Samsung eBook reader for Windows Phone 7: Hands on video review

As promised by Samsung back in October their Windows Phone7 eBook reader is now available for free to all Omnia 7 and Focus owners in the Samsung Zone section of the Marketplace. The application is relatively similar to the Android version which comes pre-loaded on Most Galaxy S devices and also nearly identical to the Windows Phone 7 Amazon Kindle app released earlier this year. You get access to the Kobo Ebook library so the first thing you’ll have to do is to setup up an account with them (it’s free and can be done directly within the application) and also with Adobe because the app uses their Reader Mobile technology. This wouldn’t be a problem if the app actually saved your password (it has the option to do so but as of right now it doesn’t and you’ll have to re-enter it ever time you download an eBook). Anyway, Samsung did a pretty good job here and has brought up the best alternative to Amazon’s Kindle on Windows Phone 7. Check out my hands on video after the break:

Continue reading Samsung eBook reader for Windows Phone 7: Hands on video review →

Microsoft’s update on the Windows Phone 7 update issue

Microsoft has just posted some more information on the infamous Windows Phone 7 update issue affecting the Samsung Omnia 7 and Focus devices. Unfortunately you won’t learn anything new as this whole blog post seems to be a PR damage control statement more than anything else. The company is still claiming that the update has been suspended for Samsung devices even though this isn’t true (yes, my Omnia7 is still getting prompted to update every time I plug it into a PC) UPDATE: My Omnia 7 is finally no loner promted to update.

•90 percent of people who’ve received an update notification have installed the new software patch successfully. (So when your turn to download it arrives, chances are good this will be a non-event.)
•Of the 10 percent who did experience a problem, nearly half failed for two basic reasons—a bad Internet connection or insufficient computer storage space. Luckily, both are easy to fix.

Continue reading Microsoft’s update on the Windows Phone 7 update issue →

Microsoft didn’t pull the February Windows Phone 7 update for the Samsung devices

Just saw a report claiming that Microsoft has apparently pulled the February 21 update for the Samsung devices (Omnia 7 and Focus) because of the issue encountered by many users since the initial release nearly 2 days ago. Ironically I was attempting to update my Omnia 7 again when I came across the story so it kind of seemed strange to me that a Microsoft spokesperson would claim that the update is no longer pushed to Samsung phones when it is in fact not true (as seen in the screenshot above). Microsoft may have stopped the OTA notification push to the handsets that weren’t notified yet but nothing seems to have been pulled at all given that I still get prompted to update to the 7008 rom every time I plug in my device.

Continue reading Microsoft didn’t pull the February Windows Phone 7 update for the Samsung devices →

Samsung Omnia 7 update issue: Don’t try to update your phone and wait for the fix

As you probably already know by now, yesterday’s Windows Phone 7 test update can’t be applied to all Samsung Omnia 7 devices (and Focus too it seems) but there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve tested every possible combination to try to get it to work on my device and so far everything has failed:

1) Freed as much space as possible on the phone.

2) Used several Micro-USB cables

3) Uninstalled and re-installed the Zune Desktop software

4) Connected trough a proxy to grab the update file from another MS server

5) Used another PC

Continue reading Samsung Omnia 7 update issue: Don’t try to update your phone and wait for the fix →

The Samsung Omnia 7 has 4GB of DDR ram ? Service manual released

The Samsung Omnia 7 service manual has just been leaked for our own viewing pleasure and some interesting (and perplexing) tidbits have just attracted my attention. According to the block diagram (picture after the break) the Omnia 7 apparently packs 4GB of DDR Ram and not 512Mb of Ram + 1GB of Rom. We can clearly see the SanDisk SDIN4C2-8G 8GB iNAND module mentioned in there but there’s also another 8GB of NAND and the mysterious 4GB of DDR. Check it out:

Continue reading The Samsung Omnia 7 has 4GB of DDR ram ? Service manual released →

HTC Desire HD vs Samsung Galaxy S vs Samsung Omnia 7 camera comparison

Time for another camera comparison! This time I’m comparing the video capture quality of the HTC Desire HD versus the Galaxy S and Omnia 7. So how does it look like? Well just take a look at the video embedded after the break. The Desire HD image quality is really muddy and has that trademarked HTC purple tint to it. Framerate is consistent in board daylight (30fps in this video, but it can go as low as 5fps indoors!). HTC just can’t seem to get cameras right. My guess is that they are using relatively low end sensors because there’s no reason why the MSM8255 can’t capture great quality videos and it has been shown that with the WP7 devices that with the same chipset (the QSD8250) in all handsets only HTC couldn’t sustain consistent framerates when encoding videos (compared to Samsung and LG who have it locked at 24fps). The only save grace here is that auto-focus which works without much problem: you can focus anywhere you want while shooting a video just by taping on the screen (similar to when you shoot pictures). Anyway, the best one out of the three here is, in my opinion, the Galaxy S (even though its auto-focus is super slow and sometimes doesn’t trigger at all..) followed by the Omnia 7 which still suffers from abnormally high shutter speeds in outdoors situations (this is why the video looks choppy even though the frame rate is locked at 24fps!).

Continue reading HTC Desire HD vs Samsung Galaxy S vs Samsung Omnia 7 camera comparison →

Get a perfect reading of your Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus battery life

I was playing around with the Samsung Omnia 7 (and Focus) Diagnosis mode this morning to find out some more information about the hardware but apparently missed something really interesting which was pointed out to me a few hours ago (thanks @anaadoul). You can actually get a perfect reading of your device’s battery life by entering the Battery Status sub-menu (*#2*#) and going to the second page (hit the arrow on the top right) and you should have a table full of info (pictured above). So what does all that mean? Well, turns out that everything is explain in the Windows CE 6.0 documentation available here. This can also be taken as a confirmation that Windows Phone 7 is CE 6 based I guess…

Continue reading Get a perfect reading of your Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus battery life →

Super AMOLED color banding issue: Microsoft could partially fix it

I just did some more testing and am fairly sure now that everything is rendered at 16bit throughout the OS in Windows Phone 7 (similar to WM5/6). The picture you see above shows the image found in this news posted rendered in the Android browser on the Galaxy S (left) and IE Mobile on the Samsung Omnia 7 (right). Keep in mind that both devices have exactly the same Super AMOLED panel. What is evident here is that dithering is applied to the pictures on Android. All you have to do is move the page around on the Galaxy S to see that it’s activated (the color dithering) when the page is standing still but when you scroll or pan the images will look identical to the ones rendered on the Omnia 7 in IE Mobile. So what I did next is save this particular image and then open it in the picture’s browser where I know that dithering is applied once you start zooming in:

Continue reading Super AMOLED color banding issue: Microsoft could partially fix it →

LCD vs Super AMOLED on the Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Trophy and LG Optimus 7

I’ve just shot another video of color banding issue on the Samsung Omnia 7′s Super AMOLED versus the HTC 7 Trophy and LG Optimus 7. Unfortunately videos or pictures can’t really reproduce the real experience, but believe when I tell you that the HTC 7 Trophy LCD screen has some pretty good colors compared to the other two devices (btw, they where all set to high brightness). I’m not 100% sure but the Trophy’s screen seems to be a regular TFT LCD panel and not an SLCD like previously announced (we have already seen HTC shipping both, and that sucks big time IMO. Sending reviewers like me devices with inferior screens is kinda stupid too…). Anyway, check out the video after the break:

Continue reading LCD vs Super AMOLED on the Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Trophy and LG Optimus 7 →

Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Trophy vs LG Optimus 7 performance comparison

Here’s my second Window Phone 7 loading performance comparison video this time featuring the HTC 7 Trophy alongside the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7.  The Optimus 7 was the fastest, just like in the first video, followed bythe Samsung Omnia 7 and finally the HTC 7 Trophy came out last. Nothing really amazing here and the slightly slower loading performance on the Trophy isn’t really going to mess up the whole user experience. Everything else is identical on the three phones but let me know if you want to see anything else. Video after the break:

Continue reading Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Trophy vs LG Optimus 7 performance comparison →

Samsung Omnia 7 Software Tour

Want to see how Windows Phone 7 performs on the Samsung Omnia 7? Well, you probably already have witnessed that’s it’s wicked fast as seen in the in the previous videos I have posted here, here and here. This one after the break is just a quick walkthrough, nothing fancy, because like I have demonstrated earlier every WP7 devices will give you with the same user experience. The main differentiator being the hardware form factor (Scree, camera) and some free apps provided by the OEM (like ScanSearch and Panorama on the LG Optimus 7). Check out that nice Super AMOLED display after the break:

Continue reading Samsung Omnia 7 Software Tour →

Samsung Omnia 7 hardware tour

Still wondering how the Samsung Omnia 7 looks like? just check out my hardware tour video to witness one of the most beautiful smartphone ever created. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the build quality of the device. I initially thought, based on the leaked shots, that it was really ugly and even after my first hands-on I didn’t find the phone to be really attractive. But after more than two weeks of use there’s no denying that the Omnia 7 just rocks. It’s light weight (138g), solid (thanks to the metallic back and has a superb Gorilla Glass screen (with oleophobic coating) on top of the 4″ Super AMOLED display. Check it out after the break:

Continue reading Samsung Omnia 7 hardware tour →

Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 Performance Comparison

 

I’ve just shot this video show how Windows Phone 7 performs on the Samsung Omnia 7 and LG Optimus 7. The verdict: Exactly the same!. This is pretty amazing when you think about it. We have to hardware devices build by two different manufacturers and they have exactly the same performance running the same tasks. Sure they may have the same hardware specifications but keep in mind that they are probably using different memory modules (we know that LG is using 16GB of eMMC for the storage and that the Omnia has double the ROM (1GB)) and several other small differences. This just goes to show that Microsoft’s decision to control the whole platform was the best thing they could do. Hit the break to watch the video:

Continue reading Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 Performance Comparison →

Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 camera comparison

I just shot 2 similar HD videos with the LG Optmius 7 and Samsung Omnia 7 to compare both devices’ camera on this cold and cloudy day. So what is the verdict? Well the Omnia 7 is the clear winner thanks to the vastly superior clarity and continuous auto-focus feature. On the other hand you will also notice that the Optimus 7 video issmoother even-thought both videos are endoded at 24fps. The Omnia 7 seems to have some weird issue causing this problem. It is either related to the white-balance system or the shutter speed is set too high by Samsung. An other odd issue on the Omnia 7 is that the viewfinder runs at 4fps when shooting HD video (it’s perfectly smooth on the LG Optimus 7).Check out the video and photos after the break:

Continue reading Samsung Omnia 7 vs LG Optimus 7 camera comparison →

Enable USB Tethering on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 phones..if you can

Here’s a little trick that will let you enable USB Tethering on the Samsung Omnia 7 ans Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 devices:

- Open the phone dialer and tap: dial ##634# and press call
-Once you are in diagnosis mode, dial: *#7284# and you will then have to select Tethered, Modem Call.
-Your device will then have to reboot. Once it is done just plug your device to you PC and and a Samsung driver should install automatically.
- Once it’s done just go to Control Panel / Network and Internet / Network Connections and should see the Samsung Omnia7 or Focus Modem connected.You will then have to change the settings of your Samsung Modem and add your carrier’s info. if required. Here are AT&T’s:
number: *99***1#
user name: WAP@CINGULARGPRS.COM
password: CINGULAR1

Continue reading Enable USB Tethering on the Samsung Omnia 7 and Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7 phones..if you can →

The Samsung Omnia 7 is here!

I finally got my hands on a retail Windows Phone 7 handset and as you can see in the picture above it’s the lovely Samsung Omnia 7. This is not a review sample sent by an OEM but a product bought in a retail store (HTC is scheduled to send me a couple of devices this months but they apparently have lots of stick issues and the review device that Microsoft promised to send me never showed up..so thanks for nothing MS..). Anyway here’s how things are going to go down: I will finally start writing up my gigantic Windows Phone 7 review now that I have final hardware in my hands and will obviously review the Omnia 7 in a separate write-up. I’m also going to finish the Samsung Galaxy S review (running Android 2.2) that is long overdue and will also compare to its cousin, the Omnia 7. Finally, I will finish the MobileTechWorld application and make it available in the Marketplace in the coming weeks. Lots of videos are in the pipeline and if you want to know/see anything in particular just leave a comment, send me a mail or a tweet at www.twitter.com/mobiletechworld.

HTC HD7 vs Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Mozart screen comparison

The lucky gals at Engadget have just posted a three way screen comparison of the HTC HD7 vs Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Mozart. The first thing you will notice is the perfect blacks on the Omnia 7′s Super-AMOLED compared to the HTC 7 Mozart’s SLCD panel and the Regular TFT-LCD screen of the HTC HD7. No surprise here but you will have to live with the sucky Pentile Matrix sub-pixel arrangement if you what the brightest Windows phone 7 device on the market. And just to be clear, the HTC HD7 uses exactly the same screen has on the original HTC HD2 so the colors feel kinda washed out even compared to other TFT-screens and the viewing angles are the worst of all the WP7 devices that are going on sale this week. More pictures and videos after the break:

Continue reading HTC HD7 vs Samsung Omnia 7 vs HTC 7 Mozart screen comparison →

Samsung Omnia 7 Hands-on Preview

Here’s my short hands-on preview of the Samsung Omnia 7 Windows Phone 7. You probably already the know the specifications by now so I won’t repeat them but simply point out that this will be the only Windows Phone 7 device launching with a Super-AMOLED display this year (along with the US version called the Samsung Focus). As you will see in the short video below, the device is super, super fast a smooth. This is basically the case on all the Windows Phone 7 devices I have played with today. To put it simply: You can’t go wrong with any of of them and frankly all the hands-on video will basically look the same no matter the OEM and hardware. The SnapDragon QSD 82500 is capable of shooting HD video at 25fps but it definitely looked a bit worse that what is possible on the Samsung Galaxy S powered by the Hummingbird chipset (keep in mind that the Omnia I had didn’t feature a final rom). Windows Phone 7 on the Super AMOLED screen just looks totally insane….Video and pictures after the break:

Continue reading Samsung Omnia 7 Hands-on Preview →

Official Samsung Omnia 7 press shots and specifications

After LG’s Optimus 7 here comes the Samsung Omnia 7 Windows Phone 7 handsets (know as the GT-i8700). This is not an official press release but the well connected SamsungHub blog  It is now up on Samsung’s russian website….has posted the official Omnia 7 press shots and specifications. As previously rumored, the Omnia 7 features a 4″ Super-AMOLED display, Qualcomm QSD8250 chipset (yeah..no MSM8255 :-( ), 5Mp camera with HD video recording, 1500mha battery and all the other usual stuff. More pictures after the break:

Continue reading Official Samsung Omnia 7 press shots and specifications →