Samsung Omnia W Windows phone
Samsung Omnia W review: A solid, mid-range smartphone that offers nothing new
- Compact size
- Slick performance
- Reasonable price
- Only 8GB of storage
- No memory card slot
- Average battery life
The Samsung Omnia W is not going to attract the iPhone and Android masses and doesn't really offer anything new. However, this is a very good mid-range smartphone at a relatively competitive price. Slick performance, an excellent user experience and a compact size are offset by a lack of internal storage and merely average battery life.
Price$ 528.00 (AUD)
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- Omnia W I8350 Wave Case - Samsung Soft Cover (F... 14.95
Slick software but some flaws
If you've used a Windows Phone before, you'll know what to expect from the Omnia W. The software is modern looking, user friendly and smooth. There is barely any lag during general use. Applications open swiftly with no delay. Multitasking is effortless and effective. As Windows Phone devices are almost identical when it comes to software, you can read our full review of the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system here.
That being said, the Windows Phone platform has a few disadvantages. Its browser is noticeably slower than some alternatives. There is only 8GB of internal storage with no memory card slot. We find many apps in the Windows Marketplace comparatively more expensive than iOS and Android apps. The number of apps is also significantly lower than both Apple and Google's platforms, respectively.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Windows Phone platform is the reliance on Microsoft's Zune software for file management. While the same criticism can be aimed at the iPhone and iTunes combination, at least Apple has iCloud to fall back on. Windows Phone has no such backup option that will save important content like your messages, call logs, settings and app data.
Thankfully, Microsoft's SkyDrive service does work well for documents and photos and $11.99 per month for an unlimited ZunePass subscription is a nice option if you regularly listen to music on your phone.
As Windows Phones are all very similar, vendor-included apps are the main differentiators between devices. The Omnia W comes with Telstra's WhereIs Navigator, which provides Australian maps and full turn-by-turn navigation for free, though add-on services like live traffic updates do come at an extra subscription cost.
The TelstraOne app offers news, sport and weather content, while Samsung's AllShare app allows users to connect the Omnia W to a television and stream photo and video content. Other Samsung apps include a photo editor and a fun shot app that uses the camera to take photos with various effects. These are all nice inclusions, but don't add any real value to the handset.
Battery life is about average. We managed to go a full day without charging the phone, but with excessive use the Omnia W will fall short of a full day of use. We expected slightly better battery performance given the relatively small screen when compared with many competing smartphones.
The Samsung Omnia W is available exclusively through Telstra for $0 on the $59 Freedom Connect Plan over 24 months and also sells for $528 outright.
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