America 3G band otherwise you get WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. Would I recommend spending the $600 or $700 on it? I'd probably say for most people no. Samsung has already announced that it will bring the Omnia II to Verizon later this year so I'd say wait for that. But, hey, if you've got the money to burn and really want a high-powered multimedia Smartphone I'd say go with the Omnia HD it's a better pick than the Nokia [inaudible]. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Samsung Omnia HD. ^M00:03:34 [ Music ]