When Microsoft announced Windows Mobile 6.5, the company said it was keen on expanding into consumer markets. One way to do that is to get consumer-focussed companies to run with the operating system. Samsung has been using Windows Mobile for a long time, and the Omnia Pro B7610 seems to be an attempt to bridge the consumer/professional divide.
The handset sports a dual home-screen system. You can set up two completely different ‘looks’ for the device, one for business use, one for leisure. Both make use of Samsung’s trademark sidebar from which widgets can be drawn onto the screen, but one is obviously more consumer orientated than the other.
Samsung has gone further, adding its own main applications screen, which can hold twelve customisable shortcuts, and tweaking the user interface quite deep into Windows Mobile. You write white text onto a black background, for example, as opposed to the black on white that Windows Mobile prefers. If it sounds like a small change, don’t be fooled — it actually makes a big difference to look and feel.
The Omnia Pro B7610 has a large 3.5in. AMOLED display, plays DivX and Xvid movies, supports TV-Out (although no cable is supplied), and has a 5-megapixel camera too. All features designed with a consumer audience in mind.
And there is a slide-out keyboard which is good (but not great) to use.
After a few hours with the Omnia B7610 some shortcomings become evident. I'm finding the touch-screen to be less responsive than I’d like, there seems to be an accelerometer issue, and generally the hardware is a bit chunky for my liking. There’s no GPS either, although thankfully Wi-Fi is present.
I anticipate writing a full review after a longer period of time with the device.