GSMArena are known for doing very, very in-depth reviews, and they’ve just done a major one of the Samsung Omnia 7, marking the first in-depth review we’ve seen of a WP7 handset that will be available for sale to the general public. The whole thing runs 9 pages long, and is a must read if you really want to get to the bottom of the strengths and weaknesses of both the hardware and the OS. Overall, they seem remarkably taken by it:
The Samsung I8700 Omnia 7 is our first encounter with WP7-grade hardware and we walk away impressed. Microsoft has imposed some tough restrictions on what qualifies as WP7-ready. We’re talking top of the line processing power, large screens, powerful imaging and such.
This means that choosing between two Windows Phone 7 mobiles will be hard – they match on so many points. It will be the special perks that each manufacturer can provide that will tip the scales one way or another.
In the case of the Omnia 7, Samsung’s one-of-a-kind 4” SuperAMOLED is a major incentive – the only other phone to offer it is the Samsung Galaxy S. There are some good LCDs around but they don’t quite match the vivid picture and superior black levels of the SuperAMOLED tech.
Samsung deserves a pat on the back for the metal Wave-style body and the excellent 5MP camera too. To summarize the review in one sentence – the hardware is perfect, it’s the software that lets the phone down on occasion.
So, this is what you can expect from the Samsung I8700 Omnia 7 – it’s breaking new ground, much like the first iPhone, but lacks some features and flexibility. But unlike the first iPhone, the Omnia 7 has very few flaws in the hardware department: a large, hi-res screen, fast hardware, capable camera and so on.
But going back to this specific sample in the WP7 lineup, the Omnia 7 is a premium phone with a beautiful OS. It obviously has issues that can (and must) be fixed mid-flight. And since it’s our job to rate phones for what they are, not what they can be, we have no problem saying it: there are better phones than the Samsung Omnia 7.
So, don’t be rushing to the nearest store just because it may be the next big thing. Make sure to give it a test drive instead – and see if it’s the right one for you. Then of course, you don’t need anyone’s permission to go ahead and call it crap. Just try to sound credible.
Their take is that the hardware is fantastic, but WP7 is still less than perfect. Lets hope MS gets to pushing out those universal updates in the near future, and that these holes can be fixed.