Samsung holds the distinction of designing the flagship handsets in both the Android and Windows Phone 7 camps. The Galaxy S was used as the basis of the Google Nexus S, while the Samsung Omnia 7 is the most attractive of the Microsoft-based models. It’s also the brightest, sporting a 4in SuperAmoLED display.
Available on contract from Orange or 3, the Samsung Omnia 7 tips the scales at 138g, but feels heavier. This is perhaps due to its tough aluminium casing. However, it’s a scant 11mm thick (a smidgen less than the LG Optimus 7). It’s 64mm across – broader than we’d like; we found it difficult to clasp.
HTC calls the screen on its Desire HD handset ‘cinematic’, and we can only describe the Omnia 7 in similar terms. When you power it on, the opening page is even in suitably Art Deco lettering. Since the display is so bright anyway, it’s a relief to find the Windows Phone OS tiles rendered in a fairly muted blue. Whereas some of the other Windows-based phones impose their own take on how the OS should behave, Samsung has let the hardware do the talking.
Given the visual credentials, it’s no surprise to find photos almost supernaturally lifelike, while the 1GHz dual-core processor ensures smooth video playback. Unusually, the Samsung supports 25fps video recording as well as Mpeg, H.264, H.263 and WMV.
Although there’s no promise of Dolby Mobile audio enhancements, the Omnia 7 offers a pleasing entertainment setup. It boasts a pair of speakers, Bluetooth 2.1, an FM radio, 3.5mm audio jack and the Zune Wi-Fi media-sharing feature that’s native to the OS.
With these aural credentials, we were in little doubt that call volume and clarity would pass muster. The heavyweight physical build of this device seems to give extra throatiness to music playback and more depth to the spoken word.
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