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Old 20-02-2009, 09:16 PM
Menneisyys Menneisyys is offline
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Samsung Omnia HD

One of the biggest announcement (and demo) of the show was that of the Samsung Omnia HD: a brand new, touchscreen- and S60 5th ed-based, heavily enhanced version of the former, WQVGA Windows Mobile device. It sports a high-resolution, 640*360 (that is, 16:9) AMOLED screen. It being based on OLED also means really vivid colors and much better viewing range than with traditional TFT.

(Samsungís booth. Just like with the previous year, most people were not permitted to take photos of anything; hence the lack of anything except for this shot.)

This device is what the true successor of the Nokia N95 should have been: better camera (at least when it comes to video recording: 720p as opposed to the VGA-only N95; note that it ďonlyĒ records at 24 fps and not 30), much better and higher-resolution screen etc., while keeping one of the greatest features of the N95: the stereo speakers. (Which, again, were dropped for the N97.) What is more, the Samsung rep stated the speakers use some kind of a stereo widening. I couldnít listen to the stereo 3D space at MWC; I can only hope it indeed can match the quality of the N95. The Mobile-Review folks stated the speakers are very loud, which is very promising Ė I REALLY hope they can even outperform those of the N95.

Note that itís not only the 24 fps recording speed that is a bit problematic with the new device, but also the battery life while recording videos: according to the Mobile-Review article, HD video recording chews through the battery in about half an hour (!!!), which is plain unacceptable (for comparison: the Nokia N95 is capable of recording video at VGA and 30fps for a lot more time Ė Iíd say well above one hour. The Canon PowerShot SD950 IS, with enabled LCD and using the 1024*768 at 15 fps mode, can record for about 40-50 minutes. I really hope this will be fixed in the final, production version. Incidentally, the same review also states the battery only lasts about a day under casual use, which is, well, far from perfect. Again, this has been measured on a pre-production unit.

Also note that, while the lens is recessed, there is still no lens protector, which is definitely a minus.

According to the Samsung rep I talked to, the Omnia HD supports not only 720p (that is, 1280*720) video recording, but also playback. Iím not sure whether this also means H.264 playback. The rep stated the Omnia HD has a dedicated video decoder circuitry but was a bit unsure about H.264 720p playback. Frankly, I donít believe it is capable of flawless, stuttering-free H.264 playback (that would be quite a feat, even when done in hardware); hope I turn out to be wrong.

Visitors to the Samsung booth, unlike with Nokia, werenít allowed to take the Omnia HD into their hands. This, unfortunately, also means I wasnít able to give its Web browser (which was stated to be something like Safari on the iPhone) a quick try to find out whether itís any good. I really hope itís considerably better than Nokiaís now-outdated S60 Web.

There will surely be no Omnia HD with Windows Mobile, which is definitely bad news for WinMo users. Nevertheless, Samsung will definitely come out with Windows Mobile handsets in the future. Itís still not known what they will be like. I really hope they come out with a matching model (OLED screen, stereo speakers with clever widening algorithms, 720p recording / hardware playback, high-quality camera, call recording just like on the Samsung Omia) so that Windows Mobile users can also have a real multimedia / camera / for people that do need call recording, phoning device Ė something HTC has always been refusing to deliver (and for which the Toshiba TG01 isnít the best choice either Ė again, it has no stereo speakers, no 3.5mm jack, no hardware acceleration, no call recording and no high-quality camera).

Make sure you check out the Mobile-Review review HERE. It has tons of comparative shots (even against the iPod Touch / iPhone screen) showing how much better AMOLED screens render colors.

Sony-Ericsson Idou

Sony-Ericssonís Idou is also pretty promising. Itís a Wi-Fi, GPS-enabled phone with a 12 Mpixel camera, Xenon flash (also sporting a lens protector slider) and a (comparatively) high-resolution (640*360; that is, 16:9) screen. See THIS for the official video (the page didnít work under Opera 10 & Windows 7 Ė had to use IE to play back the clip).

Other articles

Yet Another Demo Video The Nokia N97 In All Its Glory! (just the official demo from Nokia; nothing closer shown)
Sony Ericsson Idou!??? Highend Symbian Devices With 12.1 MP Cam?! (some additional pics of the Idou)
Productivity comes first: New Eseries devices optimized for efficiency (E55, E75)
Samsung Omnia HD [i8910]: Samsung Unveils Its First S60 Touch Device!
ZEISS CAMERA STORY: Lights... camera... mobile... Nokia N86
Official Samsung Press Release: OMNIAHD Dazzles with Its HD Brilliance
Nokia E75 Gets Unboxed, Handled And Explained (with some videos)
Samsung Omnia HD Gets Reviewed! Eldar's In-Depth Preview Available In English! - links to the review.
MWC 2009: First Day Summary: Nokia Puts Enhanced Internet Experiences - And Efficiency At The Heart Of New Solutions (a compilation of other news sources)
LG Unveils KT770: Attractive WQVGA 5 MPX Symbian S60 Slider! (as this phone does not have any really outstanding features, I decided not to elaborate on it)
Capture Your Life In More Detail With The Nokia N86 8MP (only the press release)
Nokia N86 Hands On, Promo and Designer Interview Video (better than the previous article; still no comparative shots)
Nokia N86 Eldar's Hands On: Tons Of Live Shots, Camera and Video Samples! - links to the Mobile-Review review.
MWC 2009: Nokia Round-Up
Rafe on the Nokia N86 8MP
Samsung Omnia HD launches - note that the data sheet in this review states the HD has a 1500 mAh battery. The Mobile-Review folks stated they couldnít determine its capacity.
MWC: The E75 finally official
(Note that the last three articles also have dedicated threads; they are worth checking out.)