The Samsung i8910 HD gets 'II1' firmware

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The Samsung i8910 HD (a.k.a. Omnia HD) has been left for the last couple of months in firmware limbo, with some showstopping bugs - but today sees the launch of 'XXII1' firmware (the 'II' refers to 'September 09'), with my observations below. You can get the update for your own i8910 HD by hooking it up to PC Studio (version, please!) and using the built-in Updater tool. This update has been made available by Samsung Italy, so your phone will need to have an existing Italian firmware installed before you can get the update. Note that there's no User Data Preservation, so backup and sync first - you know the drill by now, just make sure your PIM data, email settings and registration codes are all safe.


  • The C: disk does indeed get totally wiped, so most apps have to be re-installed and everything set up from scratch
  • This firmware is Italian and so will boot in Italian the first time, so don't forget to brush up your language skills (e.g. the UK is 'Regno Unito'!) in order to switch the phone set up and UI language back to your own country and English 8-)
  • The Podcasting Unicode bug is fixed (no more nonsense scrolling titles)
    i8910 HD screenshot i8910 HD screenshot 
  • Web is fixed and doesn't now crash when you try and 'Stop' a page loading. 
  • Web page zooming is faster and the 'zoom gesture' is now hinted on-screen with a graphic
    i8910 HD screenshot i8910 HD screenshot
  • The telephone dial pad now has 'abc', 'def' style lettering
  • Camera photo quality settings are tweaked for better detail (larger files)
  • There's a '3D' 'live' thumbnail carousel in place of the usual list/grid Task Manager, i.e. you see it when pressing and holding the 'S60' key down. Flicking left and right rotates the carousel. It's slower than the old method but much prettier 8-)
    i8910 HD screenshot i8910 HD screenshot
  • There's also a new animated thumbnail 'Grid' view of Task Manager, with swipes up and down the screen shuffling the displayed applications up or down. This method of getting to an application is even slower(!)
  • Generally faster operation, notably in MediaBrowser and Web
  • MediaBrowser now has a zoom facility, making it far more useful as a replacement to Gallery
  • The initia l pre-focus in video capture mode, present in the earliest firmwares, is still missing in action, though the lens does seem focussed similarly to the Nokia N86's, i.e. at a couple of metres - in good light, most things should be in focus
  • There's a new Data Transfer utility, designed to suck in data (via SyncML?) from another Symbian/S60 phone via Bluetooth. This worked well to get my PIM data from the Nokia N97. This was an area which was previously very inconvenient for i8910 HD users, so kudos to Samsung for sorting things out
    i8910 HD screenshot i8910 HD screenshot 
  • There's a new 'WLAN Creator' utility, mirroring Nokia's wizard
  • The English predictive text dictionary has been expanded
  • Extra home screen widgets (mostly Italian based), including Lonely Planet
  • Free space on C: is now around 34MB at first start; free RAM is still well over 100MB
  • Third party application support appears to have improved
  • NB: Quickoffice shows the free version 6.0 viewers in its catalogue and the update worked fine
    i8910 HD screenshot  

Things which are still present, and annoying, in 'II1':
  • There's still no server profile for 'Firmware Over The Air' (in 'Device manager') [Edit: Not surprising that]
  • Some people are reporting a noticeable hiss on the audio track of any recorded videos. In most cases this can be fixed by tweaking the mic settings, though this does involve a trip into the weird world of 'secret' menus and general hackery.
  • This firmware includes "system protected" APNs which can be annoying if, as in the case of T-Mobile, they get wrongly identified
  • There are still FOUR ways to browse your videos (RealPlayer, Gallery, MediaBrowser and VideoPlayer). FIVE, if you count File Manager. Anyone care to find a SIXTH and make my day? 8-)

Steve Litchfield and Stuart Clark, All About Symbian, 10 Sep 09