Samsung Omnia Pro B7320
Samsung seems bent on using the Omnia namesake on phones that bear little resemblance to the original touchscreen beauty. One such phone is the Omnia Pro B7320 QWERTY candybar phone that packs a keyboard in a candy bar form. As such, our main point of comparison was if it can match up to other leading smartphones in the same category such as the Nokia E71, BlackBerry Bold and even the HTC Snap.
Brown is the new Black or is it?
Unlike the above mentioned QWERTY smartphones that look stylish and sexy, the B7320 looks mundane. Also, the body design may be too too chunky for some to slide it into their pocket comfortably. But at 118 x 59.8 x 12.6 mm, it will fit snugly into just about anyone's palms. At 110 grams, the phone did actually feel too light for our liking. Not to mention its plastic finish, many of our colleagues at office commented how much it felt like a toy.
A large amount of real estate is dedicated to the QWERTY keyboard while the screen size of this phone has been compromised to just 2.4 inches. We did like the phone's brown finish as the chocolate color lets it stand out from the otherwise boring silver or black variations in the market.
I'm Afraid it's just Average
Running on Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard operating system, this phone doesn't support touchscreen functionality, so those who enjoy poking at the screen to launch applications should stay clear of the B7320. The phone's WizPro operating system also flaunts a carousel-styled user interface that lets you browse through your applications which is somewhat similar to the Palm Treo 500v. You can also customize the widgets that you want to flood your Home page with. These widgets let you launch your favorite applications at a single click, without having to launch several sub-menus just to access them.
For a so-called smartphone, we have to comment that multimedia functions seemed to be an afterthought rather than a priority fir the B7320. Armed with a measly 3.2-megapixel camera, the quality is terribly underwhelming. Images churned out pixilated and blurry due to the lack of auto-focus and flash. But we will not lament further about the camera since the B7320’s audience will not require a superior camera after all.
While we applaud the design factor of the B7320, the same however cannot be said about the cramped QWERTY keyboard. Passing around the phone to our colleagues proved one point - it's hard to type using the keyboard as the keys are packed too close to each other for our liking. Hence fast typists will find it difficult to perform at their usual speed especially after they have played with devices such as the BlackBerry Bold.
A microSDHC expansion card slot also lets you bump up the usable phone memory to 16GB, letting you store as many music tracks or photos that you fancy. However, this slot is tucked behind the battery. Hence no hot-swapping can be done which leads us to question the design thought of it all. The phone also comes with the usual league of connectivity options, such as quad-band GSM, HSDPA (3.6Mbps) and Wi-Fi. Battery life is above average as its 1480 mAh capacity battery pack allowed it to run for about two days with occasional calls, messaging and sporadic Wi-Fi and Bluetooth usage.
We'll Give it a Miss, Thanks.
The basic connectivity options and multimedia functions that this phone possesses will appeal to those who are seeking a basic and simple-to-use smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard. Priced at an attractive S$498 without any contract, we feel that for an extra hundred or so, one could get the HTC Snap which offers a much better keyboard which should be a deciding factor when choosing a QWERTY-based smartphone.