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Samsung Omnia M review

 Review: August 2012  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Samsung Omnia M is a mid-range Windows Phone smartphone that lags behind Nokia's Lumia series.



Smuggled out under the cover of the London 2012 Olympics, the Samsung Omnia M is a Windows smartphone that isn't going to win any medals. Not because Samsung have been slipping it performance-enhancing drugs, but because it has clearly been watching from the sofa rather than getting out and doing some early morning training sessions.

Compare the Omnia M with the Omnia 7 phone, released the best part of two years ago. Are they the same phone? They look almost the same. They are the same size - to the millimetre. The specifications are identical in almost every respect - same processor, same screen, same connectivity, same battery, same everything. The only significant change is the operating system. The Omnia M runs the latest version of Windows Phone - version 7.5 Tango.

Now having said all that, we're still awarding the Omnia M 4 stars. Why's that? Because the phone has many good features and because we like using the Tango operating system. The phone is fast for one thing. Despite having only a single-core 1GHz processor, Tango runs smoothly. The user interface is a pleasure to use, and looks good on the 4 inch Super AMOLED display. It's bright, it's clear and it's easy to read even in sunlight. With Tango's live tiles it's easy to stay connected with facebook and twitter activity too. Emails, texts and missed calls are all clearly displayed on the home screen, along with customisable widgets like the weather forecast. Android geeks may sneer at the simplicity of the interface, but people willing to open their minds will be pleasantly surprised by Windows Phone.

The camera isn't the best in town, being a rather average 5 megapixel snapper that can't even record HD video. It does have a second front-facing video camera however, all ready for video calling.

Music works well on the Omnia M with support for a wide range of music formats via the Zune software. There's an FM radio with RDS too and music quality is good. A 3.5mm audio jack lets you plug in any standard-sized headphones.

The Omnia M is a great phone for anything internet related. As well as the dedicated social media apps, the web browser is fast and reliable, although it won't display flash-enabled content. Data connections are fast, with a combination of 3G HSDPA and Wi-Fi. You can access extra cloud-based storage using Windows Live Skydrive or Samsung's new Family Story service for sharing photos with friends and family.

Battery life seems to be better than many smartphones. With a large 1500mAh battery and improved performance, the Omnia M outlasts the older Omnia 7 phone and outperforms the rival Nokia Lumia 800.

Comparing the Omnia M with rival Windows Phone options, it seems to be over-priced. For the same monthly contact you could pick up the Nokia Lumia 800 with a faster processor, HD video recording and more memory. Or the you could get the cheaper Lumia 710 which still manages to outperform the Omnia M in many ways. Look for the price of the Omnia M to fall before you rush out and buy it.

Samsung Omnia M features include:

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