19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Light Weight and Pretty,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Samsung I8350 Omnia W Sim Free Mobile Phone - Black (Electronics)If you're looking for a light weight smartphone with average screen size (but still bigger screen than the iPhone 4S) and packed with all the best features Windows Phone has to offer, this is the one choice you won't regret. I have been a Windows Phone user with HTC HD7 (my review here) for over a year now, and this purchase is for the significant-other who is converting from a not-so-smart Symbian clamshell phone to the so modern Metro design Windows Phone.
Won over by the Metro design (what mobile phones should be for ease of use!), the choice from the outset was confined to Windows Phone. A handset that is relatively light weight as well as a not-so-big or not too-small screen size were the personal preferences for this purchase.
The options considered were:
1. Samsung Omnia 7 - the predecessor to this chosen Samsung Omnia W model therefore dated but most importantly relatively heavy and has no front camera (so not short listed!);
2. HTC HD7 - the first Windows Phone in the household and with regard to personal preferences too big a screen and slightly dated and lacks front camera (sorry not short listed!);
3. HTC TITAN - though the latest model, even bigger screen than HTC HD7 but more suited to the boys and/or apps more skewed to pocket pc than mobile phone;
4. HTC Radar - HTC Titan's little brother -- comparable screen size and a close contender to the final choice here as Samsung Omnia W;
5. Nokia Lumia 710 - slightly heavier and no front camera (sorry not short listed!);
6. Nokia Lumia 800 - heavier and no front camera (sorry not short listed!);
7. LG E900 Optimus 7 - heavy, no front camera, and first generation Windows Phone as HTC HD7 and Samsung Omnia 7, hence dated (not short listed though has some nice features such as DLNA which is great, and external memory slot - do you really need to fiddle with external memory when we have massive handset storage and easy backup route when required?);
8. Nokia Lumia 900 - thought I should mention this only for info - a flagship Nokia Windows Phone currently making big news in the US. It's a 4G phone (one reason for the big news) and [sadly] UK (as well as most of Europe) is not yet ready for 4G (may be 2014??). In any case, this phone at 160g is as heavy as HTC Titan and the screen at 4.3" is as big as HTC HD7. Of course, so far, nothing beats HTC Titan for the screen size at 4.7".
So what is so exicing about Samsung Omnia W?
(1) Display quality is quite impressive. In display quality, my HTC HD7 looks quite inferior when compared sitting side by side. This is down to Samsung's Super AMOLED display technology as advertised.
(2) Picture quality delivered by the 5MP camera is very good indeed. For identical camera picture resolution at 5 MP, it is very easy to note the marked quality difference between Samsung Omnia W and HTC HD7. It is a well-known fact that handset camera technology is not HTC's forte although there are improvements with the latest models such as HTC Radar and Titan (and a 4G version by the name Titan II released recently in the US with 'unparalleled' 16MP camera).
(3) Why front camera, you ask. Video calls like Skype will be part of future personal multimedia communication and for video communication to flow in both directions a mobile phone with a front camera is a necessity. This criterion alone eliminates a number of Windows phones as summarised above. (As an aside: you may have noted, Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011, and only 9 days ago on 26th February a Beta version of Skype was released for Windows Phone which can be installed from Windows Phone MarketPlace. A sign of things to come for the BIG THREE (Apple, Google, Microsoft) battling out for the smartphone market share. No doubt 2012 is a decisive year for Microsoft Windows Phone!).
(4) A quick check with video recording also shows very good quality video as it records 720p@30fps. My HTD HD7 is capable of 720 size but fails on the frame rate (cannot handle the full 30fps hence not a standard 720p).
(5) This phone supports DLNA - an interface which allows phone media contents to be played on DLNA compatible TV. Fortunately we have two DLNA gadgets to test against: Sony Bravia TV and PS3 and will update you with the results.
How does this phone compare with iPhone 4S?
Again as an aside, you may know that Windows Phone and iPhone (as well as Google Android) are competitors, the iPhone being the second market leader at about 24% (after Google Android 51% market share) with Microsoft just joining late into the market at about 2% of the current share and market experts like Gartner predicting this to increase to over 8% by the end of this year.
To answer the question - iPhone 4S is an excellent phone and offers similar features as Samsung Omnia W and MORE with one exception: stereo FM with RDS. This won't be a downside for everyone but a missing feature from iPhone 4S. At 3.5", iPhone 4S has a slightly smaller screen size than Samsung's 3.7". iPhone 4S has a slightly higher screen resolution at 640 x 960 versus 480 x 800 for Samsung (in fact, for all Windows Phones as this is a design spec). Makes no much difference at this screen size, but if you have a discerning eye, like for like images should look sharper on iPhone because it's the large pixels per inch (ppi) that indicates the sharpness, in this case 329 ppi for iPhone 4S versus 252 ppi for Samsung Omina W. The other notable features of the iPhone 4S are (i) the storage memory is massive with the option of 16GB, 32 GB and 64GB (8GB for Samsung, 16 GB current highest storage offering for a Windows Phone); (ii) video recording is at 1080p@30fps; (iii) supports the latest Bluetooth v4.0 standard (v2.1 for Windows Phones). Note that 8GB is quite adequate for the average user and of my 16GB storage on my HD7, I hardly use more than 5GB with all my music collection (and pictures taken and video clips - although backed up never deleted to make space). (Aside again: I personally think the higher option of 32/64GB storage for iPhone 4S is over the top and a waste of resource and money particularly when cloud storage is now providing a cheaper option).
So why buy the Samsung Omnia W and not iPhone 4S?
The honest answer? The Metro design based user interface just makes it an over-riding factor. Even if Metro doesn't feature as a factor, the Samsung Omnia W mass at 115g against the 140g for iPhone 4S will come into play as the next factor on the personal checklist.
You did say HTC Radar was a contender, so what was the deal breaker?
HTC Radar spec in general is comparable to Samsung Omnia W. Where there are differences, the Samsung Omnia W is a clear winner except for: (i) a marginally bigger screen size for HTC Radar 3.8" versus Samsung Omina W 3.7" which is a hardly noticeable difference anyway; and (ii) network performance (such as download and upload speed) for HTC Radar is [reportedly] better (I suspect because HTC Radar supports the lower end of 4G data service??). On the other side of the differences, for the HTC Radar (i) the Gyroscope sensor is missing (ii) weight is 22g heavier, (iii) battery talk time is less by about 4 hours and (iv) it's equipped with a slower 1 GHz CPU compared with 1.4GHz for the Omnia W. The gyroscope with the right app comes very handy in providing location orientation; say if you do walking in unfamiliar areas such as hill walking. This feature was an important consideration on personal checklist.
But, I haven't even mentioned the serious deal breaker for me: the battery for HTC Radar is sealed (in-built) and not user-replaceable. This is obviously a personal preference and may not be important to everyone, but let me elaborate the point. With smartphones, the days of recharging the phone every 3 days or so are gone. These phones are smart because they compute more and display much information on a beautiful screen. This consumes a lot of battery power. For smartphones, over-night charging is a must and a spare battery is always a good idea. As we depend on our smartphones for our correspondences, social networking, online banking and shopping, etc, when we are out and about, carrying a fully charged spare battery (or batteries!) would be a prudent thing to do. If you take video clips (and lots of pictures), this puts more demand on the battery, and a spare battery could help ensure that you won't miss capturing that special moment at a social occasion. This is not even mentioning the expensive replacement associated with sealed batteries if battery charge holding deteriorates with age -- which generally entails repair through manufacturer approved service agents. Battery warranties are rarely covered beyond a certain [relatively short] time limit. User replaceable batteries avoid this potential hassle.
I was taken aback by HTC's decision to use sealed battery for HTC Radar when all HTC Windows Phones (including the first generation HTC HD7) use removable batteries. For my HD7, I use 3 batteries (means 2 always ready charged). You may like to note that Nokia Lumia 800 and Apple iPhone are in same category as HTC Radar when it comes to the battery.
Note however that this is not to say Samsung is better than HTC: HTC Radar just happens to be a trimmed down version of a more capable beast - the HTC TITAN. HTC Radar is therefore aimed at the lower end of the market segment for which HTC Titan is out of reach. On plus side you will notice that for relatively lower spec just described it means you can pick up HTC Radar at a lower price tag - at present least £70 cheaper than Samsung Omnia W. In this regard it is hard to say one phone is better over another in absolute sense; it's relative based on personal preferences, cost, the usage pattern. For instance, in the scheme of things the CPU speed of 1GHz vs. 1.4GHz may not make a huge difference at all because the CPU clock rate increase doesn't directly translate to more processing speed in the same proportion (the 40% more clock rate doesn't mean 40% more processing speed). If you do a lot of mobile net browsing, everything being equal (network data speed, etc.), naturally you may notice better response on the 1.4GHz CPU. But then, you might as well want a bigger screen for better browsing (or gaming, or ...) ... Just to complicate matters, HTC Radar uses a slower CPU but network performance is better than Samsung Omnia - sounds counter-intuitive but the explanation may be that HTC Radar uses a different radio frequency circuitry that boosts the data rate regardless of the relatively slow CPU. Yes, it's is a complex balancing act. So, don't always trust that sales person who tells you a particular smartphone on a given tariff or pay-as-you-go deal is a perfect match for all your needs.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jul 2012 10:30:22 BDT
EXcellent review as I a m contemplating the Samsung Omnia verses the Nokia lUmia and HTC . You flagged up some important issues for me especially the Battery, processor speed etc Thanks for all the details very infromative.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jul 2012 10:54:14 BDT
You're welcome, and glad the review was of some help.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2012 08:10:37 BDT
Great review indeed.
Also worth mentionning is that the SAR (radiation rate) for the Samsung is extremely low, making it stand apart from all its competitors. That's what triggered the decision to get it for me.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Sep 2012 09:09:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Sep 2012 09:09:46 BDT
Thank you for the input. I wasn't aware of this point for the Samsung as I haven't looked at the radiation rate comparison.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›