My Updated Samsung Omnia Smartphone Consumer Experience

by on October 26, 2010

in consumer

It’s been more than a year since I’ve had and reviewed my Samsung Omnia and though it does the job for what I wanted, I say that begrudgingly.  The things that annoy me are the things I can’t change or ponder what the bloody heck this is for…  Prior to Samsung, I was a Motorola only kind of consumer…. in a nutshell, I guess I’m going back after I can legitimately dump my Omnia smartphone.  If they don’t take the Omnia back, it’s becoming a very pricey skipping stone that will have a momentary experience in ‘The Bay.’  I’ve been known to get about 10-15 skips out of a stone on a good day.  It should be cool!  Heck, I may video it with its replacement!

Samsung Omnia

Keep in mind that I’m an average-Joe user with no super-special needs.  I wanted email access, Twitter usage and it turns out, I like taking the occasional picture with my phone.  So this review isn’t saying it completely sucks.  It does fine making calls, it receives calls and does most basic functions.  I’ve been having a heck of a time setting some options that should be able to be set as defaults, but they can’t.  On the bright side, it’s on the Verizon Wireless network and I really enjoyed loaning it out to iPhone users at conventions when the AT&T networks bogged down.  Hehe.  Here’s my more annoying nits with the Samsung Omnia:

When you’re in true “smartphone” mode, it automatically turns on the broadband mode.  I’m talking even if you don’t engage any broadband features. This is a battery suck I don’t like and I prefer my products to do what I want them to do, not when they want themselves to do.

When you make a phone call, instead of automatically bringing up the keypad, after dialing, it presents the menu that you have to use to choose the keypad.  Speaker phone options are not in the same screen as the keypad.  Thus, if you make a call and find you need to use both the keypad & speaker, you have done the following:  Hit the access key to be able to touch the default menu, choose keypad… make your call, hit the access key to go back to the menu, choose speaker, hit the access key to be able to choose keypad, then hit the access key (if you’re not quick enough) to use the keypad!  By now, the service you’ve called has hung up on you and you have to start over.  It’s a frakking mess.

That pesky predictive auto-fill XT-9 mode that is the default when the phone gets powered on needs some serious lessons in typing history and spelling.  Lose the predictive option Samsung.  I can’t.  I can change it out so it is turned off, but as soon as I power off my phone, and power it back on, it’s the default.  Then I need to change it out again.  I can’t set this default either.  And get it the frak out of my Opera Mobile’s address bar.

It supposedly has GPS but you have to access it with aftermarket add-ons. (the GPS capability on the Omnia appears to be associated with my Verizon VZ Navigator GPS application that costs $10/month extra.)

There is no 2.5 or 3.5mm jacks on the phone.  It’s a an all-in-one jack that requires the specific adapter.  If you’re not carrying it, you’re S.O.L..

They keyboard is too small in portrait mode and takes up too much screen in landscape mode.  Hitting keys is guess-work.  It is manageable with the stylus that is attached by a tiny tether, but still… plus over time the contact points on the screen drift.  Gotta stay on top of that one!

I won’t go back to the Omnia phone but will probably lean towards the Motorola Droid, even though word on the street is that Apple is making an iPhone for Verizon.  I’ve just not become an iPerson yet.

Consumer Side Note:

The one thing I noticed when I was shopping for a smartphone was that every time I hit up a Verizon store back then, the salesperson tried to get me on a Blackberry.  Without fail.  It felt like they were trying to offload the products.  Either way, no big deal.  The only thing I’d recommend is that you do your consumers’ homework first and know what you want when you get to the store.  Do you value battery life, video playback mode, service packages by providers, reception or what?

Know what you want before you get to the store.  If you don’t, know you are only shopping on a reconnaissance mission and not to buy.  Do your research first on the web and go in to the stores educated.  It’s the best way to not get bamboozled into something that might grate on your consumer-nerves later.

Amazon: Motorola Droid merchandise

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