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back to article Samsung sneaks out snazzy 3G iPhone rival

In a bid to steal some of the anticipated 3G iPhone's glory - Apple's expected to announce it today - Samsung has launched Ominia, its Windows Mobile 6.1-based touchscreen handset. Samsing i900 Omnia Samsung's Omnia: 3G iPhone rival Based around a 3.2in, 240 x 400 display, the Omnia also packs in GPS, and FM radio, A2DP …

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Coat

Future...

..of mobiles is candybar without keyboard and one huge touchscreen. Or is only me who can see only this kind of phones being released recently?

Anyway, I'm waiting for new Blackberry ;)

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Ed

Correction...

"In a bid to steal some of the anticipated 3G iPhone's glory"

You mean "In a bid to make sure nobody notices"... It's hardly likely the newspapers will be writing about this phone tomorrow...

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Jobs Halo

NOTHING compares to the iPhone

I do not want to sound like an Apple fanboy (they are not perfect), but having played with most of the iPhone wannabes, I can confirm they are all years behind. The iPhone's interface is instant, reliable and robustly integrated with Apple's own online & desktop services, such as iTunes and iPhoto. If the 3G iPhone includes a few popular additions such as a decent auto focus camera, an optional clip on mechanical keyboard (Bluetooth?), stereo Bluetooth, GPS (as rumored) and Blackberry email integration option, it will have no real competition. I own a Nokia N95 8G with the latest firmware and Nokia Maps. And while the phone does a lot and has a fantastic still and (almost!) 'DVD quality' video camera, the interface is half baked, as if Nokia were not sure which way to go. Some parts work well, others are dull and not intelligently thought out. A fluid consistent interface is THE most important aspect of any device for long term productivity over struggling with technology. Notice how all cars, since day one, are fairly intuitive to operate - hence little change to their 'controls' since their advent over 100 years ago. Anyway, Apple have a once off opportunity today to learn the lessons of their past and open the iPhone up more (O2 exclusivity was madness due to nature of UK market), introduce two models: An affordable several colour options iPhone 'Nano' and all-in-one super smart iPhone 'Pro'. All these iPhone wannabes will be forgotten in approx 12 hours if Apple get it right. Let's see what transpires!

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Anonymous Coward

"I do not want to sound like an Apple fanboy"

Unlucky, you just did.

The only better thing about the iPhone is the GUI, and the likes of HTC are rapidly reversing that trend.

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Thanks to Apple the competitors up their game!

Apple innovation (that's putting a great product experience together from existing or emerging technologies by the way) pushes the competitors to up their game once again.

Apple may not announce something today with as much hardware "bang" as this Samsung but I'm still betting that the iPhone 2.0 firmware is going to be much better that Windows Mobile 8-)

There is something about the WM user interface shown here that shouts BUSY, BUSY, BUSY .. "feature rich" it might be but no need to show it all on the front screen ... pleeeezzze!

For me gadgets (be it mobe, laptot or camera) have to have the right level of usability, no matter what the spec "tick boxes" on the cover might say ... its how easy it works in reality that counts. I've had a lot of gadgets which fail the usefulness test and get put away, only to be brought out on nostalgia days 8-)

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Horses/Courses

So Apple got everything right first time did they, like cut&paste and bringing a phone to Europe that could send SMS in an instant?

Just as SE, Nokia and Samsung users compromised functionality over user interface, iPhone users put the usability first and functionality second. I know I can get google maps pretty much anywhere in the country, view e-mails and Web (under the table) on customer premises anytime I want without resorting to WiFi, and snap 5MP pictures and send them quickly.

Tell me the iPhone's perfect? I say it's just a different compromise.

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Anonymous Coward

@Wonderkid

I would do a little research before stating that the controls of a motor car have changed little since their advent. They have changed massively since the invention of the motor car and "standard" control layout took a good while to arrive , with different manufacturers having very different control arrangements initially.

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@wonderkind

You were doing so well until you revealed you know nothing about the history of cars ...

... they have had all sorts of hand and foot operated controls for things like acceleration and clutch, they are still playing with how gears should be changed (flappy paddles etc., semi-automatic gear boxes, infinitely variable gearboxes etc.) and they can't even agree on whether you start the car by turning the key or pressing a start button. Even the steering wheel (which seems so obvious now) wasn't always the way of steering a car.

"Long term productivity" ... I know nearly zero people who keep a phone for more than three years (except those that just want a phone to make calls and nothing else). And of those, half stick to the UI they first learned, and the others switch to something different having hated the UI and wanting to try something else ...

... sure the iPhone UI is great, and the integration is wonderful too ... and there are thousands of engineers out there working on improving other phones, not to "copy" the iPhone but to add more features and make the phones easier to use ... and those two things aren't always compatible. Apple chose to make a simpler phone that had a great UI, and has sold several million of them. Nokia chose to add features that people said they wanted (GPS, better video camera, different colours, different shapes, different features) and has sold a billion (I believe).

I don't deny the iPhone is a giant leap forward in usabilty, but all the things you're asking for in the new iPhone have been in other phones for ages already, so claiming that the other phones are years behind is a hard claim to take seriously. Each company has spent time and effort to provide functionality, and you happen to like the usability of the iPhone but want other functionality added ... other companies put those functions in first and can now work on the usability.

I'd rather have GPS and keyboard that works now, rather than have a phone that is pretty and easy to use, but doesn't do what I want. But YMMV.

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Gold badge

Interface is the most important thing

>The only better thing about the iPhone is the GUI, and the likes of >HTC are rapidly reversing that trend.

Which is the most important part of a phone other than the reception and battery life.

Your message also indicates what is wrong with Windows Mobile, it is left to handset makers with their 'hacks' to try to make the phone behave in a usable manner. The quality if these 'launchers' is usually poor and the first thing I've done is look for the uninstall option.

When are Microsoft going to realise that they have to do more than just release a new skin and add hardware support to a new version of Windows Mobile to call it a new release.

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Coat

The turtle moves!

It'd better support ogg vorbis.

Mine's the Terry Pratchett anorak...

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Heart

Choosing a phone: iPhone or a copy?

> The only better thing about the iPhone is the GUI, and the likes of HTC are rapidly reversing that trend.

Rubbish. You've obviously not used both. Comparing the Windows Mobile interface to the iPhone interface is like comparing a Green Screen to a GUI (either a Mac or Windows). In short Windows Mobile is total tosh.

It's clunky; the browser's useless unless you want to use the "special needs" page rendering that a small minority of sites provide; the interface is nowhere near intuative... etc.

Compare that to the iPhone: the browser is orders of magnitude better, the interface is intuative/slick/good looking and generally a pleasure to use; the virtual keyboard is much easier to use than any other phone device I've used in the past.

Then there's the phone. All I have seen of these Samsung things before I bought my iPhone was a piss poor iPhone imitation. The screen contrast is poor; the screen's made of plastic; it feels cheaper, the Haptic's a bit naff, etc. Even in the photos of this device the screen's clearly visible compared with the iPhone's screen.

It will only get better tomorrow. The Samsung's already a couple of years behind; as of tonight it'll be three years behind.

Fanboi: if selecting a product based upon it's features and ease of use makes me one, then call me a Mac man.

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Alien

Welcome to Samsung's world

The slogan at Samsung should be "We don't innovate, we imitate". Samsung tries to copy every successful design out there. This is just another example of Samsung trying to be like the other phones.

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@wonderkid

Pity then that the iPhone is so lacking in functionality that it's like stepping back in time 5 years. No MMS, no delivery reports, no instant messaging, no cut/copy and paste, no video recording, no video calling, no GPS, no using your own MP3 as a ringtone, no 3G, no Flash in the browser, no Java, and they want HOW MUCH for it? No THANKS!

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iPhone vs Windows Mobile

Well, my wife has an iPhone, and I have an HTC Hermes 300 (T-Mobile MDA Vario II). Since upgrading the HTC to WM6 it's a better proposition than the iPhone. Data services are faster, removable storage is useful, and it acts as the bridgehead between Home & Work, syncing calendar and contacts through ActiveSync and Microsoft DirectPush. I have my own self-made ringtone on it, and backup is seamless.

The iPhone is sexier (Hermes is something of a brick, esp with the bigger battery) and has better battery life. You can get used to typing on it, but it's no slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Camera on it is garbage. But, it can't open a Microsoft format e-mailed appointment, it can't cut & paste text properly, and it can't forward SMS. I pretty much had to jailbreak it to get a custom ringtone on it, even though I was willing to pay for the track, just to make my wife happy.

But the biggest single thing that pisses me off about the iPhone is its "I know better than you what you wanted to type" autocorrect. Coupled with surprisingly poor cursor-shifting, it makes text entry a painstaking process of self-proofreading. I know I hit the keys I wanted to hit, but because Apple at its holier-than-thou best thinks I got it wrong, it autocorrects on pressing the space key, rather than highlighting and selecting the option (a la WM6).

So, poor integration with industry standard information management apps like Outlook (who really gives a toss about iPhoto, Wonderkid, when I can't email my wife an entry for her calendar) and frustrating nannying kill the device for me.

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UK Phone Operators

I would really like someone to shed some light on what UK network the i900 will be on, I'm due an upgrade tomorrow and think this phone might be worth the wait.

Can anyone help me?

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Screen is crap

all those yummy hardware features hiding behind a crappy screen! 200x400 is only wide-screen QVGA, which looks woefully inadequate next to the 640x480 of the HTC Touch Diamond and many others. Browsing on that screen will be like looking at the internet through a keyhole, especially with the lame MS Pocket Internet Explorer, the world's worst mobile browser.

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Dead Vulture

@ The Dark Lord

You DO realise iPhone 2.0 WILL support those syncing features and more that you say gives WinMob the edge? In fact it seems like a quite seamless integration based on existing demonstrations of it.

The iPhone is not perfect, no phone is, no computer is, and if Apple's attitude means more to you than just the usability of the device then your priorities is wrong. Even though i don't own an iPhone (I own an SE) when I spent a good amount of time playing with it I personally found the iPhone quite usable for texting.

That said I hope iPhone 2.0 OS will address more of your concerns other than just syncing, after all if you excuse the haters, we'd all benefit from a package which makes our lives easier and technology more pleasurable to use!

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Anonymous Coward

@ gary littlemore

the beauty of the UK phone network, is that any phone* will work with any operator. You just buy the phone and put the sim in.

If you're asking which networks will be offering a subsidised version, then thats entirely up to them.

*Apart from the iphone obviously

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Xperia X1

Not actually released yet, but when it is it'll trounce the iPhone. WM6.1 (so plenty software and full office integration), aGPS, HSDPA/HSUPA (so better than just 'normal' 3G), keyboard (hardware, so easier to type with), 800x480 display (so awesome for video compared to normal PDAs), pretty small for a smartphone, Excellent bluetooth, great WiFi, etc.

Also all of the features listed in @Wonderkid by Test Man.

The iPhone may have a user-friendly interface but it's nothing that couldn't be achieved by anyone else with a multitouch screen.

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Now how does it compare to iPhone 2?

At $200 for 3G, GPS and decent battery life. It'll be interesting to see how they compare. Especially with all the forthcoming applications.

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Flame

@Xperia X1

WOW!

looks like my 9300i might have just had an accident and need replacing

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Looks like a duck and quaclks like a duck...

you get the idea

looks far too much like an iCon to me.

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Stop

Thanks, but no thanks

Nice phone - only problem is that it is running Windows. I know multiple Windows Mobile users who've lost data with crashes. Keep away.

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