The first thing that came to mind when I unpacked Samsung’s new B7330 OmniaPro smartphone was that it looked almost exactly like a Nokia E72.
Complete with a large screen and Qwerty keyboard, I thought someone had accidentally slipped a Nokia device into the box.
The OmniaPro runs Windows Mobile 6.5, which, like the Symbian operating system that powers most Nokia smartphones, is starting to look very long in the tooth. The menu system hasn’t changed much in years, and still resembles the icons on prehistoric Compaq iPaq handhelds.
With Windows Phone 7 Series devices expected to reach the market either late this year or early next year, I’d be surprised if handset manufacturers are going to sell many older Windows phones between now and then.
Nevertheless, Samsung has done a reasonably good job within the constraints of the software, so maybe some people will be tempted.
The 109g phone has all you’d expect in a high-end smartphone device. It’s large, 2,6-inch LCD display, is more generous that the E72’s. We’d have preferred OLED, though — we’ve seen brighter and crisper displays on other Samsung phones.
It has assisted GPS, FM radio, USB port, 7,2Mbit/s high-speed packet access and a middle-of-the-road 3,2-megapixel camera. Plus, there’s a microSD slot.
The phone, all in black with red lettering on the keys, is attractive and stylish, despite the fact that it feels plastic to the touch. Battery life is an average four hours of talk time, in line with other smartphones in this form factor.
It’s a competent phone that gets the job done. But it’s let down by its ageing operating system.
If you’re a die-hard Windows Mobile user (apparently, like Lions rugby supporters, they do exist) — and you really can’t wait until the end of the year – then this phone is probably worth adding to your checklist.
But if you’re on another platform like Symbian or BlackBerry, the B7330 is unlikely to tempt you to switch platforms. If you’re thinking of going Windows Mobile, rather wait for 7 Series. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral
- Recommended retail price: R3 680