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Omnia II

Verizon has released a software upgrade for the Samsung Omnia II (SCH-i920). The upgrade contains a handful of enhancements including Windows Mobile AKU Update to 5.0.93, Qualcomm updates, Widgetplus updates, and Facebook app updates.

You can find the Upgrade Too here with step by step instructions. Remember, upgrading your Omnia II will erase any data you have on your Windows Phone. It is important to backup your data before upgrading.

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For texting that is...

Franklin Page, a 24 year old Seattle, Wa. resident recently set the Guinness World Record for the fastest text message on touch screen. Page did so with the help of Swype running on a Samsung Omnia II.

It took Page 35.54 seconds to text the phrase, "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world." to set the record.

Samsung will feature the World Record texting in a national ad campaign focusing on Swype. Follow the break for the thirty-second spot featuring the record setting text and the full presser from Samsung.

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Well, it's not a mighty re-flash of the whole ROM, nor does it bring any new features to the table and in fact, it actually looks kind of dangerous to apply (see below), but Samsung has released a radio firmware update to help with dropped calls on the Verizon Omnia II (see hands on video).

Yeah, not exactly thrilling, though we suppose if you have been experiencing poor call performance, you may want to look into this lil' patch.

Now the caveat: its a finicky update, meaning it official doesn't work on Windows 7, only XP. Going further, a few users have reported problems with "bricking" their phone during the update.  We don't want to be alarmist, but make sure you follow the directions exactly as described.  Oh, and if you run the update in compatibility mode in Win7, evidently that can work too.

Get the patch right here...if you dare!


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Swung by the Samsung booth at CES (follow all of our coverage here). Once you're able to navigate the dizzying maze of television screens -- and we're talking hundreds here -- you can finally find some Windows phones. Tucked in the back and a little to the left.

And it was there that we found the European version of the Omnia II, the Omnia Pro, with its Touchwiz interface. While it's hardly fair to judge the quickness of any phone after it's been handled at the likes of CES, the Omnia II seemed a bit sluggish considering it has an 800MHz processor. And I'm still not crazy about the user interface, though it does look gorgeous on that 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen. Anyhoo, find pics of the Omnia II at CES after the break.

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In the ultimate comparison of apples, oranges and kiwi; PCWorld has released its list of Top 10 Cell Phones. Not coincidentally, all of its selections are smartphones of some flavor. One thing that is interesting is that the top two devices on the list are probably the two most heavily marketed mobile devices in recent years, but Apple’s iPhone was ranked second, not first. The Motorola Droid came in at the top of the list, which is void of any explanation on what the rating criteria was.

The only Windows Phone that garnered a top 10 ranking was the Samsung Omnia II. Without knowing the criteria for this rating it is hard to determine why solid devices like HTC’s HD2 and Touch Pro2 were left off of the list.

Google’s Android platform placed the most entries on the list, taking 5 of the available slots (1 - Motorola Droid, 3 - Motorola Cliq, 5 – T-Mobile myTouch 3G, 7 – Samsung Behold, 10 – HTC Droid Eris). Research In Motion has 2 BlackBerrys (Bold 9700 and Tour 9630) in the top 10 as well. Palm came in at number 6 with the Pre.

From a hardware standpoint, Windows Phone heavyweights HTC, Motorola, and Samsung each placed 2 devices; though the majority of these feature Android.

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Omnia II gets exploratory surgery

Ever care to see how an expensive smartphone is made less valuable?  Well, look no further as this video from TechBlog shows how it's done on the popular and feature-packed Samsung Omnia II.

To what end?  We're not sure, but dang, them there phone guts are sure getting teeny, aren't they?

Oh and if at work, we suggest turning down the volumne before you play the video. ;-)

[via Engadget Mobile]

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Here is a real strange but evidently real issue for Omnia II users: if you  have Exchange + McAfee Anti-Spam E-mail Toolbar working in tandem, it appears that some of your emails won't come through when using the Omnia II with WM6.5.

User UpHillBattle (indeed) writes

I'm experiencing a strange problem with my new Samsung Omnia II (WM 6.5). I have set up ActiveSync (on the cell phone) to sync e-mail, contacts, calendar and tasks with an Exchange Server. I used the same setup on my older HTC Touch Cruise (WM 6.1) and had no problems then.

The sync appears to be successful after setup, but later some e-mails are synced to the Omnia II while others are not. I have reset the device to factory settings and set up the connection again, only to experience the same thing: Success at first, then later some e-mails are received, while others are not.

Upon some diligent testing he later responds's the McAfee Anti-Spam E-mail Toolbar. For those of you that don't know McAfee, it has an optional toolbar that can be enabled in various e-mail clients (Outlook 2007 in my case) and that lets you manually mark (or unmark) e-mail messages as spam. When I disable the toolbar, everything is fine - when I enable it, I get the problems described above.

Both Samsung and McAfee have been made aware of the problem and a fix of some sort is expected in the future (vague, eh?).  Until then, if you have this gruesome-twosome setup, best to follow UpHillBattle's advice.

[via Windows phone Connection forum]

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You almost have to feel sorry for the companies that dare place their proprietary software onto a Windows phone these days.  For if it is good software, the hounds are let loose to rip it out and .cab it for all others to use within moments.

The latest victim would be Swype, the new fangled keyboard app that is featured on the Verizon Omnia II.

The app is available in .cab form and acts just like another optional input system on your device, so there is no need to only use it while learning its funky moves.  It is suppose to work on Touch Pro 2, Diamond 2 (Pure) and other VGA+ devices, though mileage may vary (reports of ROM variation having an effect have been reported).

[via 1800 PocketPC]

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Well, look at that. You're going to have to wait a few more hours before you can pick up the Samsung Omnia II on Verizon, but one has made its way to the front of a Verizon store and into the hands of YouTuber bcwatson57. The video's a little blurry, so we can't get a great feel for the AMOLED screen, but ol' Barry certainly seems impressed. And that may be enough to put up with a little bit of lag despite the 800MHz processor. [YouTube via wmpoweruser]

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Now that the cat's out of the bag, Verizon Wireless has officially announced that the Samsung Omnia II (aka the SCH-i920, for those of you into that sort of thing), will be available Dec. 2 for $199.99 after rebate and contract. But you already knew that. And in case you forgot, that $200 gets you a 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen, an 800MHz processor, Sammy's TouchWiz UI on top of Windows Mobile 6.5, a 5MP camera, and all the other usual bells and whistles. Full presser after the break. [via Verizon]

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Who's up for some quality time with the Bell version of the Samsung Omnia II? Howard Chui (for whom the infamous Howard Forums are named) takes us through a 10-minute unboxing of the 3.7-inch, 800MHz behemoth. His side-by-side with the Original Omnia is night and day -- you just can't beat that AMOLED screen. We're still not totally sold on Touchwiz II (though it's certainly better than Touchwiz I), but we do like having different UIs to choose from. Peep the video after the break. [Howard Chui via wmpoweruser]

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A burning question of late has been when, oh when, will the Samsung Omnia II finally hit Verizon. We'd heard of a November launch, but Engadget (and their snazzy redesigned site) got the goods. It'll launch Dec. 2 for $199.99 after contract and rebate. There also is no doubt now that it'll have Windows Mobile 6.5 on board out of the box, along with the 3.7-inch WGVA AMOLED screen (squee!), 8GB on storage plus a MicroSD slot, a 5MP camera, and all the other bells and whistles.

And speaking of the Omnia II, BLeavellB is shouting from the rooftops on Twitter that a Windows Mobile 6.5 update for phones already out there is ripe for the picking. To snag it, you'll need your Omnia II and Sammy's New PC Studio software. Plug in your phone, run the app and away you go. (That also means that we can't test it for you, 'cause we left our Omnia II in our other pants. So sound off in the comments if you're having trouble.) Thanks, John!

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Yeah, you read that right. Not the iPhone. Not the Pre. Not a BlackBerry. Not that newfangled Droid. A Windows Mobile phone is the official phone of the 2010 Winter Olympics. And not just any phone, the Samsung Omnia II with its AMOLED screen and 800MHz processor, Windows Mobile 6.5 and all the trimmings. Not bad, eh? [Press release via Unwired View]

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Here's a rumor that comes from a Phone Area tipster who has a reliable source, so, um, that makes it, like, fourth-hand twice removed or something. Anyway, the reported rumor is that the Samsung Omnia II will be released on Verizon on Nov. 1.

Will that be the case? Will the mid-October launch we heard about still happen? Will any "delay" mean it'll launch with Windows Mobile 6.5 instead of Windows Mobile 6.1? (Seriously, Verizon, let's get that done.)

News at 11.

Update: No sooner then we posted this did we get an e-mail of our own saying that the mid-October date is blown out of the water and a VP said to look for it sometime in January. (Thanks, R!)

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