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Samsung Omnia 7 review

Price depends on contract

Manufacturer: Samsung

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The Samsung Omnia 7 is a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 smartphone featuring an impressive 4in Super AMOLED display. Updated, 31 March 2011

The Samsung Omnia 7 is a Microsoft Windows Phone 7 smartphone featuring an impressive 4in Super AMOLED display. Updated, 31 March 2011

Samsung holds the distinction of designing the flagship handsets in both the Android and Windows Phone 7 camps. The Galaxy S was used as the basis of the Google Nexus S, while the Samsung Omnia 7 is the most attractive of the Microsoft-based models. It’s also the brightest, sporting a 4in SuperAmoLED display.

Available on contract from Orange or 3, the Samsung Omnia 7 tips the scales at 138g, but feels heavier. This is perhaps due to its tough aluminium casing. However, it’s a scant 11mm thick (a smidgen less than the LG Optimus 7). It’s 64mm across - broader than we’d like; we found it difficult to clasp.

HTC calls the screen on its Desire HD handset ‘cinematic’, and we can only describe the Omnia 7 in similar terms. When you power it on, the opening page is even in suitably Art Deco lettering. Since the display is so bright anyway, it’s a relief to find the Windows Phone OS tiles rendered in a fairly muted blue. Whereas some of the other Windows-based phones impose their own take on how the OS should behave, Samsung has let the hardware do the talking.

Given the visual credentials, it’s no surprise to find photos almost supernaturally lifelike, while the 1GHz dual-core processor ensures smooth video playback. Unusually, the Samsung supports 25fps video recording as well as Mpeg, H.264, H.263 and WMV.

Although there’s no promise of Dolby Mobile audio enhancements, the Omnia 7 offers a pleasing entertainment setup. It boasts a pair of speakers, Bluetooth 2.1, an FM radio, 3.5mm audio jack and the Zune Wi-Fi media-sharing feature that’s native to the OS.

With these aural credentials, we were in little doubt that call volume and clarity would pass muster. The heavyweight physical build of this device seems to give extra throatiness to music playback and more depth to the spoken word.

Slightly less impressive is the 5Mp camera, but only because the 8Mp LG impressed us so much. You do, however, get a dedicated camera hardware button: something we missed on many of its rivals. 

Next page: Our original review of the Samsung Omnia 7, from October 2010 >>

Samsung Omnia 7 Expert Verdict »
Samsung Omnia 7 i8700 Scores 8.3 out of 10 based on 449 reviews
Qualcomm 8250 SnapDragon, 1Ghz
1500 mAh battery
800 x 480 pixels/4in Touch Sensitive (Capactive) Super AMOLED
5 mega-pixels (auto-focus), 3x Digital Zoom, LED Flash
Recording Resolution: HD (720p), Recording Speed: 25fps, Video Zoom
LED Video Light
MP4, 3GP, DivX, XviD
MP3, AAC, eAAC+ & WMA
FM Radio (RDS)
SMS, MMS (with video), Email (POP3, IMAP4, Exchange)
8GB (internal) 2G: 850/900/1800/1900 Mhz (Quadband)
3G: 900/1900/2100 (Tri-band)
WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
HSDPA (5.76.6Mbps)
HSUPA (3.6 Mbps)
Bluetooth (2.1)
microUSB
3.5mm Audio Connector
AGPS
Digital Compass
Bing Maps
Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor, Features: Web Browser
Office Document Editing (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
138g
64x122x11mm
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 9 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

A fantastic-looking Windows-based smartphone we’d be proud to pull out our jacket pocket, the Samsung Omnia 7 shows just how good photos and videos can appear. Although it’s slightly larger than we’d like, it’s only the underwhelming camera that prevented us awarding the Samsung the crown in this category.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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