The Samsung Omnia W is the company's first smartphone to run the latest Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" operating system out of the box. It has a faster processor and a more rounded design than its predecessor, but maintains largely similar specifications. All in all, the Omnia W doesn't appear to offer enough to entice rival smartphone users to the Windows Phone platform: its not the juicy mango we're looking for.
In our review of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, we said the platform was much improved over the original version but needed a top shelf, flagship phone to give it credence in a popular market. While the Samsung Omnia W certainly looks like a nice smartphone, it's not going to attract the iPhone and Android masses.
Aside from its newer software and more rounded design, the Samsung Omnia W's faster 1.4GHz processor is the only real improvement over the Omnia 7. It once again has a paltry 8GB of internal storage with no memory card slot and the standard 512MB of RAM. The 5-megapixel camera with single-LED flash also appears to be the same as the Omnia 7, though Samsung has added a front-facing VGA camera for video calling.
Unfortunately, you could also make a case that the Omnia W has actually downgraded from the Omnia 7 — it only has a 3.7in super AMOLED touch screen whereas the Omnia 7 had a larger 4in display. Though some may appreciate the Omnia W's rounder edges, a smaller screen is a real negative considering the Windows Phone panoramic user interface.
The only saving grace for the Omnia W will be its price: if it's positioned as a mid-range phone and priced accordingly (on a $49 plan or lower), then it will suddenly look like good value. Provided Samsung doesn't price it alongside the market leading iPhone and popular, flagship Android models like the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Nexus, the Omnia W may carve out a nice niche for those not swayed by higher priced rivals.
The Omnia W should be available in Australia sometime in early 2012, but Samsung has not announced specific pricing and availability details.