Friday, 17 October 2008

T-mobile G1 and the Samsung Omnia

As I have mentioned before I am looking for a new mobile phone. Not so much because I need one but more because my contract period is up and I'm a sucker for gadgets.

In my previous post regarding my options I looked at the up and coming Google Phone or the T-Mobile G1. I still stand by my call on this one, i.e. great OS, very average hardware but on the various tech forums and sites there is noise about a tentative release for the UK market - that being late November (I've heard the 30th but that is entirely unconfirmed). It is due for the US release on the 22nd of October however I don't see anyone over here (UK) going out and buying one online to be an 'early adopter'. From where I am sitting it just hasn't garnered the mass interest and, if we're being honest, the fanatical fan-ism that the Apple iPhone has no problems whipping up.

A big part of the excitement with the Android OS is that it is ultimately going to be cross platform, meaning that it can potentially be used on any hardware available. So far if it could be installed on the iPhone then I would have my ultimate mobile device but the shear force of the Apple legal team coming down on Google certainly makes this a less than likely event. Why Google Android went for the HTC hardware for their initial release I will never know but if there has been anything that I have learned over the years of being a gadget addict is never go for the first version, always wait for the early adopters to eek out the bugs and then get your mitts on the much more polished product.

I went into a mobile shop to have a play with the Samsung Omnia or the i900, as much to broaden my phone options as to just kill some time playing with a gadget.

It has some nice features like it's size, very much comparable to the iPhone, a very tidy layout and a very good camera. It also has the Opera mobile web browser which is just the dogs furries and makes using the interweb on the go a pleasure. For me the things that kills it are the Windows Mobile, an inability to display flash video (also something that puts me off the iPhone), very poor screen resolution (half that of the majority of new generation touch phones) and a significant lack of screen brightness/contrast. It is near unusable in direct sunlight however that may not be too much of an issue in the UK as there is rarely any to speak of. It also comes with a tacky stylus that attaches to the side loop on the phone - perhaps that would be more appropriately utilised with fluffy dice. For me the i900 Omnia is a no go, lots of good things going on with it but the Windows Mobile UI, the Stylus and the poor screen relegate it to a 'could do better' gadget.

EDIT: Just to tack a little on the end here - I have also discovered that the HTC Touch HD is due for release in November 6th - I'll be interested to see who will be carrying this one.

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