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Samsung Omnia Icon smartphone
A feature-packed Windows Mobile smartphone boasting Samsung's upgraded TouchWIZ user interface
- AMOLED display, 3.5mm headphone jack, TouchWIZ UI improvements, HSDPA, GPS, 5-megapixel camera, 8GB internal memory
- Resistive touch screen rather than capacitive, widgets can become sluggish, interface isn't as slick or polished as HTC's TouchFLO 3D, lag in certain menus
The Samsung Omnia Icon's TouchWIZ UI isn't as slick or polished as some of the alternatives, but it remains an excellent way to spice up the normally drab and clunky Windows Mobile UI. It's not perfect, but a superb display, excellent features list and an interface that is intuitive for the most part combine to make this one of the best Windows Mobile smartphones on the market.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
The Samsung Omnia Icon's main menu, accessible by tapping the start button or pressing the physical cube key, consists of four screens: productivity, multimedia, internet and office. Each page has a 4x3 grid of labelled colourful icons, though more icons are accessible, and the category names and icons in each section are fully customisable. From the main menu you can also select a cube-style menu that allows access to multimedia including music, videos, games and the included browser. This is more eye-candy than functional though, and it's quicker and more efficient to select these applications in the main menu. Pressing and holding the cube button also brings up a nifty task manager to manage currently running applications.
The original Omnia smartphone left users trying to press ridiculously small icons and buttons that were designed for a stylus, but the Samsung Omnia Icon's interface has large selection boxes, text and menus, making for an excellent user experience on the whole. At no stage during testing did we feel the need to use the included stylus, and many Windows apps, such as the clock and calendar, feature tabbed menus at the top of the screen to access similar functions like the stopwatch and world clock.
The speed of the Omnia Icon smartphone could be improved, but it's reasonable for a Windows Mobile phone. The TouchWIZ interface is slow when changing wallpaper, themes, editing the lock screen and scrolling through multimedia files such as photos and videos. We prefer the slicker and faster HTC TouchFLO 3D Windows Mobile interface used on the HTC Touch Pro2 and HTC Touch Diamond2. However, TouchWIZ remains a solid alternative and will only get better with future updates and the release of Windows Mobile 6.5.
Text input is much better than with the original Omnia. The Samsung Omnia Icon's on-screen keyboard is responsive and well designed, and we were typing at reasonable speeds after just a few hours of use. Tilting the phone sideways also reveals a landscape QWERTY keyboard thanks to the built-in accelerometer, but strangely enough we preferred the layout of the portrait keyboard. The Omnia Icon is quite sluggish in rotating the screen orientation. A disappointing omission is threaded SMS messages; this is usually standard on Windows Mobile 6.1.
The Samsung Omnia Icon has plenty of features under its belt aside from the UI. In addition to providing all the standard features of Windows Mobile 6.1, this smartphone is 7.2Mbps HSDPA-capable and features a 5-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash and autofocus. It also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a built-in GPS receiver with geotagging capabilities and an FM radio. The Omnia Icon supports playback of DivX and XviD files, records video at 30 frames per second and has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, making it a very capable multimedia device.
Our review unit was an 8GB model, but the Samsung Omnia Icon is also available in a 16GB version and both models come with an internal microSD card slot (annoyingly located behind the rear battery cover).
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