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: