Review: Samsung Anycall OMNIA II i8000h

Friday 2 October 2009 9:54 am

The new Samsung smartphone is hampered by Windows Mobile.


The Samsung Anycall Omnia II i8000h is a great phone. Its lightweight, thin and has a great 5 megapixel camera with flash and 420p video recording capabilities. All the hardware is just amazing. Until you turn it on that is…

We don’t want to have to always come down on Microsoft, but the Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system is just such a carwreck we don’t know what to make of it. Its confusing and seems to work against the user in getting simple things to work. Compared to the Apple iPhone, Windows Mobile is the Rubik’s Cube of operating systems.


The touchscreen is nice, but there is a bit of a lag like it doesn’t really know if you are touching it or not and while the graphics are very sharp the faux coverflow just stumbles across the screen. We’re not sure what the 3D cube is for either. And to be fair to Microsoft, this so-called TouchWiZ User Interface is Samsung’s idea – they are giving the user too many choices on how to interact with the features and it gets confusing.

We didn’t give it a proper battery power workout but Samsung does say it has power for 6.5 hours of talktime when on 3G. Content did download quickly on 3G and on wi-fi too.

The camera has a nice interface and auto-focus, with standard face detection, so again hardware thumbs up for Samsung. The video camera captures video at 480p which is great but Samsung just announced a new one that does 720p.

But we really like the feel of the phone, the 3.7″ screen is huge and bright. A bit more plastic than the iPhone but that makes it lighter at 128g. We’re not sure what the polygon big button at the bottom is for other than more frustration.


The phone retails for HK$5,688 in Hong Kong. For a smartphone its a solid design only weakened by the OS, so we’re really excited to see how Samsung’s first Android phone fares in our hands. Hong Kong has alot of Samsung fans and we can see why, if you haven’t experienced the iPhone OS or the Android OS the frustrations we encountered are probably things that you’ve already worked around.

The Samsung Anycall Omnia II i800h is without a doubt a great feat of technical engineering design. And if have the personality and disposition to work with Windows Vista on the desktop, then you can probably handle this phone. Being users who like straight forward usability in our mobile devices, unfortunately we just don’t have what it takes.

We also point you to other reviews to get a second opinion:

7 Responses to “Review: Samsung Anycall OMNIA II i8000h”

  1. I will give two thumps up to Samsung. It is indeed a great work of technical engineering design in our age.

    Thanks to Samsung, they had just put another standard on mobile development.

    Erin at 10:16 am on October 2nd, 2009
  2. You missed pretty much everything that makes this phone good, and focused on the few negatives. I haven’t had the chance to test this phone thoroughly yet (although it looks like you haven’t either) but based on a few hours of playing with it, and comparing it to contemporaries, it compares favourably to pretty much everything in its price range.

    Maybe spend more time with a product next time you review something, or stick to just posting news bits :)

    SkinnyPupp at 10:58 am on October 5th, 2009
  3. I agree with Neonpunch. My friend bought this phone for full price and had the same types of comments. I am an iPhone user and I wanted to see what the competition was like and in the time I had with it I came to the same conclusion.

    If you need to spend so much time with a phone to see it shine then its probably only for people who really want to fidget with it and not people who want to use something out of the box.

    Johnny at 11:12 am on October 5th, 2009
  4. I want to chime in here too. I actually like the phone and for the same reasons Neonpunch does. I also actually like Windows Mobile but I’ve been using it for ages so I’m used to it and I am really looking forward to 6.5 as from what I’ve seen MS has really got it together and this will be a shining star for them and the great thing is the Omnia II can upgrade to 6.5 too.

    Sam Leung at 11:44 am on October 5th, 2009
  5. IMO, if a phone gets BETTER with more use, that is a good thing. I always prefer that over something that seems really cool at first with all its hype and shiny features and stuff.

    I am also a long-time WinMo user, and nothing about the iphone or Android have convinced me to switch. They have the shiny glossy features, but more disadvantages than advantages, especially with all the custom interfaces newer phones are using.

    lowlight @ HCW at 11:59 am on October 5th, 2009
  6. How about the upgrade to window 6.5 to omnia I8000H

    Pedro Sallato at 1:34 am on December 4th, 2009
  7. I brought my 18000h in HK in 2009 how do I get the promised upgrade to 6.5 in the uk

    marrtin at 10:52 pm on October 29th, 2010