Compare Samsung i900 vs. Omnia II vs. HTC Diamond 2 ~ Cell Phone Reviews

Compare Samsung i900 vs. Omnia II vs. HTC Diamond 2

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Written on 8/15/2009 03:48:00 PM by poison_ivy

Okay, so today, I thought I might make a comparison of the top three touchscreen windows mobile phone in the market today (at least, in Asia since the Omnia II will be only be available come September here in the UK).

Design

The Samsung i900, Samsung Omnia II, and the HTC Diamond 2 are all touchscreen mobile phones and they only vary in screen size. The Samsung Omnia II is the biggest mobile phone amongst the three as it has a 3.7 inch screen compared with the Diamond2 and the i900's 3.2 inches screen. In terms of thinness, it's the Omnia II that wins amongst the three followed by i900 and closely followed by the diamond2 with only a millimeter separating the last two mobile phones. In terms of width, undoubtedly, the Omnia II is wider with the HTC Touch Diamond2 having the slimmest front profile.

In terms of sexiness, the Omnia II isn't even in the running as Samsung didn't seem to have made any effort to design the Omnia II so it's a head to head between the i900 and the Touch Diamond2. For me, the HTC Diamond2 wins the sexiness design award because of its brushed metal effect on the plastic. However, If you don't like to constantly wipe your mobile phone due to fingerprints, the Samsung i900 offers less maintenance compared with the Touch Diamond2 and the Omnia II.

User Interface: TouchWiz 1.0 vs. TouchWiz 2.0 vs. TouchFlo 3D

Samsung's i900 interface is good for those traditional Windows Mobile users as they don't have to dig deep to find the ever familiar windows mobile menus. TouchWiz 1.0 is simple but retains WinMo.

HTC Touch Diamond2's TouchFlo 3D covers up a lot of WinMo but not that much. Two clicks from the homescreen and you will see the old WinMo Messaging application. TouchFlo 3D provides a very graphically appealing mobile phone interface which provides the user a fun and interactive experience yet the user knows that what they have in their hands is a true smartphone. Although TouchFlo 3D is very visually appealing, it lacks in the customization department when it comes to homescreens. Yes, you can rearrange the tabs or remove some items, but you can't add any new tabs, like a shortcut to the games folder.

TouchWiz 2.0 on the other hand covers up A LOT of WinMo. I've been a Windows Mobile user for five years and I know a phone is a windows phone when I see the messaging application. Even when Microsoft introduced the threaded messaging in WinMo 6.1, users are still treated to the familiar messaging application. On the Samsung Omnia II phone or TouchWiz 2.0, that familiar messaging application is TOTALLY gone and you're left with the standard messaging application that is common to standard cellphones. I think you have to completely turn off the TouchWiz 2.0 interface before you can see the the standard WinMo messaging which involves you going through the settings menu, which is a lot of clicks farther compared with Touchflo 3D.

Unlike the HTC Diamond2, Samsung made sure that the user has variety of choices when it comes to accessing their favorite applications. First, they have three homescreens which the users can customize to their liking, the only downside is you can only use one widget per homescreen. Samsung also put in a cube interface so users can have another shortcut to the games, pictures, and music player applications. On one hand, Samsung did a good job of making a windows mobile phone overly simple yet, WinMo users would feel that it's just TOO simple. Samsung just failed to differentiate the Omnia II's UI with the Samsung Jet. It would have been nice if Samsung did something more with the graphics but, I don't know, TouchWiz 2.0 just failed to WOW me, I do like, however, the Bluetooth and WiFi application window on the Samsung Omnia II compared with the Diamond2, which still uses the old WinMo wireless manager.

So which phone has the better UI? For an old WinMo fan, it would be the Diamond2, however, for those who are eager to see the old windows mobile interface gone, then points go to Samsung Omnia II.

Performance

In terms of screen responsiveness, the HTC Touch Diamond2 and the Omnia II outclassed my one year old Samsung Omnia. Both the Samsung Omnia II and Diamond2 provides a smooth kinetic scrolling experience.

On the downside, both mobile phones suffer from minor lags when opening applications. On the Diamond2, I've noticed that over time, even though I've already closed some running applications, there seems to be a memory leak as the taskbar shows that my Diamond2 mobile phone is using up 70% of its memory with no running background applications compared to when I first turned on the Diamond2 which is around 40-50% memory usage. This caused some of the applications to open up slowly. On the other hand, on the Samsung Omnia II, the lag is more prominent when opening the picture browser folder and the messaging application, but aside from that, the mobile phone performed very well even when I had several applications opened.

Both the Samsung i900 and the Omnia II have better use of the accelerometer in the applications than the Diamond2. I like the acceleromter transitions of both Omnias compared with the Diamond2 as the latter's acceleromter is sometimes slow to respond and is only used by limited application (the music player doesn't even have a landscape mode).

Specs-wise, the Omnia II outshines the Diamond2 with the former having 800MHz processor and 256MB RAM compared with the latter's 524MHz processor and 288MB of RAM but in terms of performance, I think Samsung needs to do a bit more tweaking on its firmware to address some of the lags in their applications. Again, I hope WinMo 6.5 would be better on the Omnia II.

Applications

The Samsung Omnia II offers more applications out of the box compared with the Diamond2. Of course, the Diamond2 has a native YouTube application and Google Maps already pre-installed but Google Maps is free and you can always install it on your Omnia II, and I think there's also a freeware YouTube application which you can download on your Omnia II though not as great compared to the one found on Diamond2. Combined that with Samsung's pre-installed widgets which gives you shortcuts to Facebook, CNN, Yahoo Search and Google Search, and the Omnia II seems to have the better bang for the buck.

Video and Audio Players

Both the Samsung Omnia II and the Diamond II have their own music players other than the pre-installed windows media player. HTC's Diamond2 has the better music player as it has a more graphically appealing coverflow art compared with the Omnia II but the Samsung Omnia II's music player can make use of the landscape mode. However, Samsung's TouchPlayer doesn't seem to play WMA files while HTC's music player can handle WMA files. HTC's equalizer is only accessible when their headset is connected so you can't change the audio settings even when you're connected via Stereo Bluetooth.

As for the video player, the Samsung Omnia II has the better video player mainly because it supports DiVx video playback. On the HTC Diamond2, you have to resort to third party software in order to play DivX files and that software isn't cheap. Back in the day, I use BetaPlayer, its a free player but I don't know if that freeware is still available now or was eventually replaced by the CorePlayer.

Overall, I think the Samsung Omnia II is the better multimedia phone because of the DivX playback capabilities, onboard 3.5mm headset jack, and larger AMOLED screen. The Diamond2 only has a proprietary port and you have to buy a separate accessory that can support 3.5mm headsets.

Camera Image Quality

What made me not wait for the Xperia X1 and the deciding factor that made me buy the Samsung Omnia i900 is its camera. I've been through crappy cameras on old WinMo phones back in the days so I was looking forward to the Omnia's better camera which actually didn't disappoint.

The Samsung i900, Omnia II, and Diamond2 offers 5 megapixel camera resolution. Both the i900 and Omnia II have flash except the latter has dual LED flash. Basically, the i900 and Omnia II has almost the same camera interface. I'm inclined to the camera of the i900 more compared with the Omnia II and Diamond2. First, because you can use the optical D-pad as a camera button on the i900 and it automatically focuses on your chosen subject. It's easier to use for persons who, like me, have unsteady hands. With the Omnia II, you have to half press the camera button to focus then full press to shoot (I lack that kind of coordination that's why most of my DSLR shots are blurry). Of course, focusing on the Diamond2 is easier because it has touch focus (touch the particular subject on the screen and the camera focuses on it) but it doesn't have an anti-shake feature so my pictures still come out blurry on the Diamond2.

The reviews of the HTC Diamond2 says that the Diamond2 has a good camera but when I compared that with my Omnia i900, the age old Omnia is still the better camera phone (at least in my eyes). I've taken the liberty of creating comparison shots with my i900 and Diamond2. I don't have the Samsung Omnia II at my disposal so I wasn't able to take comparative shots with it. Anyways, the shots are seen below.

Indoor Shots:



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Samsung Omnia i900

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HTC Diamond2

Outdoor Shots:

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Samsung Omnia i900

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HTC Diamond 2

Close-Ups and Text:

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Samsung Omnia i900

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HTC Diamond2

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HTC Diamond2

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Samsung Omnia i900

As you can see, indoors, even without the flash, the Omnia i900 provides better lighting although pictures comes out somewhat dull. The Diamond2 on the other hand, produces overly dark pictures. I mean, my room isn't even that dark and yet, the Diamond2's camera sensors can't even see in the dark. I had a harder time comparing picture quality in daylight as both mobile phones produces pretty decent pictures. The HTC Diamond2 has much more vivid pictures but the Samsung Omnia i900 produces the closest colors as the real thing. The Samsung Omnia also takes better pictures in macro mode.

Conclusion

It's really hard comparing mobile phones which I equally like. My aging Samsung Omnia i900 still holds a special place in my heart especially since it's one of the WinMo phones which has better camera so I'm not chucking that one out the door yet. The Samsung Omnia II on the other hand, has REALLY great hardware compared with the Diamond2 and I'm beginning to have second thoughts whether I made the right decision buying the Diamond2 rather than the Omnia II, but then again, I'm a WinMo fan through and through and I'm afraid that if I carry around the Omnia II, people will just mistake it for another Samsung Jet which really wouldn't be doing the Omnia II justice. I like the Diamond2 for what it is right now, TouchFlo 3D and everything. Sure, it doesn't have that good of a camera but the UI is the best UI amongst any WinMo phones. I guess only WinMo 6.5 can be the ultimate judge whether I made the right decision or not because if WinMo 6.5 can't play nice with the Diamond2 hardware, then I will have no second thoughts chucking it and going for the Omnia II even though the latter doesn't really scream STYLISH.

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7 Comments

  1. willy05 |

    Thanx for posting a comparison. The phones will vary a bit when they make it to the US (verizon CDMA). This user was trying to decide whether to get the diamond2 or wait for the OmniaII (i9000?). The sense I have is that the differences are minor. looking forward to the rest of the review. So far I'm leaning toward the Diamond unless samsung leaps to another level and accelerates US release and I can do a diresct compare. HTC does need to work on accelerometer lags.

     
  2. poison_ivy |

    Hi, willy05. I'm still trying to take some good pictures with both phones. As you can see from some of the pictures I've posted, I'm not really that good with the camera and I'm trying to find time to capture a good background for both mobile phones. The last part would be the comparison between picture quality or I might add a few more if something comes to mind. I'm a bit busy with my day job right now. :) Hopefully, I'd be able to finish this within this week.

     
  3. Anonymous |

    I have owned a Samsung Omnia i900 for 9 months and have just got an iPhone 3GS. The Samsung is good but its not in the same league as the iphone for ease of use, applications, e-mail and internet.
    I will keep the i900 as a dedicated satnav using Garmin XT mobile but the iphone has no equal. It\'s worth waiting for other carriers to get the iphone when O2\'s exclusivity expires in a couple of months as O2\'s coverage is not as good as Orange.
    Hope this helps.

     
  4. Anonymous |

    hey,
    i own an omnia and have had it for several months and have recntly purchased an iphone. I feel that since i use my phone for work, the iphone is, whilst graphically appealing, too dumbed down for me as it is missing too many key features. i think samsung has done a great job on the omnia but they should try to make thier phones more graphically appealing.

     
  5. FeRHaD |

    Hi, I wonder just which is better Omnia i900 or, Diamond 2.
    I like Diamond 2 very much, but it doesn't have TV output and it is said that there are some problems with video playback performance. Can you compare themwith Benchmark function of CorePlayer etc.
    I know these phones are old, but both of them are about $500 here. :D
    Else which one you prefer Individually?

     
  6. Anonymous |

    You impress me about your comment on Omnia II because of that im gonna choose to buy OMnia but a second hand because i dont have enough money to spent for a brandnew one anyways thanks Its very clear and informative comparison! God bless well done! :) here from Philippines

     
  7. Anonymous |

    You impress me about your comment on Omnia II because of that im gonna choose to buy OMnia but a second hand because i dont have enough money to spent for a brandnew one anyways thanks Its very clear and informative comparison! God bless well done! :) here from Philippines

     

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