samsung

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Review: Samsung Omnia II from Verizon

Quietly, amidst the multiple HTC Touch Pro 2 releases, Samsung refreshed its Omnia line with a slew of new Windows Mobile devices. The Samsung Omnia II is a black-slab, touchscreen device hone that sports a 5-megapixel camera and a hefty 8 gigabytes of storage memory. Verizon picked it up late last year.

Our initial impression has been positive. Our main concern was the customization that Samsung has installed on the Omnia II. Not only does the Omnia II have Samsung's TouchWiz user interface, Samsung also also tweaked the interior Windows Mobile screens and menus.

Follow the break to see if this customization makes or breaks the Omnia II.

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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!

[via CareAce.net]

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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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Looks like the Samsung Epix (see full review), a phone that is now well over a year old, is slated to get its official Windows Mobile 6.5 bump sometime in February, at least according to Microsoft's updated list. (Though all the cool kids have been running it since September)

We suppose one convenient aspect of that list is the ability to keep shifting dates around and we have to admit, we're getting quite far out now from that October Windows Mobile 6.5 announcement.

Still, better late than never, and it sure beats the Ozone/Snap duo, which are still listed as "Date Not Available" -- luckily both of those have custom ROMs too. Guess we know where WM Standard is sitting on the priority list.

[thanks Akshay!]

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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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Just the other day we were talking about how the "L337 |-|4> Swype from the Verizon Omnia II.

We also lamented both in print and the podcast about how this is a double edged sword for the little Seattle company: tons of exposure and praise, but peeps are stealing your goods!  Then again, we suggested that OEMs may see the great press featuring Swype and see they want that on their devices.

Looks like the latter happened (we won't say told you so). Nokia and Samsung have invested $5.6 million into the fledgling company, which has to have caused a lot of popping of corks this week.

Guess we can look forward to more Swype in official (and unofficial) devices in 2010.  Sounds good to us.  Speaking of, are you using Swype yet?

[via UnwiredView]

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Time for us to play "What really cool phone is being released overseas that we'll never get here!", one of our favorite games.

This time the lucky country is Korea, who is getting Samsung SPH-M8400 aka they need a better name for it.

To the point, here are the specs:

  • WiMax (WiBro)
  • 3.7" AMOLED WVGA
  • WM6.5
  • 5MP AF camera
  • Digital Mobile TV
  • WCDMA, WiFi, Bluetooth

Actually, though the fine folks at AkiHabaraNews liken it to a worthy competitor to the HD2, even we scoff at the notion.  No, this is a worthy competitor to the Omnia 2...in fact, it's very similar sans the 4G support.  Still, it does look pretty nice.

[AkiHabaraNews via Windows Phone Thoughts]

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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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Want a Samsung Omnia Pro? Sorry, you can't have one yet. Well, at least not without importing it at a pretty penny and giving up U.S. 3G in the process. For us, that's a dealbreaker. For others, a small price to pay for that 800MHz processor and 3.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen running Windows Mobile 6.5. And unlike its Omnia II cousin (which you can get tomorrow), the Pro has a slider keyboard. For a better look at what you'd be paying a premium for, check out the brief unboxing video from Pocketnow after the break.

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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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23

So, what's going on with Samsung?

We're generally not the types who cry that the sky is falling. But there are a few disturbing reports swirling today regarding Samsung. The first comes from Electonista, which states that Sammy will significantly reduce its use of Windows Mobile.

HMC Investment Securities analyst Greg Noh understands that the Korean company's use of Windows Mobile will crash from 80 percent this year to just 50 percent in 2010 and will lower further still in future years. Just 20 percent of Samsung's phones should use the platform by 2012.

That's a huge drop. Word on the street (er, and in just about every blog today) is that Android will pick up a good amount of the slack.

Now add to that Samsung's announcement of its own open development platform, called Bada. (A name that's just ripe for mocking, we know.)

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, today announced the launch of its own open mobile platform, Samsung bada [bada] in December. This new addition to Samsung’s mobile ecosystem enables developers to create applications for millions of new Samsung mobile phones, and consumers to enjoy a fun and diverse mobile experience.

Plenty more on that at bada.com.

Now add to that Samsung's current inability to launch the Omnia II line in the United States (for whatever reason) and its half-baked job on the Intrepid, and we have the makings of a full-on exodus, it seems.

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