Samsung i900 Omnia review

Samsung OMNIA (04)There seems to be a lot going on in the Windows Mobile world at the moment and we are finding ourselves inundated with great new devices to play with. This one is no exception, the Samsung i900 Omnia is a fantastic looking Windows Mobile Professional device but does it live up to all the hype and the tag of potential iPhone killer. Well first off it looks like the iPhone, it has a very similar form factor but is slightly smaller, read on for the full details.

What’s in the box

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The Samsung i900 8 Gig, a standard Samsung battery as used on other Samsung Windows Mobile phones, mains charger, headset, data link cable, funky stylus and documentation. As we already know from previous Samsung reviews, they insist on using a proprietary connection for charging and headsets \ headphones. This one is no different but at least it comes with an adaptor that does give you a 3.5mm connector for your own headphones.

The Outside

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The phone looks as we have previously said like the iPhone, it is the same form factor with a large 3.2 inch screen, it is a very glossy looking phone and feels great in the hand, it really is a nice size and weight. Looking at it face on, there are three visible buttons, the phone send and end keys along with the now infamous Samsung mouse. For those that haven’t seen this before it is very similar to a laptop track pad, it is not a D-Pad, you stroke it with your thumb and an on screen cursor moves just like a mouse. It is the equivalent of Windows Mobile Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. I personally find it very effective and easy to use but if you do not, you can change the settings to a virtual D-Pad.

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The top of the device has the usual on / off push button along with a reset button which can be handy when you have installed some bad applications and have hit a system freeze. The bottom of the device is clear with the exception of the microphone hole.

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The left hand side has access to a lanyard attachment while the right hand side has a quick access button for the camera application which also operates as the picture shoot button, volume up and down keys and a quick access to the shortcuts which you can see later in the software write up.

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Removal of the rear cover which comes off very easily for a Samsung phone you can access the Micro SD card slot, the Sim Card slot and the battery compartment.

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The stylus, a bit different here as there is no place to store this actually inside the device like we are used too, instead it comes with a lanyard and you just let it dangle from the phone like a bit of phone bling. Not sure I like that idea. The stylus itself is pretty nice, its roughly 2 inches long in it’s closed state, pull the top part off and the stylus extends to about 3 inches but it is solid not like the cheap telescopic stylus’s we have seen on other devices.

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Size wise, it is slightly smaller than the iPhone, but slightly thicker but not by much as you can see in these comparison pictures.

The Software Side

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Samsung have worked hard at making Windows Mobile more user friendly and have succeeded to a great extent. The touch screen is finger friendly, the icons are big allowing finger prodding with surprising accuracy. The phone comes with three home screens to choose from, The top two screen captures show the most functional screen complete with what Samsung call the Samsung Widgets. These are pre-chosen widgets that can only be used on this screen, they can be dragged off the vertical tool bar onto the main screen for easy access. It is a very nice addition but would have been great if you could just drag shortcuts to any application you wanted onto the home screen just like the full blown Windows OS.

The second home screen is a basic screen but very functional with access to settings, phonebook,call logs, messages and email. The third home screen seems quite cluttered to me but has a lot of shortcuts available.


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The i900 comes with every imaginable connectivity option, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB, HSDPA up to 7.2mb/s all easily configurable from the settings screen, if your in need of prolonged battery life you can turn off HSDPA and just run the phone on an Edge or GPRS connection which can make quite a difference. Data connectivity has never been so fast and the ability to share the connection with your laptop is another great feature of Windows Mobile.

Text Input and Haptic Feedback

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Ok text input has a few options and one major disappointment, the options first, the Samsung QWERTY keyboard, this works reasonable well but not as good as the iPhone as you do need to apply more pressure for it to respond and this stops it being as fluid. Once you have used it for a day or so you get used to it and become far more accurate. You can also use predictive text with it but to be honest I hate it so I switched it off. Other keyboard options are the Samsung keypad and the Samsung phone pad as well as the standard block recognizers, keyboard, letter recognizer and transcriber. Now here’s the disappointment, this phone was supposed to have haptic feedback and it does to a small extent however where would you most want to have this great feature, yes on the keyboard, and is it there, no!!!! Come on Samsung what is the point of giving us haptic feedback on big icons that we press when we really need it to type with. Modaco are reporting that a new Rom update will be released soon to enable the haptics on at least the Samsung Keyboard but it should be on it now.

Web Browsing

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The i900 comes pre-installed with the ever popular Opera 9.5 and it works beautifully on this phone, the tall screen with 400 x 240 resolution makes viewing websites a breeze, matched in with the tap to zoom in and the reflow of the text to fit the screen all in all a great web surfing experience. I didn’t bother testing out Pocket IE as it is poor in comparison.


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GPS comes as standard with an assisted option which downloads data from the network to get a faster satellite fix, this can be enabled and disabled from the settings to avoid data costs but on an unlimited plan it can save a lot of time. Google maps comes pre-installed also and worked well with the GPS and triangulation with cell towers to get a fix. No other GPS software comes with the phone but it should work fine with TomTom and others although it would be wise to check because of the non standard screen resolution.

FM Radio

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The i900 comes with the now standard FM radio that utilizes the headphones as an antennae to pick up the FM bands, there is also a widget that can be used on the home screen which allows channel hopping and pause and play, a nice added feature.


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The accelerometer is the best on any device I have used, it works in every screen and works over 360 degrees so the phone can be turned right round and the screen rotates with it. It is smooth, fast and works faultlessly. HTC could learn something here and not restrict the rotation to only certain screens like on the Diamond and Touch Pro.



This is where this phone stands out form the rest, a 5 mega pixel camera, no longer do we have to look up to the Nokia N95, this camera is fantastic.

It can produce images with a maximum resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. It is equipped with autofocus, digital image stabilizer, face recognition, smile detection, and geotagging. There is an LED flash for night time shots too.

A video shooting option is also available at a resolution VGA video (640 x 480 pixels) at 15fps or QVGA video (320 x 240 pixels) at 30fps. All in all a nice camera and great to see Windows Mobile catching up with other “Camera Phones”.

Podcast and RSS Reader

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Another nice feature is the pre-installed Podcast and RSS readers, load them up and you can subscribe to your news feeds easily and also you can import your desktop subscriptions via an opml file. The Podcast software works very well but you do have to download the full podcast before you can listen to it, no streaming.

Touch Player

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Another nice add on, is the addition of a touch media player, the built in Windows Media player was designed originally for stylus use so this is a good alternative for touch use and makes interacting with your media a much easier experience. The i900 is also one of the only devices certified as DIVX compliant.


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Nothing too unusual about the phone application, nice big touch buttons for dialing and video calling is available depending if the network your using it on supports it. Phone quality was as good as any phone I have used although the signal strength was a bit erratic at times compared with even the iPhone on the same network. The iPhone seemed to hold the signal much better in a GPRS or Edge area but the Omnia was much better in HSDPA areas, very strange.

Built in Storage

Another major thumbs up, the model we have has 8 Gig’s of storage available and you can also get this phone in a 16 Gig version too, this is another first for a pocketable Windows Mobile phone, you can also add extra storage via a Micro SD card slot so the possibilities are endless really.


The Samsung i900 is a fantastic feature phone, it has a lovely design and feels great in the hand. It has a quality build and a nice screen although the resolution of 400 x 240 is a bit strange.The camera is fantastic and connectivity options are all covered with super fast data at all levels. It is very responsive and can be used exclusively with touch or with a stylus or with both so the options are all there. If you like the iPhone but do not like the straight jacketed approach of Apple then this phone could be the one your looking for, plenty of storage for media and expandable too, shame about the lack of a haptic keyboard although this should be corrected with a Rom upgrade but there is no guarantee that this will happen.


Widgets and touch friendly additions


5 Mega Pixel Camera

Form Factor

HSDPA 7.2 mb/s



No haptic feedback on the keyboard

Signal strength suspect at times

Strange screen resolution

Loose stylus and no where to store it

Proprietary connectors

No spare battery this time Samsung

Thanks to Superetrader for supplying the review device

Disclaimer, the Samsung i900 Omnia featured in this review will be returned.

Samung SGH-i900 Omnia -Specification

2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100
112 x 56.9 x 12.5 mm
127 g
TFT touchscreen, 65K colors
240 x 400 pixels, 3.2 inches
Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate
Handwriting recognition
Polyphonic, MP3
Memory Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Practically unlimited
Card slot microSD (TransFlash), up to 16GB
128 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM
624MHz Marvell PXA312 processor
8 GB internal memory
Data GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Bluetooth, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port
USB v2.0
OS Microsoft Window Mobile 6.1 Professional
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, RSS feeds
Games Yes + Java downloadable
Colors Silver
Camera 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, image stabiliser, video, flash; secondary videocall camera
Built-in GPS receiver
Java MIDP 2.0
FM Radio with RDS
MSOffice document viewer
DivX/XviD/WMV/MP4 player
TV Out
Voice memo
Built-in handsfree
Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1440 mAh

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Samsung i900 Omnia review «
[…] You can read the whole review at Mobile Tech Addicts […]

could you please tell me what’s the firmware version of the phone used in this review

Great review, but you need to try living with one for a few days.

The camera – quality is poor indoors and has a long delay in taking the photos, which result in image blur. If you compare images to a viewty, it looks more like a 2 meg camera.

Build Quality – Looks nice, but very cheaply made. It won’t be long before its scratched and that little charging flap won’t last long.

Screen – Nice but the touch interface is not that accurate.

Signal – 3G when it feels like it, just drops for no reason

Battery – Died after 2 days, but I have been testing the phone out.

GPS – Works with Route66 but TOM TOM is a joke, the GPS receiver seems to be suffering with a com port problems. A fix has been found for TOM TOM 7, but so far I can’t get it to work (see –

Widgets/Menus – They are a great idea, would be nice if you could customize them more.

On screen keypad – I’ve tried and tried to get to grips with this, but you can only see one line at a time when replying to texts. I still find it easier to use the stylus and original WinMobile keyboard. It’s just a shame the stylus is like an afterthought, as it hangs of the phone by a lanyard (more like a piece of cotton).

Screen lock – This is a pet hate of mine, why do companies supply phones that do not lock when the standby button is pressed. Easy fix, set the screen lock to 0 and your friends won’t get those strange pocket phone calls….

It’s a nice phone, even with its problems, but unless they sort out the GPS I can’t justify upgrading from my XDA Orbit.

Samsung Omnia ROM update – Bye Bye Haptic! | Mobile Tech Addicts
[…] has an adverse effect on haptic technology implimentation that Chris noted was missing in his review. Those who had it seem to have lost […]

how long for the talking time….donot tell me it less then 4 h…..if so it bull shit…for watching video and music

thanks u from

Mobilephone addicted friend

Top review mate.

Very helpful to make a buy/not buy decision.

i liked the closeup pictures of the device

Norman Maglasang
The camera on the Omnia is a JOKE! These guys from Samsung must be living in another planet if they see fit to label the cam as a 5MP model. My old N6630 takes way better pictures than this and my N82 and P1i easily beats the trash taken from this phone. Im guessing the 2MP I phone camera takes superior pictures to this


As what was mentioned, forget comparing this to the I phone. The input method here sucks. I enable the mouse option to assist in tapping out the letters as you easily make mistakes with the little spacing of the virtual keys which you need to press hard. No haptics also for typing in which complicates matters more.

Gareth (UK)
Just tried one out in the UK on Vodafone.

Can anyone clarify if the block receognizer exists as on the shop demo model i could only locate transcriber. As an ex Palm user i can ‘graffiti’ faster than anything else, seems a shame that one of the industry standard PDA input methods is missing (or i’m an idiot and could not locate it).

Can Anyone Clarify

Samsung i900 now on T-Mobile | Mobile Tech Addicts
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[…] Samsung Omnia is by far the best Windows Mobile handset they have made so far, we reviewed it a few weeks ago, […]

Test Samsung Player Addict, Omnia, i900 | MobileHub : le blog des smartnautes
[…] MobileTech Addicts […]

Can any Omnia users comment on the quality of the speaker? I have a Tocco and it’s speaker is so muffled! The Tocco also falls fowel of the big Samsung 5MP con – it’s more like a 2.3MP camera.

Tracy and Matt look at the Samsung i900 | Mobile Tech Addicts
[…] and Matt have taken the time to look at the Samsung i900. Another generally favourable review of a device that almost checks all the boxes. Worth reading […]

Ralph Robert
I’ve now been living with the Omnia for two weeks and it is a strange mix of very good bits and strange poor bits. If it’s designed for a business user it is again useful and annoying in equal measure.

The good bits:
It’s a very good phone. Reception is so clear that when the other person stops talking I often think I have been cut off. Screen is clear, bright and seems to handle external daylight conditions fairly well. Works as a hand held computer and has lots of storage. Radio is good and clear.

Bad Bits:
The external dangly stylus is utterly awful. You are meant to tie it to a loop on the side of the casing. I’ve dropped it three times now taking it out of my pocket. the stylus has caught on something and as the phone is very smooth down it goes. Every time it hits the floor it falls apart. The top end of the stylus has started to scratch an arc across the screen.

At least twice a day it simply turns off. It has to be reset to start working again.

There are no voicetags so hands free voice activated calls are not possible. I used this feature on my old phone all the time. Losing it is really annoying

Speed dial is only accessible after digging through layers of menu

Widgets may be a great idea but Samsung don’t have others available to buy, there are no instructions on how to add/change them.

None of my previously purchased Windows CE will work on CE6. I tried and it took 2 days to restore my phone.

The manuals available on line, on provided CD and hardcopy are very poor. They don’t describe half the functions available on the phone.

Does the i900 allow you to play music and allow you to use other features of the phone at the same time?for example like the nokias etc do or is it to restricted to just playing music and not allowing you to do anything else with the phone….


Windows Mobile is a multi tasking OS so playing music while doing other things is fine

I have two months’ contract left with Vodafone….do I buy an Omnia now or wait a few more weeks and go to O2 and get an iphone?

samsung omnia (i900)

so i bought this phone a month ago. it arrived from hong kong very rapidly.
i read through the instructions, and installed a couple of apps online. i found that a lot of the windows mobile apps did not work with this phone

the blue tooth is appalling in comparison to other samsung devices like the yp-p2 and yp-s5, with the signal losing strength very easily, and cutting out a lot.

the phone oftens hangs once a day, and i have found that i have needed to remove the battery and switch it back on to use it again. which isn’t helped by the very long start up time. i’m not surprised by the lengthy start up time, but could do without it on a phone.

as with all samsung products, they do not provide software for use on a mac, which is troublesome having to find a windows machine to transfer data, sync the phone, or make any kind of back-up.

i have found the text input works well, but for me the only viable option of the 9 available is the samsung phonepad, meaning i’m no better off than using a traditional phone. but this works much better than an my dads iphone which i’ve played around with a bit.

the battery life is poor. i found i could completely run down a fully charged battery in 3 hours with wifi turned on. with 3g on it would be dead in under a day. otherwise the battery life is great when used as a plain phone.

the camera looks great when it works, which i have found to be infrequently. §1the normal response when trying to start the camera is a box saying that the program can not be run to to a lack of video memory. even after closing all running programs this is not remedied.

the screen looks great, and the accellorometer works great, and i have no problems with the 1-3seconds it takes to rotate. the problem is with video playback. not only does the phone not play back .svi (samsung video) but when the device plays a movie it tends to be quite laggy and unpleasant.

i haven’t tried using the phone with the headphone jack, so can’t judge the audio.

network strength is fine. i find the phone book great although the touch and drag scrolling can be annoying. when you touch to drag, sometimes this doesn’t scroll but opens the contact.

the menu system is great, simple, but the touch drag through programs proves problematic like with the phonebook.

adding further widgets does not work. so i couldn’t add any weather widgets like with the htc phones.

opera browser is lovely to use, and should be available on all phones. it works in every way that could be expected, and i found it much better than safari on mobile. copying and pasting is a big point that windows mobile has over apple mobile.

the phone looks cool, and i have kept it in a sock so have no scratches or finger prints which keeps it looking wow.

my bottom line is that i think the phone is wonderful but windows is slow and prone to crashing so i am selling the phone.
having played with an iphone this last week, and trying the nokia n96, htc touch diamond and black berry bold, i am most impressed by the black berry bold, and keeping a separate device for media playing.
the htc dream is out this week, and new blackberry thunder (touch screen) so for now i choose my samsun d900i.

The camera is not a joke, It is however not advisable to take pictures at full res!

I have had problems after buying this phone. I’m not really someone who is expert in phones so normally just simple basic phone applications are good enough for me. I don’t need to use the high-end appilcations like windows mobile, GPRS, GPS, windows messenger etc. However it still poses problems.

The start up time is so slow, it almost took an entire minute
It hang a few times
The screen went black and doesn’t activate after sleep mode sometimes even though I press the power button, I changeed the firmware and so far it has been ok
Touch screen isn’t very sensitive
GPRS can turn on by itself- this is a major problem because sometimes it may be downloading stuff itself and charging me money at the same time- This is really a pain, I had to change the settings so that it doesn’t happen.
The camera flash isn’t very good
Battery life is very bad if you use the camera, watch movies, listen to the radio too much. The newer firmware DXHH3 eats up even more battery life.


The camera is 5 megapixel!
Mine is 16gb and plus the microSD- I can add another 4gb or more
There is wifi included which I like as I can tap my school’s internet
The bluetooth is not bad
The widgets are kinda cool
There is windows media player which I really like

SY Tan
OK, cool phone so far. I had played with it around for few days using an unactivated SIM.

Just wondering would this phone act stupidly like previous window mobiles do, which after remove the battery from the phone, it auto reset like just come out from new box?

i had sux experience using O2 Xda phone. Which i lost my contact and SMS which i stored in it if the battery been remove for somewhile.. or even battery runs flat??

Does this happens?
Any1? Advise?

Much appreciated 🙂

Since windows mobile 5, persistent storage is present so even if the battery is removed nothing is lost. Only way to lose data is by doing a hard reset or a firmware update

It can’t play videos when using Opera mobile on Samsung i900 Omnia on the internet. Why is that so?

RE:It can’t play videos when using Opera mobile on Samsung

check the reviews that talks about the Omnia playing flash

Haroun Kola
I’m using my i900 for video blogging and only now getting used to it. I came across this cool mobile video editor, TrakAx, and I’m hoping they’ve got a version for my Omnia.

Anyway, thanks for a great post

Dan P. Awindor
I ordered my i900 samsung from Germany and it came to me in German language. Is there any way i could change the language to English since there is no where in the settings that allows you to do that. I still can’t use the phone because of that. Can anyone help me out? But i think the phone is good.Thanx.

I don’t have the device any longer but I think you should take a look in this forum and maybe ask the question there, a few omnia users with similar problems.

I realised that whenever i install 3rd party apps. and those are required to be installed in the device memory, it will install in the device memory’s storage, but not program memory. is there anyway to install them in program memory? because the device storage have very little space. I have 3.14mb storage memory and 48.92MB storage memory left in the device. really helped me a lot.

I am going to buy samsung i 900 omnia and I want to know how work micrsoft EXCEL and WORD on this phone ? is it full version or just reader ?


i have this phone for two days, and i dont know how to use it, were can i get a full lenth
manual for, someone please help me

You can change the language if its a Samsung generic phone but you’ll need to change your ROM.

Unfortunately it did not work out for my Samsung i900 (Vodafone NL). When starting the software to replace the ROM, I get the error message “wrong software version. Check device” in Dutch. I need English on my device Vodafone version or not.

Anybody any idea?

could you please let me know how to change my screen, at the moment my screen is side ways on my phone,i need it to be up right any help please

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[…] feature is the widget bar on the main screen. This was one of the best features of the recent Omnia and its easy to see why it would lend itself so well to almost any phone on the market. Here it is […]

Hello, i got the omnia this monday, ive been trying to install the active sync program you get with it, but it gives an error everytime i insert the cd to run it. Anyone know about it? And what can be done about it?


Loved the phone but had to return it was not the phone for me. Unless you have small fingers there isn’t a virtual keyboard out there for anyone no matter how “smart” the phone is, it was hard for me to touch several buttons, especially on the sides. The volume was low even on the highest level, but the speakerphone was very good volume. The touch screen should have a lock for your settingss. unless you touch the top button, the screen wont go blank for over a minute. The keychain stylus is a big pain, it should of had a slot in the phone for it. I would probably lose 10 of these a year, and is very inconvenient if keep your phone in your pocket. And my biggest complaint is that if you are outside on a sunny day (even in the shade) it is next to impossible to see anything on the screen (really, really bad). When I returned it, the person said that was the most common reason for people returning the phone.

hi there,

i finally got the omnia yesterday and since then i have had a constant headache! i have no idea what’s happening on this phone. and after reading the comments posted here my heart has sunk. does all Omnia’s give the above mentioned problems? hanging, dropping and freezing?

My problem at the moment is i cant figure out the memory on this phone. perhaps i need to play with it a bit more. the batt life is awfull, phone lasted a day.

not happy with the camera so i agree with everybody else.

i have a terrible headache, will play with the phone tonight and note my questions. hopefully somebody can help!


Kris A. Stevens
This was a really great review! My friend sent me his unlocked from England (Vodaphone) and I really love it even thought I cannot get the Internet on it. I have T-Mobile and even paid for browsing, but it keeps resetting itself back to Vodaphone 🙁 so I gave up.

There is one thing that annoyed me and it is lack of support/informatiion on it. The CD that comes with it was useless. I finally found a manual online, but it does not say how to enlarge the icons or bold the text or any other instructions for setting up the phone. The mobile stores are useless because you are not buying anything or maybe because they do not know either.

My question to you is: The images on this review, are they graphic or photos? My text and icons are so small I can hardly read them. It would have been nice if someone, Samsung or MS provided a real user manual with this phone!

The pictures were actual screenshots from the phone

I recently got i900. I use t-mobile service here in the US. I have no trouble to get on line via Wi-Fi on my new cell, but for some reason I CANNOT watch any videos if I go on or play any music… Why? Do I need to change my settings? What are these setting? Thanks for your help.

cel perez
pls. help me i got omnia a week ago and after installing third party application like iphone interface now the setting is not working, even i click the setting icon it doesnt work anymore how can i retore it to original program. do i need to bring to service center or somebody can help me and also i want to restore my original phone pad beacase now i have the iphone black dial pad ..thanks

i own this cell phone! n i love every min i have wit it!
there are NO faults! i had it since nov n its feb! the battery life is amazing i can got for about 3 days without charging it!

i love this phone again. i think everybody should get it! its idiot proof lol

Would very much appreciate if someone can help me with the google maps setting, I bought a new Omnia and downloaded google maps, the program starts fine, but can’t locate any satellites, I tried changing the COM settings, but still can’t figure it out!! Appreciating and help

hey i know this mite be a stupid question but can anyone tell me if the musix player on this is like the ipod touch where i can just download from limewire and add to the library or would tht not work?

thanks a lot for such detailed information. I am debating inbetween Omnia and HTC Touch Pro. hopefully, after I read review for the Touch Pro, I’ll be able to choose. You’ve got very helpful info! Thanks a lot.

“-Which i lost my contact and SMS which i stored in it if the battery been remove for somewhile.. or even battery runs flat??
-Since windows mobile 5, persistent storage is present so even if the battery is removed nothing is lost. ”
Thanks I ‘m looking for this allover the net…

I looked at the Omnia several times in a Verizon Store before ordering it online. At first I liked the phone but as I began using it and going through the settings, I realized the weakest features are the phone and texting.
Once you make a call the keypad locks down and you must unlock it every time you make an entry, such as if you are going through a menu to get information from the source you called. It also cannot be set to give a message alert reminder, if you miss the initial ring/alert of an incoming call or message, you will not get another audible alert/r…