Samsung Omnia HD Review Part-1: Design

061020091372The Samsung OmniaHD or i8910 HD as it is known, is one of the many touchscreen devices launched by the Korean chaebol in India. Samsung’s first touchscreen Symbian device is by no means a flash in the pan. Samsung has been a supporter of the S60 initiative since a long time, but unlike Nokia it did not really capitalize on this platform.

Recently, Samsung has begun to look at it seriously, with the i8510 and the i8910 HD, it has renewed its commitment towards the Symbian platform. The Omnia HD is one beast of a phone. It is by far the biggest S60 device (touch) available in the market today, big enough to make the N97 seem small.

This first part of the review will throw light on the design aspect of the Omnia HD.

061020091379The Samsung Omnia HD is relatively straightforward in it’s design. Almost rectangular in shape, Samsung had played it safe by not experimenting with this simple design, and that’s good. The screen is surrounded on all sides with a chrome strip which also houses the ‘Call’, ‘Menu’ and the ‘End/Power’ keys at the bottom. These three keys are not back-lit at all, which is bad, it seems as if Samsung expects the owner to use the AMOLED screen as light for the keys. How could the keys not be back-lit is actually beyond me, I thought that it is a standard must have on any phone. A secondary VGA camera and the light and proximity sensor are on the top left side of the phone.

061020091386On the left side of the phone one can find the volume keys and the Micro SD card slot. To the right is the lock key, the Micro USB port and the camera key. The top and the bottom house the stereo speakers, quite a weird position to have the speaker. On the top of the phone one will also find the 3.5mm audio jack and the lanyard cable slot. The rear houses just the camera and the LED flash. Our review device had already taken a few knocks before it reached us. It is grazed from a few corners.

The entire phone is covered in high quality gloss, which makes this the biggest finger print magnet of all times. Also for some odd reason, Samsung has neither provided a kickstand in the device nor any sort of ‘grip’ to hold the phone or open the battery cover. Which is silly and downright irritating. I found, opening the battery cover in the Omnia HD very irritating and cumbersome, it’s as if, Samsung doesn’t want you to open the device at all and insert a SIM even.  Absence of a lens cover on the Omnia HD is another thing which I did not like.

061020091374Overall the phone has very good build quality, it is a very sturdy device. The design is minimalist which adds a bit of class to this device. Samsung have played it safe with the design of this device and it has almost worked for them. Below is a gallery of the Omnia HD from various angles.

I’d give it an 8 on 10 for the design. Good phone with clean design and a few silly niggles.

Stay tuned for the next part of the review – we will be focusing on the imaging aspects of the OmniaHD as the name itself indicates HD quality video recording capabilities

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