Samsung Omnia i910 (Verizon Wireless) Smartphone Review

Samsung Omnia i910 (Verizon Wireless) Smartphone ReviewGuest Article by Rishi Kumar from RK-home

Some hold a device as elegant in appearance and functional in usage as the iPhone / iPhone 3G to be a token from technology-heaven. Plus, with that Apple logo, there’s an aura of “coolness” about it. 😉 Others like me, however, believe that as good as the iPhone 3G is, it’s still a cell phone – and what’s a cell phone without good coverage? With AT&T/ Cingular’s exclusivity contract with Apple for the next year or so, customers who trust in Verizon’s superior network must turn elsewhere.

Before starting medical school, I needed a smartphone which was capable of running all the healthcare software (Epocrates, Merck, etc.) which I’ll need during my education and clinical rounds. I turned to the new Samsung Omnia i910 for Verizon Wireless to hopefully meet and / or exceed my preferences. Here’s a concise review of my findings after a week of playing around with the phone.

Price4/5 Stars

$200 with a new two-year contract makes the Samsung Omnia directly comparable to the iPhone 3G (AT&T / Cingular) and Blackberry Storm (Verizon). All three phones require a data contract, which in my experience, is far faster on the Verizon network. Hooray old-school CDMA!

Appearance / Design5/5 Stars

Like the iPhone, the Samsung Omnia is all about the touch-screen. It has a large 240 x 400 pixel resolution screen, but only supports 65,536 color viewing (16 bit). I’m a huge fan of SPB Mobile Shell and am pleased with the way it runs on the Omnia as my main user interface. The optical mouse also comes in handy when browsing the web and clicking those tiny hyperlinks with your finger is too difficult. All in all, here are the pros and cons of the design:

Pros: 5 MP camera with LED flash, optical mouse, accelerometer, simple button layout, wifi (rare on a Verizon phone), GPS (will be unlocked in the first half of 2009 by Verizon)

Cons: Accelerometer and touch screen aren’t as responsive as the iPhone’s.

On, and on another note, I ordered an Invisible Shield and found great difficulty in applying it to this phone for some reason. Maybe it’s just because I haven’t done it in a while, but applying the shield to the Omnia took longer than shielding a MacBook, an iPod Touch, or an LG Voyager combined.

Functionality4/5 Stars

Being a Windows Mobile device, there are numerous applications out there to install. Everything from utilities to games and user interfaces to demos, WM 6.1 Professional supports a lot of software. Also, with Skymarket (Windows’ answer to the “App Stores” run by Apple, Blackberry, and Google), the Windows Mobile software community will be far more structured and accessible to all smartphone users.

Samsung Omnia already comes with some neat software. The basic Office applications (PowerPoint, Excel, Word) as well as the Opera Mobile browser, RSS Reader, FM Radio, etc. This was probably the first device where I spent more than an hour tinkering around with all the pre-loaded software before getting bored. 😀

Usability3/5 Stars

Being an ex-LG-Voyager user, it was difficult for me to get used to not having a physical QWERTY keyboard at my disposal. Text messaging with the Omnia is no where near as quick and efficient as with the Voyager, but hey, handset designers couldn’t make things *too* easy, now could they? 🙂 Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional tends to be a little sluggish at times, especially if you’re running numerous programs in the background which are all hogging CPU cycles and RAM. Turning off some of the eye candy (Samsung widgets, elaborate themes, etc.) ended up resolving the problem in my case. But being an iPod Touch owner, I naturally draw comparisons between it and the Omnia. In the end, Apple really did a fantastic job in making everything run “smoothly” (from the accelerometer to scrolling through contacts), but Windows has the large user base and will be releasing Windows Mobile 6.5 sometime next month.

Overall4/5 Stars

If you’re a Verizon customer who is looking for a device beyond the conventional cell phone, I strongly recommend the Samsung Omnia i910. It has plenty of features which will appeal to hardcore business users, to the light consumer user… and dare I say it… even us medical students out there. 🙂 As far as Verizon phones go, this one probably has all the features one could desire in a phone. To make things even more convincing, the best is yet to come with Verizon unlocking its GPS software (so you can use Google Maps and other proprietary software) and Windows establishing SkyMarket.

This article was written by medical student Rishi Kumar. Check out his blog, RK-home where he writes about controversial topics in medicine and politics as well as some sci / tech stuff. If you wish to write a Guest Article, you can do so here.

This entry was submitted by a guest author. If you wish to contribute, please contact me for my terms.

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15 Comments.

  1. sweet says:

    this phones look simply rocks….. am i rite guys?????

  2. laura palacios says:

    puedo activar este celular en la compañia iusacell???

    Spanish To English Translation : can activate this cellular company Iusacell?

    • Arun says:

      Check out the Official Website of the phone for supported networks. Contacting the guest author is another option. 🙂

      Cheers

    • Rishi says:

      No sé. ¿Qué tipo de conexión Lusacell utiliza? CDMA o GSM? Este celular usa CDMA con Verizon Wireless en los EEUU, pero hay otros celulares (como Omnia i900) que puedes usar con otras companias. GSM es mas popular que CDMA, tambien. 🙂

      Four years of high school Spanish… *whew*… paid off.

  3. janicko says:

    prosim ta co je to ten verizon lebo si ho chcem kupi a niviem ako na tom poje wi-fi a taketo veci—————???
    odpis dik.

    • Slovak to English Translation:
      prosim ta co je to ten verizon because you want to buy a niviem than that poje wi-fi and such things —–??
      depreciation dik.

      This is what I got from Google Translator, But that doesnt look good. Can anyone suggest?

      @janicko : I am sorry, But I cant read slovak. Sorry for that, Hope you can write that in English. Cheers

  4. Ami says:

    Thanks so much for the info.

    So what does the epocrates program on the Omnia look like? is it as nicely laid out as on the iphone??

    and can you use the epocrates software in landscape mode w/ the full qwerty keyboard?

  5. Nesha Dunn says:

    i L O V E the omnia,forget the iPHONE,i am fine with my i910! the camera shows very good,my pictures comes out so clear!

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