I had been wanting to buy my first smart phone for some time, but couldn't afford anything too expensive. After literally months of reviewing them I decided on the Samsung Omnia lite because of the functionality on offer and the good price. I have to say that, apart from a few niggles, it is a very impressive basic smart phone. Although there aren't many games or apps to download (not compared iPhones, HTC's etc) it is never the less a very practice phone and, having used the HTC Desire, I prefer this in many ways because of it's simplicity. The battery life is very good, I can just leave it on all the time and only charge it about once a week. I will admit to not making many calls on it but, having set the screen brightness to low and the performance to minimum, this does everything I want it to and doesn't cause any problems reducing the settings. The battery can be a bit funny, which is one of the niggles. It will be on 100% for ages and then very slowly decreases until it gets to 40%, then it drains a bit quicker, when it gets to 25% I've actually seen it reduce to 15% within a minute.
The other niggle is that sometimes when you receive a text message, when you go to your inbox you can't any messages at all. When you go out and back in again they're all there. However, knowing this I would still fully recommend the phone as it is very comparable to the more expensive smart phones, has great WI-IF connections, and has all the usual apps (Facebook etc). It is very easy to use and whilst the camera doesn't have any flash, in good lighting it takes a nice picture (3.2 MP isn't bad). It also comes with an MS Office package with Word, Excel and Powerpoint and I found this to be really useful and they all work great.
Other features include a voice recorder, FM radio and the ability to record from it (although this is very low sound qaulity), Satilite Navigation, internet (which can be slow but if you use sites which have a mobile verson such as ebay, it works a lot quicker), weather (which is very accurate and quick to update) and it can be used as an mp3 player. It comes with a 8GB memory card which is more than enough for taking lots of pictures with the low resolution, but you can't have a higher memory card so if you did use this for storing MP3's of chose to download games onto it, you'd use it up quite quickly.
I decided to purchase this phone after looking around at many others. I had looked at the iPhone, but I'm not a big fan of apple-based products and they did not have them on the tariffs I wanted at the time. I had also looked at a variety of phones by HTC, which are also windows based, but their size meant that they were not suitable for carrying around in your pocket. Therefore, he samsung appeared to be a good option. So, here are what I see as the pro's and con's after using this phone for about a year.
Windows based- makes the phone easy to navigate around and use. Not much need to use the manual to figure out how to change settings and access programs.
Good internet access- the phone has 2 browsers- internet explorer and opera. Both of these browser are easy to use and they are also quick to load up webpages. Some of my friends that have iPhones have commneted on how quickly my phone loads up a webpage, but I'm not sure how much quicker it is in comparison. The phone will also turn the webpage 90 degrees if you turn the phone on its side to make viewing the webpage easier.
Windows Office- The phone features a mobile version of windows office, with Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Onenote. I find word and OneNote particularly useful as I can jot down ideas and I've also written some of my training record for work on my phone and uploaded it onto my computer later, directly opening it into the full version of Office on my PC. The excel and powerpoint programs are mainly for viewing and powerpoint or spreadsheets that you upload/download onto the phone, but this is still useful for looking through any documents if you are on the way to work or a meeting.
The windows office function is one of the main reasons I chose this phone above some other windows based phones that do not have the mobile Office loaded on them.
Camera/ Video recorder- I'm not going to go into megapixels etc as this doesnt mean much to me- I'm more interested in if the photo actually looks any good! I am happy with the quality of the pictures I get with my phone- I only really use it it I haven't got my digital camera on me though.
The camera has many functions- it can recognise faces, has a moving shot function, landscapes and my favourite function is the panoramic shot- taking 5 separate pictures and knitting them together. It is very easy to use this and I have made some amazing pictures as a result.
The video recorder is also very good- picks up sound very well.
There is also a "smart function" where it will take a picture of a document or business card for example and convert it into a word document or contact on your phone.
Extra programs- There are a number of extra applications you can buy for the phone- ranging from games to foreign dictionaries. The extra "apps" are not quite as far reaching as those available for the iphone, but I havent felt the need to add too many extras to my phone anyway.
Google maps- Uses the gps to act as your mobile sat nav. Works using google and I have found this most useful when walking around London. Not as good as a normal sat nav when driving, but I do use this program fairly frequently.
Home page- you can have 3 different "homepages" on the phone. Not sure why you need all these, but I do use 2 of them- one for when I'm at home, and another when I'm in a foreing country as you can add a foreign clock to the homepage, showing the time at home and where ever you are at the time. Samsung use symbols called "widgets" that you can stick on your homepages, providing quick links to certain programs, such as facebook, youtube, google maps, foreing clocks, phone settings etc. These can be quite useful as the menu page is quite long with all the different programs on the phone.
Battery life- my phone seems to last me a few days and I do use it a fair amount with text messaging, phone calls and my bluetooth is usually left on for connecting to my hands free in the car. I do not feel I am constantly having to put it on charge.
And now for the con's....
Text messaging- Generally very easy to use, with a variety of different formats to write your messages- keyboards to using the stylus to acutally write words for it to convert into text. However, you only have one option in which to view your text messages. The viewing format is much the same as an iPhone, with it showing you the whole conversation in "speech bubbles". This is ok, as it reminds you what you have said previously, but there is one big problem, which I do find very irritating and it happens fairly frequently...
If you have too many messages from one person, so a fairly long conversation, it will attept to scroll down to the most recent message, but once it gets there all you are presented with is a blank speech bubble. It is like the phone cannot cope with the number of messages and does not show it.
Also, if you are in the middle of writing a text message back to someone, it will interrupt to tell you there is a new message, but it will not let you go back to continue writing as before... again it is like the phone cannot cope with doing more than one thing at once. It often loses the part of the message you have written and you have to close and re-open your messages to start again!!
Memory- Again, following on from the messaging issues- probably caused by the same problem.. if there are too many programs open it will just not open a program even though you have pressed the icon to open it. On occasion it has come up with an error message and I have had to restart the phone.
Sometimes it also does not close a program properly and it will still be open if you look in the program manager.
Camera- only a small point- for such an advanced phone it is a shame it does not have a flash or backlight.
Overall, I am happy with my phone. It has all the functions that I wanted to find on a phone. It is a good size and easy to navigate and use.
However, if you like to be doing more than one thing at a time,or are prone to receiving text messages whilst in the middle of doing something else on you phone, it may become frustrating as it decides not to let you continue with what you were doing before. I would recommend getting a micro SD card if you want to add a lot of your own music or files to the phone.
I do think that this phone is a good alternative to the iPhone and other android phones out there and is user friendly.
Hope this review helps!
A sleek, well designed phone with a good range of functionality. It comes complete with a decent music player, radio and is highly recommended for anyone on the move. It's unfortunate downsides are primarily concerned with its 'quirky' touchscreen which, without a stylus, is difficult to operate. Other quibbles include an aggressive over-opinionated T9 function which has a tendancy to replace simple 3 letter words with its own more colourful variety of verbiculum.
For those wishing a capable phone which does as it says on the tin, it's a good choice. The 3 Megapixel camera is impressive and comes with a bundle of image editing tools, there's a reasonable internet browser and handy memo/calendar functionality is part of the package. It's also easily personalised with an upgradable package of wallpapers, themes, 'desktop customisation,' ringtones and alerts.
Overall, a splendid buy for a wide range of functionality but the touchscreen is a bit of a letdown. Recommended more for those with graceful fingers but us with dumpy digits should steer clear.