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Samsung Omnia 7 review

Does the best screen make this the best Windows Phone 7 handset?

Our Verdict

The screen will be what sells the Samsung Omnia 7, but given the company's heritage in this arena we expected slightly more

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 6.97 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 8.60 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 800 x 480

View full specification

For

  • High quality screen
  • Slick and reponsive interface
  • Comfortable design
  • Passable camera quality
  • Cool gaming experience

Against

  • Cheap-feeling rear
  • Slow internet browser with no Flash
  • Mega-bright LED flash
  • No worthwhile Samsung-added software on board
  • Lack of microSD expansion

Samsung's take on Windows Phone 7 was always going to be tech-heavy – and that's proved to be the case.

Featuring a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen and a cool industrial design, the Samsung Omnia 7 is a slightly different take from the LG and HTC crowd.

It hasn't gone big on the camera side of things like the HTC 7 Mozart, packing only a 5-megapixel camera and a single LED flash.

But it's that screen that really makes things pop on this phone – it's almost like the feeling you get when you first see a Blu-ray on a proper HD telly: everything looks more real than reality itself.

Samsung omnia 7

Yes, we've seen the same things on the Samsung Galaxy S, but for some reason the angular design of Windows Phone 7 interface really brings out the deep contrast and vivid colours more than on the Android version.

Samsung omnia 7

The Samsung Omnia 7 is actually very similar in layout to the Galaxy S: the power/lock key is located on the right-hand side of the phone, where it's easy to access without having to jiggle the phone around in your hand too much. This is the same side as the small but easy to press camera button, which is staggered to help activate the autofocus, and is easy to use.

Samsung omnia 7

The top of the phone houses the ports – we're looking at a pretty basic 3.5mm headphone jack and a slider switch with small piece of plastic to uncover the micro-USB slot.

Samsung omnia 7

The uninspiring-looking camera is in the same place, although with the Omnia 7 the plastic back has been replaced with a Samsung Wave-a-like metallic option that we really like. You release this with a small switch at the bottom, and the cover simply pops up with no hassle.

Samsung omnia 7

The right-hand side of the phone has the volume keys, or up and down navigation, which is good if you're right-handed and use the phone for sports applications in the future, but feels less intuitive for volume adjustment during calls.

Samsung omnia 7

The Windows Phone 7 range has placed a real premium on the high-end feel of the handsets, and the Samsung Omnia is one of the best examples of this in our opinion.

Samsung omnia 7

The front keys are the most impressive – there's an iPhone 4-like main home key, which is circular and concave, and the two touch sensitive buttons surrounding it are very responsive.

However, they're hard to see when they're not lit up and in action, and can be hard to hit without looking.

We'd rather they were also slightly indented, because it would continue the premium feel across the front of the phone and stop the Samsung Omnia 7 looking like every other Windows Phone 7 handset.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Built-in Memory6.97 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.65 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100, WCDMA 1900
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time8.60 Hour
Product ModelI8700 Omnia 7
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)138.5 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 7
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height122.4 mm
Width64.2 mm
Depth11 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time390 Hour
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameI8700 Omnia 7 Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I8700YKAXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

A true breakthrough in mobility and Samsung first mobile powered by Windows Phone OS 7, Samsung OMNIA 7 combines cutting-edge hardware with quality multimedia experiences and user-friendly interface. From Xbox Live gaming to Zune music enjoyment, from advanced camera functions to comprehensive media sharing options, Samsung OMNIA 7 offers a slim, unique design with enhanced usability.

SUPER AMOLED Display

The brilliantly large 4.0" SUPER AMOLED display is the zenith of mobile viewing. Brighter, less reflective and slimmer than general AMOLED display, SUPER AMOLED provides you with unmatched luminescence, vivid eye-catching colours and super fast response.

Fun Entertainment

Always be in the game with the phone that lets you take Xbox LIVE mobile. Through the Music and Video hub, Zune transforms music and video on a phone to be a beautiful immersive experience.

Limited Warranty2 Year