Hands-on with the Samsung Omnia 2


Announced on Monday, the Samsung Omnia 2 is making its way onto Verizon very soon and we sat down with it for a little groping session.

The first word that comes to mind when looking at the Omnia 2 is wow. That 800×480 3.7-inch AMOLED screen is bright. It’s still a resistive screen, which I’m not a big fan of, but it’s much, much better than the one you’ll find on the Instinct. The rest of the hardware has also lost that ‘cheap’ feeling and the 5-megapixel AF camera puts it onto the premium smartphone tier.

TouchWiz 2.0 appears to be worthwhile this time around. Unlike v1.0, which was basically just shortcuts, the widgets on 2.0 are now active. Did your friend just send you a message on Facebook? The FB widget will tell you if you did. Want to know what the weather is going to be like today? Check the widget.

It doesn’t have the Webkit-based Dolfin browser like the Jet, but Opera will have to do. *sigh* It will ship with Windows Mobile 6.1, but the Omnia 2 will be upgradeable to 6.5 when it goes live.

It seems as though Samsung has ditched the Croix UI and might be going with the Cube from here on out. The six-sided interface is a tad finicky, but I’m used to a capacitive touch-screen and I didn’t really have enough time to readjust the way I handle resistive touch screens. I took a very short video of the Cube interface that’s not very flattering as its probably better than the video makes it out to be. I didn’t really get a full rundown of how it worked before I shot the video anyway.

Overall, the Omnia 2’s biggest selling point is the beautiful 3.7-inch AMOLED screen. Sure, it’s still WinMo, but Samsung has done a pretty good job of covering it up. TouchWiz has also seen a huge jump in terms of functionality with 2.0. So long as the widgets at launch are worth using, I’d say TouchWiz 2.0 will be a huge selling point on future Samsung devices.

Oh, the stacked image is of the Omnia B7610 on the bottom and the Omnia Lite in the middle.