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Samsung i8000 Omnia 2 review

 Review: November 2009  

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung Omnia 2 is one of the greatest mobile devices ever! It may be big and it may be expensive, but this is perhaps the most powerful smartphone so far released.



Let's declare some bias at the start of this review. At Mobile Phones UK, we're fans of the Windows Mobile operating system, and we generally like the current generation of Samsung touchscreen phones. That doesn't mean that they're beyond criticism, but we tend to like them. Funnily enough, our users do too, which is why our user reviews consistently rate them at 4 or 5 stars on average. We loved the first Omnia, and so we're really excited to be reviewing the new Omnia 2.

The Omnia 2 has been restyled, and looks almost identical to the Samsung Jet. It's bigger and heavier than the Jet however. Bigger and heavier than the original Omnia too, making it quite bulky in fact. But there's an upside to this increase in size: the screen has grown from 3.2 inches to a massive 3.7 inches, and the resolution has quadrupled to 480 x 800 pixels. Samsung have achieved this by replacing the old TFT screen with a crisp beautiful AMOLED display, which looks better and uses less power. Only the HTC Touch HD can rival the Omnia 2 in screen real estate. For power users, web browsers and mobile photographers, this can only be a bonus.

Apart from this outward change, the big change inside is the upgrade of Windows Mobile to version 6.5. Windows Mobile is a very powerful and robust computer-like platform for running a mobile phone. First-time users sometimes find it overly complex, but for power users it offers a very flexible and customisable experience. Version 6.5 brings some improvements such as My Phone, to sync text messages, photos, video and contacts to the Web; and Windows® Marketplace for Mobile, a new marketplace that will provide direct-to-phone mobile applications and can be accessed from both the phone and the Web. The new Windows Mobile 6.5 home screen provides a dashboard-like experience to items such as new emails, texts, missed calls and calendar appointments. It also includes an improved touchscreen interface, and an updated version of the Internet Explorer Mobile browser. Samsung have integrated this nicely with their own TouchWiz user interface, adding widgets to extend the functionality of the home page and providing quick links to applications such as facebook. We're not disappointed by the user interface.

The Omnia 2 is a fabulous phone for all kinds of media. Whilst the camera hasn't been upgraded, we can hardly complain. A 5 megapixel camera with autofocus, face detection, smile detection, auto-panorama and macro, the only weakness is the lack of a xenon flash. Instead the camera uses a power LED flash, which makes it trickier to get good exposure after dark, but otherwise takes excellent shots. The video camera is excellent too, and is capable of recording in 480p format at up to 720 x 480 pixels for DVD quality. The phone also supports video calling, unlike Android phones for example. When it comes to video playback, the high resolution screen is unbeatable, and there's full multi-codec support including DivX support, so you shouldn't have any format compatibility problems. The media player can also handle most kinds of audio format, and we are impressed by the audio quality. An FM radio with RDS is included. We also very much welcome the 3.5mm audio jack, which lets you plug in standard-fit headphones for the best possible audio experience. Top marks here!

The Omnia 2 has a superb implementation of the mobile web. With the highest resolution screen on the market, the latest release of Internet Explorer Mobile and fast 3G access using HSPA, you really couldn't ask for a better browsing experience. Features such as one finger zoom make web browsing quick and intuitive. AGPS is included, with car and pedestrian maps and features such as geo-tagging of photos. If you get bored of all this, you can also try out the various games embedded in the phone. These make use of the touchscreen and motion sensor.

When it comes to office applications, the Omnia 2 has an edge, being based on Windows Mobile. Whether synching with Outlook or accessing push email with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, editing MS Office documents or running third party apps, you'll find a real wealth of mobile office functionality here, that makes Windows Mobile 6.5 the best smartphone platform in our opinion.

The battery life of the phone is quite impressive, especially for such a powerful device. The use of a powerful 1500mAh battery and the OLED screen make all the difference here, although the downside is of course the size and weight of the device. The amount of memory available is also impressive, and has been increased to 16GB with an option to expand this to a humongous 48GB with a microSD card. This would let you store around 16,000 music tracks or 46 DVD-quality movies! The range of connectivity options covers all the bases: WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm jack, TV-Out and DLNA support. With 256MB of SDRAM memory and 512MB of Nand memory available for running apps, you'll find that you can use the phone without any go-slow or crashes resulting from low memory, and the super-fast 800MHz processor packs enough punch to power the device without any noticeable lag.

Overall we're just as impressed by the Omnia 2 as we were hoping to be. Samsung have made the device more powerful, yet easier to use at the same time. They've made the screen enormous, increased the memory, added a 3.5mm audio jack and updated the OS. The only issue is the size of the device. But it's about the same as the iPhone 3GS, so we'd guess that isn't going to be too much of a problem. No doubt about this one ... 5 stars all the way!

Samsung i8000 Omnia 2 features include:

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Samsung i8000 Omnia 2 user reviews

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Average rating from 40 reviews:

Reviewed by bala from singapore on 5th Mar 2012
very very worst mobile always hang hang hang i using 2year very slow..........

Reviewed by Amital from Israel on 31st Jul 2011
This is terrible phone! It always STACK and needs Restart (disconnecting the battery...) Samsung refuse to support. They have plenty excuses - "We did not import it - try in UK (I tried in UK - they refused because it purchased in Italy. In Italy site every thing in Italian...) In addition The AMOLED is very sensitive and "scratched from the air" You have to know that the AMOLED life is VERY SHORT!!! (it became weaker very soon - this is the technology! - BUT its beautiful...)

Reviewed by Craig from UK on 29th Jun 2011
After using an iPhone for a long time my company got some of these as development devices. I have never before seen a product so dreadful or so poorly supported as the Samsung Omnia II I8000. It has wasted days trying to update the firmware to WM 6.5 and Samsung seem to offer no help whatsoever. It also crashes frequently and has a really clunky set of built in applications and UI elements. Worst of all it has a resistive screen! Due to my experience with this device I will never buy another Samsung product.

Reviewed by Velja from Croatia on 9th Oct 2010
Absolutely worst phone I ever had. Keyboard is non-responsive, you cannot see anything in sunlight, os works glitchy and laggy. Terrible, terrible phone, should have never seen the market. Made me have second thoughts about Samsung.

Reviewed by A-run from UK on 7th Aug 2010
I bought this phone in india 2 months ago with Windows mobile 6.1. It has many good features. But I could not browse internet with both built in IE & Opera Mobile though internet connection is established. Both the browsers display Error Message! I tested with 2G & 3G sims. I asked the dealer who advised me to upgrade to windows 6.5 version to solve the problem, but upgradation is not available in India. Waiting... It do not fullfil my needs. I am just using the high cost phone just like the Great Man Mr. A.G. Bell. If anyone get fascinated with omnia ii, please check the internet connectivity thouroughly before buy!. Thanks everybody.

Reviewed by drcarlos from UK on 20th Jul 2010
Had this handset about 7 months now, would I recommend it? Yes, but only if you like Windows mobile and are prepared to put in the time to update to the latest 6.5.3 firmware and customise the handset to your needs. Believe me for this you will need a bit of time and some skills in Windows mobile. Once complete is it a very good and responsive ahndset with very few problems. The Music player is excellent and easy to use, browser is good and reliable the 6.5.3 UI is excellent and a great swansong for classic Winmo. The camera is a great occasional snapper (when you don't have your DSLR to hand) with some nice features and good daylight images, low light is OK but hey this is a phone. The phone really the main part of this handset is good and reliable with zero dropped calls so far and a good ability to hold on to a signal in low signal areas. The touch responsiveness of the screen is a big step up from earlier incarnations of resitive screens, it obviously can't match capactive screens but I can use this phone with gloves on if I want to and don't need multitouch, it you don't need it don't worry and a double tap to zoom in the browser works just as well. Also with 6.5.3 you do not need the stylus at all as every icon or button is now large enough to work with a finger. Battery life is otustanding for a smartphone with an easy 3 days of standby being achieved with this handset (60 minute email sync and bluettoth on) on T-Mobile. Do I have any issues with it? One or two yes. The GPS can be a bit slow to lock on but this is no big deal usually. The screen is difficult to read in bright sunlight but most colour LCD's are. The 5 star rating is dependant on a flash to Windows Mobile 6.5.3 on the supplied 6.5.0 it still rates well but only a 4 as the improved interface and speed of 6.5.3 makes a fair difference.

Reviewed by Andrew from Saudi on 14th Jul 2010
The reviews I read below are really confusing someone who would want to buy this phone. Kevin from Australia and Debbie from Wirral say that the reception is so poor on this phone, but at the same time Joe from England sayd the signal reception is so good for him compared to his Blackberry. If you rely on user reviews you should look for reviews from your country / region as the behaviour and performance of the phones vary according to that. In Middle East we are not buying the phone with an Operator's plan, and therefore they are unlocked and expensive (pretty same but paying full amount at the time of purchasing). Frankly, I do not think that such a high end and one of the best in the companies lineup phone could have reception problems. It could rather be the operator's problem or perhaps the problems with the particular handsets and its OS. I have been a fan of smartphones and I used to beleive that NOKIA is the only relaible one. I have used a number of Symbian smartphones and out of them only Nokia N80 disappointed me badly and the best one I had was Nokia N95-8GB (no review in this Site). [Editor's comment: Nokia N95 review here.] I think Samsung had become one of the leading mobile phone makers these days and I think Omnia II is one of their best in the line up. I personally like it very much and I think it is one of the best in the market now. Always take time to purchase a new phone as you could hate it within minutes. So always be ready to accept it faults by knwoing about it before purchasing. Read reviews ask users...

Reviewed by amir from iran on 19th Jun 2010
all in all, this is the greatest smartphone i've ever had. i got really impressed by the screen quality. there is nothing wrone with this awsome phone. i really love it.

Reviewed by Marc from Aruba on 17th Jun 2010
My intitial enthousiasm about this phone started changing after 2 days. Living on Aruba and having a phone with a display on which you absolutely see nothing in sunlight is just terrible! Touching with the finger hardly ever works with one tap, it usually causes me to frustrating banging on the TXT icon, until I desperately decide to search for the stylus, since it is not on the phone itself. Multitasking is nice but for some programs I have no clue how to end them except for going to the multi-task screen and end it there. Try to write a txt message with 2 or 3 apps running in the back ground and you'll be back in the MS windows horror era, windows just not popping up or simply not reacting. I have to switch the phone on and off at least 3 times a day, just to keep it running smoothly. Never, never, should have left Nokia for looks.

Reviewed by Low from Singapore on 16th Jun 2010
I had the phone for about three weeks. Issues with the phone is that it hangs at least once a day - twice a day is not unexpected. The XT9 mode allowing choice of words is sometime functional. One has to literally bang on the screen on icons if one is to activate desired programs while the lightest touch on other icons activate programs that one does not wish to presently activate. The operating system crawls rather than runs. Placing the CUP on high operating helps somewhat but battery drains quickly. I seem to have to charge the battery once a day. As with Kevin from Australia, reception can be scratchy at times - I use another handset (a 5-year old Nokia that has taken dives into the cess pool several times) in tandem, as did Kevin, as control. Additional issues have already been hightlighted by Debbie from Wirral, UK and Ivan from Malta. I am making a laundry list of issues before I seek to exercise my warranty.

Reviewed by SKP from England on 15th Jun 2010
Wouldn't recommend, after having it 5months it runs very slow and i do have to keep resetting it, i do not like the fact you can only use qwerty text. Great camera and wifi perfect for the businessmen.

Reviewed by CHCH from Mexico Queretaro on 29th May 2010
I've bought 3 i8000... AMAZING CELLPHONE!! YEAH!

Reviewed by Kevin from Australia on 22nd May 2010
I loved the look & feel of this handset from the moment I picked it up. The interface is so crisp & clear. Unfortunately, its reception is absolutely unacceptable. I've found even in strong signal areas (I use other handsets in tandem, so I know), calls just drop out. I met a girl on the bus with the same handset and quizzed her about her Omnia 2. She said she "hates it with a passion". She has the same issues with it as I do. And to top it off, the screen is now faulty - showing horizontal interference bars across it. DO NOT BUY THIS handset. You will be sorry!!! I can't even claim on any warranty as I bought it on a dodgy website (cellswholesale - don't use them.)

Reviewed by Ivan from Malta on 21st May 2010
Well i had this phone for a month at first glimpse its menu is rather hard to get use too, scrolling slider on the menus are glitchy. I needed to reset the phone constantly. Annoying volume level buttons which you easily hit and activates while handling the phone. Sound quality is poor on the speaker phone. Battery drains fast even on the lowest screen brightness and you need to charged it every overnight and charging is slow. Canít have a ringtone for a specified group like family, business etc... i had use help from SPB shell apps to have useful features and have easier menus. Touch pen has no internal storage i had to keep it hanging on the outside very impractical. People call me and say did you call me? I said no ďAhĒ maybe the phone made automatic calls on its own! Impossible to dial a number in direct sunlight. Rather Big for the jeans pocket and car keys. microphone broke down after a month  i went back to my very reliable Nokia 6300. the end result i thrown in the bin end of story.

Reviewed by Debbie from Wirral UK on 5th Apr 2010
Hate it ! Im about to take it back for the 3rd time ! It would be good if it did what its says it can! I've had so many probs with this pnone ie, takes 5 seconds to turn on from stand by ! not recognising no's i've saved, loses messages, keyboard dissappears when txtin, doesn't recognise memory card, low memory so i deleted all photos 1 week later they reappeared ! searches and downloads new files that aren't there, phone signal very poor and crackles so you cant hear the other person speaking...The list goes on thats before i go on internet ... Its been repaired took 2 weeks got it back its saying my memory is critically low i've only put 4 cd's on it and 69 photo's ... I've tried downloading updates etc it doesnt work plus the activesync samsung recommend i download isn't commpatable with my windows vista pc ! Surely i shouln't have to upgrade a brand new phone ! I'm at my wits end with this phone. Im paying a contract i'm not using. i'm told i cant terminate the contract !Its been faulty since i bought it but because i percivered thinking it was my fault i'm being penalised ! Nightmare phone dont buy unless you wanna spend hours on tinternet trying to solve probs or going back and forward to the shop getting it repaired !

Reviewed by Glen from UK on 23rd Mar 2010
Fantastic phone, but it is not supported by Vodafone, so if you do get one on their network and, like me, it runs into problems your in a fix.

Reviewed by MobileSpoon from England on 20th Mar 2010
In my humble opinion Ė the second Omnia misses the charm that the first version had. True, the specs are much better, and especially the screen, but the D-Pad is horrible, the plastic cover feels cheap, much of the customized applications are not as usable as in the first version, and the keyboard is not even close to the iPhone or Android virtual keyboards. I used to be a big fan of the first Samsung Omnia very much, but I donít see myself upgrade to the new version. You can read my entire review in my blog: The Mobile Spoon

Reviewed by Geo from UK on 29th Jan 2010
An amazing phone for lovers of Windows Mobile. Have owned a number of Winmo phones inc. Touch HD and Xperia and this is by far the best I've had. It has excellent battery life lasting 3-4 days with average usage (far beyond anything I experienced on other Winmo phones), an excellent camera with duel LED flash, lovely 3.7" screen that looks amazing and is fast and responsive This is an excellent media player for both video and music...the sound from a decent pair of headphones is out of this world and can easily replace your mp3 players...oh yes, and it's a great phone to use as a phone. Windows Mobile newbies beware as this may not be the phone for you but for those familiar with Winmo you'd be hard pressed to find a better phone

Reviewed by Andrew from UK on 14th Jan 2010
It is an outstanding phone. It has a lot of features that are useful and is quite fast. The only vad bit was the price

Reviewed by Christopher from UK on 14th Jan 2010
This phone is amazing.I just don't like the SMS.Is button is small for my finger which is something that annoy me cause I also press the wrong word. Besides this,this phone is awesome if you update your phone. To make it better,install 3rd party software and this phone will be complete.

Reviewed by Yas from UK on 12th Jan 2010
bought this phone 2 weeks ago and have had it replaced twice already! has excellent features but is so slow and freezes constantly. total waste of time

Reviewed by Kris from Thailand on 29th Dec 2009
I dont think both the Omnia i900 and Omnia 2 are sticks. Both of thess phones are great, but it's only for people who want something useful and ready to learn and tweak. Not just a call/receive phone. Anyway, I think everyone would agree with me on this, "We dont buy a plane to drive on the road, and again we dont use a Jaguar to do construction." These two omnias are like plane compare to simple nokia, and it's like a huge truck compare to i-phone. Each phone serves different purposes.

Reviewed by Matt from Slovenia on 19th Dec 2009
This is the worst telephone ever. Very unreliable OS, it's very slow, non-responsive, writing SMS is a nightmare,forget about fast typing, because the keyboard is very slow to respond. I regret switching from Nokia! Do not buy the phone!

Reviewed by nellie from UK on 19th Dec 2009
nice look and feel, but the interface is ridiculously complicated so the phone has gone back. gonna get myself a Nokia X6 instead.

Reviewed by Owen from China on 12th Dec 2009
Phone is beautiful very slick and better feel than the Iphone. It has all the features anyone could ever want. It made sense for me to buy a smart phone that uses Windows since I am already familiar with Windows and was hoping that it would be easier to understand and use and my computer also is a MS Windows XP OS. The Win Mo is a little confusing hope after a few days of serious playing I can make sense of it. Updating was not with out its problems and I hope that 6.5 makes win mo easier to use but the jury is still out on that. Camera flash seems to be a problem as itís not in sync with the shutter. If anyone has a fix for this please let me know. The Flash fires and then 1/2 second later the shutter opens and closes. I am not sure if itís just the shutter ďsoundĒ thatís a Ĺ second late or if itís the actual shutter but I have tried to get it to solve back lighting conditions and it always fails because the shutter and flash donít operate at the same time. Any help with this problem would be appreciated. One other problem I am having is that it is hard to get the phone to stop trying to use the GPRS to get online rather than using the wifi/wlan. I think this problem will be easier to solve but since I am new to win mo and the Samsung UI it is just going to take some time to figure it out. I also feel it would be much better if the folks at Samsung with just put the Win Mo 6.5 at the factory. I am in China and it makes it even harder to update since I had to deal with the Chinese version of Win Mo 6.1 and I donít read Chinese (nightmare) and finding people here that both speak English and understand Win Mo in English is not an easy task.

Reviewed by John from UK on 3rd Dec 2009
This phone is amazing. Nice speed.

Reviewed by Joe from England on 29th Nov 2009
I got this phone on the o2 network, and the signal is amazing! on my old blackberry, the signal was ALWAYS poor at the best of times in my hosue, but on this it is amazing. the gadgets are also great, wiht the internet access being second to non and the camera being a 5 megapixel beast. i reccomend this to everyone who needs a phone that works well, and does it all very, very fast. one of the best handheld devices ever!

Reviewed by Amy from UK on 24th Nov 2009
This is my first windows phone and I must admit it is not a complicated as people originally made it out to be, the phone has a beautiful screen, which is regularly commented on and I love the fact that to turn the snooze on the alarm I roll the phone over(simple things:)). This is much better than other phones on the market, and I am constantly finding new features, the only extra feature that Samsung could have added is the ability for the phone to make me a cup of tea and cook me dinner when I get in from work!!!

Reviewed by Dave from England on 20th Nov 2009
Had this phone a week now and have to say its fantastic. It does everything you could ever wish for in a phone. 10 out of 10

Reviewed by savannah from england on 15th Nov 2009
this phone rings people when you dont want to.

Reviewed by Jane Taylor from UK on 9th Nov 2009
Returning my user-unfriendly and hugely disappointing Sony Ericsson Satio for this. Only comment is that I thought it only came with 2GB Internal memory in the UK version and no microSD card in the box? www.mobiles.co.uk says only 2gb internal memory... I wanted a great camrea which is why I started with the Satio but would rather have a great phone and 5mp camera rather than a 12mp camera but terrible nightmare of a phone (the Satio).

Reviewed by Jeff Christopher from Glamorgan Business School on 3rd Nov 2009
Yo what up homies, this phone is the shizz!

Reviewed by vernon from New York on 2nd Nov 2009
this is absolutely amazing phone...had omnia hd for quite some time and got this as the gift from my uncle; believe me the os is much intuitive and easy to use then the symbian one on omnia hd. As far as the camera performance goes, honestly the hd video resolution didn't really convinced me since the video were quite jerky and the video size would ballon to several hundred MBs even for few minutes recording... the music quality is amazing and it seems quite much more pocketable then the ommia hd. Battery lasts quite better then the hd. So far i am utterly pleased with every aspect of this phone. Much better then nokia n97 for sure...

Reviewed by hmmm from englan on 1st Nov 2009
jus lov dis fone.......... win mobile 6.5 is the best thing in the world right now for sure...with symbian getting old and android catching up you r sure not to miss anything else with this platform... thankyou samsung , this is the best foneeee

Reviewed by shaid from uk on 1st Nov 2009
excellent phone, responsive compared to all touch screen phones. Video quality is excellent. Beware of one downfall, if you use your headset often do not get this phone. Volume on headset is so low you can barely hear it. Have checked with suppliers and tried different phones and headsets they are all the same. but do not let this deter you from what i think is the best phone i have ever had

Reviewed by Fred from Luxembourg on 29th Oct 2009
Brilliant phone, works exactly the way you always wanted a phone to work. Crystal clear screen, all the buttons in the right place. Fits into an iPhone leather pouch. Customise how you want it to look and operate. Loved it from the moment it was switched on. Battery lasts for ages - low SAR. Set up and Sync'd with Exchange Server 2008 in less than 10 minutes wired or over the air. Great !!!

Reviewed by malc from UK on 28th Oct 2009
Fantastic phone. No problems at all, no freezing, crashing or anything negative. Screen is amazingly clear and phone is amazingly fast. youtube etc is no problem at all viewed on this phone. All in all i am very happy with the phone and would recommend to anyone. Also looks amazingly cool too.

Reviewed by Jo from oz on 19th Oct 2009

Reviewed by andy pull from uk on 9th Oct 2009
This phone is awsome ive had a omina i900 before and upgraded to this baby its bigger faster.the screen is so clear compared to old omina a 5mp camara and auto focus.the screen is much easier to use than the i900 as sometimes the scree was delayed might have been the windows 6.1.this has 6.5 and is way better.it also recors in vers slow mode or in hd video format which is very good indeed.ive dowloaded about 20 apps already most of them free it has an apps store hope ive helped you out :)

Reviewed by - from - on 15th Oct 2010
Its too heavy and big

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