Intro:
On the 26th of September (2011) Samsung annouced their first device based on the Windows Phone 7.5 platform codename Mango. Last year Samsung had released 2 Windows Phone 7 devices, the Omnia 7 for Europe and the Focus for America. Both devices were almost identical (specifications), the main differences was the metal chassis of the Omnia 7 vs the plastic case on the Focus and that you could choose  between a 8gb version or a 16GB version of the Omnia 7 (only some markets in Europe).
The Omnia W is at moment the only Windows Phone 7.5 device that Samsung has released in Europe. In America there are 2 devices released on Windows Phone 7.5, the Focus Flash (equivalent to Omnia W) and the Focus S. The Focus S is the flagship device in America.
There were rumours that Samsung would also release a version like the Focus S for European markets. Its unclear why they didn’t release a version like the Focus S in Europe.
We are not seeing Omnia W as a big successor to the Omnia 7, because the screen is smaller and the biggest difference in hardware perspective is only the processor which is a 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon. But looking at the specifications (see below) you will notice that the Omnia W is mid-end device that can attract users with its 3.7 inch gorgeous Super AMOLED display and fast single core processor!

Specifications:

Network

HSPA14.4/5.76Mbps 900/2100

EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900

Processor

1.4 GHz Processor

Display

3.7” WVGA(800X480) Super AMOLED

OS

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango

Camera

Main(Rear) : 5 MP AF with LED Flash

Sub (Front) : VGA for Video Call

Video

Codec : MPEG4/H.263/H.264/WMV
Playback : 720p @30fps
Recording : 720p@30fps

Audio

Codec : MP3/AAC/AAC+/eAAC+/WMA/AMR-NB
Zune Player
3.5mm Ear Jack, FM Radio with RDS

Value-added Features

Marketplace Hub – free and paid Apps
People Hub – Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin built-in
Picture Hub
Music & Video Hub – Zune Experience
Game Hub – Xbox Live
Office Hub – Microsoft Office
Samsung’s Enriched Apps
- Now, RSS Times, Video Call(3G), Photo Studio, Mini Diary, All Share(DNLA)
- Fun Shot, Wireless Manager
- Dictionary (downloadable, except US, Canada, Mexico), Photogram (downloadable)
- Rubik’s Cube(downloadable)

Windows Live Skydrive® (Free 25GB Storage)

Tile-based Metro UX / IE9 mobile

A-GPS / Bing Map

Connectivity

Bluetooth® technology v 2.1
USB 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Sensor

Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Proximity, Magnetometer, Gyroscope

Memory

512MB(RAM) + 8GB Internal Memory

Size

115.97 x 58.8 x 10.9mm, 115.3g

Battery

Standard battery, Li-on 1,500 mAh

Box:

The box of the Omnia W is pretty small just like almost all latest device of Samsung. Inside the box you’ll find the usual quick start guides and also the usb charger, usb cable and a pair of headphones. All accessories are in the colour black. Unfortunately Samsung didn’t include their USB adapter charger but instead they decide to include the old fashion USB charger.

Design:

The phone has a 3.7 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 800 x 480. Above the screen you can find the VGA front facing camera, earspeaker and some sensors like the light and proximity sensors. Below the screen you’ll find the 3 keys, in the middle a hardware key which has a Windows logo. On the left you’ll find a back key and on the right search key, both are touchsensitive.

On the left side you’ll find the volumerockers and on the right side is the lock key and the dedicated camera shutterkey, all keys are easy to press but unfortunately the keys are a bit loose (Shaking the device you will hear it).
The 3.5mm is on the top of the device and the Micro USB and the microphone are on the bottom.

   

  

On the back you’ll find the 5 megapixel camera with a LED flash and the speakers, unfortunately sound can be muted when the phone is laying on its back.

The backcover is made of plastic and metal. The middle part is made of metal and the bottom and the top parts are made of plastic. The backcover is one piece, looking at the device you might think that you can pop out the middle metal part for replacing the battery, but the truth is that you can snap off the entire cover. Underneath you can find the battery and the simcard slot. What’s missing is a slot for expanding the capacity with for example Micro SD.

 

The device has a candybar formfactor and feels good in your hands. With just 115 gramm its also lightweight and with a thickness of 10.9mm its not super thin but also not thick either.

Operatingssytem and Apps:
As mention earlier the phone is running on Windows Phone 7.5 which is also called, Mango. Windows Phone 7.5 is the latest version of the operating system. The latest version will bring some new feature’s and some improvements, the biggest features are: Internet Explorer Mobile 9, fast app switching (multitasking), unified email inboxes and more supported languages.
On the Omnia W you won’t find Samsung TouchWiz user interface, but instead you’ll get the stock Metrostyle user interface. The reason why you won’t find the TouchWiz UI is because its not allowed to add a UI to Windows Phone by Microsoft.

Samsung Apps:
To differentiate of other brands Samsung has decided to preload some apps that they have develop, you will find the following apps: Allshare DLNA, FunShot, MiniDiary, Now. Photo Studio and Video Call.
With Allshare you can stream videos, photos and music from your device to a DLNA certified device for example a TV.
FunShot is a app that is using the camera for making photos with real time effects like: Bulge, Pinch, Twirl, Twist and much more! Keep in mind that this is a processor intensive app since its using real time effects.
MiniDiary is as the name is saying a diary app, its has clean and easy to use interface. You can add: photos, locations, recorded voices, drawings and of course text to your diary.
The Now app is basically the dailybriefing app that some of you may know from previous devices. With Now you check the weather, news, stocks, currency and top tweets.
Photo Studio is an app where you can take photos in a different modes like for making panorama shots. You can also edit the photos (changing brightness, cropping etc.). There is also a built-in feature for sharing you photos that you have made or have edited.
The Video Call app lets make you video calls over 3G. Out of the box Windows Phone doesn’t support video calls over 3G, but with the app you can actually use the video call functionality over a 3G network. Unfortunately you can’t using over a WiFi connection.

  

  

In the Marketplace you’ll find Samsung Zone, this is actually Samsung’s own zone inside the Marketplace where they have a selection of apps. In the Marketplace you’ll find Samsung Zone, this is actually Samsung’s own zone inside the Marketplace where they have a selection of apps which are selected by Samsung. You will also find their preloaded apps in case that you have deleted an app and you want to use it again.

  

Camera:
The Omnia has a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with a LED Flash. The software is pretty extended you have the most common used settings to make photo’s. You can change the saturation, sharpness, ISO, focus mode, white balance, image effects (Mono, Negative and Sepia), contrast, EV, metering, photo quality (low, medium and high) and the resolution (VGA, 2MP, 3MP or 5MP)
Since the device has also a front facing camera you can also use the camera for shooting photos.

Here you can find some snapshots taken with the Omnia W:

  

  

The video camera interface is also pretty extended and straight forward. You can choose between different settings like saturation, white balance, video quality and more. You can shoot videos in 720p or in VGA resolution.

Here is a video sample taken with the Omnia W:

Performance:
I’ve used the Omnia W for almost a week and a half and I had absolutely no problems with making or receiving calls. The call quality is really good like other high end Samsung smartphones. I didn’t have any drop calls are any other call related issues.

The batterylife is average, with normal usage I got about a day and a half. With normal usage I mean: 20 minutes of calling on 2G/3G, 30 minutes WiFi usage, 30 minutes browsing internet over 3G and WiFi, 10 minutes of watching videos, 1 push emailaccount and 1 emailaccount manual fetching. I’ve used the black theme and I’ve used the automatic brightness setting (light sensor). Unfortunately I noticed that using GPS plus 3G is also killing the battery.
For a device with a 3.7 inch Super AMOLED display and 1500 mAh battery we hoped for a bit longer battery life but still a day and a half with normal usage is not bad.

As you know the device is running on a 1.4 gHz single processor which is made by Quallcomm. Even that the processor is ‘just’ a single core its runs smoothly not just smoothly but buttery smooth! Its also fast, opening apps and browsing the internet is a flawless experience! Thanks to the flawless experience you would almost forget that the device is just running on a (fast) single core processor. Microsoft did a very job optimizing Windows Phone 7.5.

Conclusion:
In the Netherlands you can buy the Omnia W for about 330 euros but you can also find it for less. We expect that the prices are about the same in other countries. The price is attractive because there are no other competitors that offers a device wth a 1.4 gHz procesor with a Super AMOLED display. Plus its about 100 euro cheaper than the ‘real’ Windows Phone, the Lumia 800 as Nokia has stated.
The Omnia W is a solid phone running a the Windows Phone 7.5 platform that offers a sleek experience. But the development speed of Windows Phone is a bit disappointing, where other platforms like Android and iOS are having devices that are running dualcore processors is Windows Phone stucked with single core processors. And following the rumors there are brands that are working with quadcore processors that are running on Android. Most likely is that Windows Phone is ready for dualcore at the end of this year, probably we will see at the same time Android and iOS devices that are running on quadcore processors. As you can read in the review this doesn’t mean that the experience is bad but you will notice that the device will be slower with opening apps and loading webpages than a device with a more powerfull processor.
Other drawback is that Windows Phone isn’t supporting resolutions higher than 800 x 480. So you can’t buy a device that has a 720p resolution (yet). Support for higher resolutions will also come probably at the end of this year with the Apollo update.
Postive side is that more and more developers are considering to make apps for Windows Phone or already working on it.

Despite the hardware limitations of Windows Phone 7 there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Omnia W, only that you have just 8 GB of storage (not expandable). Samsung has priced the device attractive and the experience is really good. The 3.7 inch Super AMOLED display is absolutely gorgeous. There is no other brand that can match the price/specifications of the Omnia W.

Pro’s:
- Smooth performance
- Dimensions, its not too small or too big.
- Price/specification ratio

Cons:
- Loosely side buttons
- Just 8 GB of storage (not expandable)
- Not a special design

By Fabus234