Review: Samsung Omnia M (GT-S7530)
In May of this year Samsung announced their second Windows Phone 7.5 based device, the Omnia M. The Omnia M is positioned in the low to mid range market and its positioned lower than the Omnia W which is the mid range market. You will find the Omnia M in selected markets.
In 2010 Samsung’s first device running on Windows Phone 7 was the Omnia 7, which has almost the same specifications as the Omnia M. The main differences are with the Omnia M are that the Omnia 7 has a slightly more powerful processor, more on-board storage and a metal enclosure but it lacks a front facing camera.
Even though Samsung discontinued the production of the Omnia 7 you still may find it for sale in some shops.
In this review we will take a closer look at the Omnia M.
HSDPA 7.2 Mbps
4.0” Super AMOLED
Windows Phone 7.5
Main(Rear) : 5Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with Flash ＋ VGA
Video : MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WM
Codec : MP3, AAC, AAC＋, eAAC＋, WMA
|Family Story cloud-based family network (Downloadable)|
|Samsung ChatON mobile communication service|
– Integrated Messaging (Email, SNS)
– Contact Sync
Music and Video Hub
– 3G video call with front-facing camera
Windows Live SkyDrive
|Accelerometer, Digital compass, Proximity|
|4/8GB User memory ＋ 384MB(RAM)|
|121.6 x 64.1 x 10.5mm, 119 g|
|Standard battery, Li-ion 1,500 mAh|
The phone has a 4 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 800 x 480. Above the screen you can find the VGA front facing camera, ear speaker and some sensors like the light and proximity sensors. Below the screen you’ll find the 3 touch sensitive keys, in the middle you’ll find the home key which has a Windows logo, on the left there is a back key and on the right a search key.
On the left side you’ll find the volume rockers and on the right side is the lock key and the dedicated camera shutter key, all keys are easy to press.
The 3.5mm is on the top of the device and the Micro USB port and the microphone are on the bottom.
On the back you’ll find the 5 megapixel camera with a LED flash and the speakers, unfortunately sound can be muted when the phone is laying on its back.
The back cover is made of plastic. Underneath you can find the battery and the simcard slot. What’s missing is a slot for expanding the capacity with for example Micro SD.
The device has a candy bar form factor and feels good in the hand, with the 4 inch Super AMOLED screen is quite compact and it’s quite easy to use in one hand especially if you compare it with the 4.6+ inch screens which you can find several flagship devices from different vendors.
With just 119 gram it’s also lightweight and with a thickness of 10.5mm it’s not super thin but also not thick either.
Operatingssytem and Apps:
As mention earlier the phone is running on Windows Phone 7.5 which is also called, Mango. On the Omnia M you won’t find Samsung TouchWiz user interface, but instead you’ll get the stock Windows Phone user interface. The reason why you won’t find the TouchWiz UI is because it’s not allowed to add a UI to Windows Phone by Microsoft.
To differentiate of other vendors Samsung has decided to preloaded some apps that they have developed, you will find the following apps: Allshare DLNA, FunShot, MiniDiary, Now. Photo Studio, ChatOn and Video Call.
With Allshare you can stream videos, photos and music from your device to a DLNA certified device for example a TV.
FunShot is an app that is using the camera for making photos with real-time effects like: Bulge, Pinch, Twirl, Twist and much more! Keep in mind that this is a processor intensive app since its using real-time effects.
MiniDiary is as the name is saying a diary app, its has clean and easy to use interface. You can add: photos, locations, recorded voices, drawings and of course text to your diary.
The Now app is basically the daily briefing app that some of you may know from previous devices. With Now you check the weather, news, stocks, currency and top tweets.
Photo Studio is an app where you can take photos in a different modes like for making panorama shots. You can also edit the photos (changing brightness, cropping etc.). There is also a built-in feature for sharing you photos that you have made or have edited.
ChatON: Is Samsung’s messenger client where you can send text and multimedia messages to your friend and family who are using ChatOn. The service is also available on Android, bada, Blackberry OS, iOS and there is also a web client.
The Video Call app lets make you video calls over 3G. Out of the box Windows Phone doesn’t support video calls over 3G, but with the app you can actually use the video call functionality over a 3G network. Unfortunately you can’t using over a WiFi connection.
In the Marketplace you’ll find Samsung Zone, this is actually Samsung’s own zone inside the Marketplace where they have a selection of apps. In the Marketplace you’ll find Samsung Zone, this is actually Samsung’s own zone inside the Marketplace where they have a selection of apps which are selected by Samsung. You will also find their preloaded apps in case that you have deleted an app and you want to use it again.
The Omnia M has a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with a LED Flash. The software is pretty extended you have the most common used settings to make photo’s. You can change the saturation, sharpness, ISO, focus mode, white balance, image effects (Mono, Negative and Sepia), contrast, EV, metering, photo quality (low, medium and high) and the resolution (VGA, 2MP, 3MP or 5MP)
The video camera interface is also pretty extended and straight forward. You can choose between different settings like saturation, white balance, video quality and more. You can shoot videos in 720p or in VGA resolution.
Here is a video sample taken with the Omnia M:
We’ve used the Omnia M for almost a week and a half and we had absolutely no problems with making or receiving calls. The call quality is really good and is on par with other Samsung smartphones. We didn’t had any drop calls are any other call related issues.
The battery life is average, with normal usage we got about a day and a half. With normal usage we mean: 20 minutes of calling on 2G/3G, 30 minutes WiFi usage, 30 minutes browsing internet over 3G and WiFi, 10 minutes of watching videos, 1 push email account and 1 email account manual fetching. We’ve used the black theme in combination with the automatic brightness setting (light sensor). Unfortunately we noticed that using GPS in combination with 3G is really draining the battery pretty fast, just like we noticed on the Omnia W.
As you may know the device is running on a 1 gHz single processor which is made by Quallcomm. Even that the processor is ‘just’ a single core clocked at 1gHz its runs smoothly. It’s not as smooth as the Omnia W but it’s very close. Opening apps was also pretty fast and browsing the internet was a flawless experience! Just like on the Omnia W you would almost forget that the device is just running on a (fast) single core processor, thanks to the flawless and smooth experience.
As we mentioned in the introduction you will find the Omnia M in selected markets, you can find the Omnia M for example in India, UK and Italy. We received our unit from India.
The Omnia is priced between the 225 and 275 euros which is a normal price for a low to mid range device but in our opinion the price is too high if you compare it with other competitors like the Nokia Lumia 610, Nokia Lumia 710 and ZTE Tania. Besides the price we also know the device won’t get an update to Window Phone 8 which will come out later this year. Mostly likely is that Omnia M will receive Windows Phone 7.8 update which will also be the latest update for this phone. Where the Omnia W was scoring high on the price/specifications ratio is quite the opposite with the Omnia M. The Omnia M is still a good device with a 4 inch Super AMOLED screen which some people would prefer instead of the 4.6+ inch screen and the smooth flawless performance. The biggest drawback is in our opinion that you’ll only have 4gb storage which you unfortunately can’t expand with Micro SD since its not supported.
– Smooth performance
– Dimensions, its not too small or too big.
– Price/specification ratio
– Just 4 GB of storage (not expandable)
– No update to Windows Phone 8