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Samsung Omnia 7 review

Barry de la Rosa
24 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
300
inc VAT

A great AMOLED screen and great build quality make the Omnia 7 an attractive phone, but Windows Phone 7 means your content is tied to Zune

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Specifications

Windows Phone 7, 4.0in 480x800 display

Samsung's Omnia 7 is a first-generation Windows Phone 7 handset, and although the 7.5 "Mango" update is ready, it hasn't yet passed the network operator certification process. Thanks to Microsoft's early announcement, we know what to expect from Mango, so it's not hard to imagine what the Omnia 7 will be like with the update.

Samsung Omnia 7

Windows Phone 7 is an attractive touch-based OS with a lot of potential. Mango looks to fix many of the problems with the initial release, adding cut-and-paste, multi-tasking and deeper social aggregation - pulling email from multiple accounts into one inbox and grouping contacts to aggregate their updates.

We still have some issues with the OS. Only "partners" will be able to deeply integrate their apps into the operating system, so only the largest social networks and services will be featured. Despite growing to 30,000 apps, Microsoft's Marketplace is still way behind the competition. There are a number of high-profile apps such as Evernote, Last.fm and Twitter, but still no official Facebook app. The majority of apps are amateur efforts, with plenty of unofficial apps for popular services that turn out simply to be links to the service's web page.

Samsung Omnia 7 top

Windows Phone's live tiles are an interesting concept, but we find Android's more customisable, multiple home screens, where you can place interactive widgets, shortcuts or bookmarks, far more flexible. As it's sold, the Omnia 7 comes with a fairly decent selection of apps, with Office Mobile being the star of the show. However it's undermined by the fact that you can't browse the phone's contents directly, and the Zune desktop syncing software is focused entirely on multimedia, so it's impossible to drop files from your PC onto the phone to edit them. Even if you open a file via another app, the Office app doesn't keep a copy. The only way seems to be via a Microsoft Sharepoint server, which home users are unlikely to have.

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