Phew, rant over. It's mostly positive from now on as far as hardware's concerned -- we dig the slide cover over the micro-USB port at the top (which is also featured on the Galaxy S); the loudspeaker does a good job at blasting out music sans distortion; and that high-contrast Super AMOLED screen easily puts other LCD handsets to shame. No, really -- even though this isn't the first time that we've seen this vibrant display technology in action, and despite some minor trade-offs
such as pixel density, we were still amazed by the staggering difference when comparing the Omnia 7 with the HD7
. On top of that, we definitely love how WP7's black background blends in so beautifully with the screen's frame.
Moving on to the audio performance. We've already mentioned that the loudspeaker's pretty good, but of course, users aren't expected to blast out music wherever they go. If you fancy some music to yourself, the Omnia 7's bundled handsfree kit isn't too shoddy -- it's comfortable, comes with three sizes of sleeves, and has volume control on the remote. Here comes the not-so-good news: after some careful listening, we concluded that while these earbuds produce a fair amount of bass, there's a noticeable gap somewhere around the treble range. In other words, some vocals sound a bit muffed, and cymbals are less lively. Still, we had no problems with phone calls on either end.
Samsung's only thrown in a couple of in-house apps for its WP7 devices, so this bit of reading won't hurt your eyes too much. The first app goes by the name of "Now," and as you might have guessed, it's a combination of weather tool, news reader, and stocks tracker. There's really nothing to complain about said app's intuitiveness or its stability, but we will say this: it'd be even more awesome if we were able to add other news feeds, instead of being tied down to just one outlet (Reuters). What really troubles us, though, is the lack of a live tile for Now -- the tile in use currently just shows a static image of a weather icon and a stock chart on a newspaper; here's hoping that soon these will come to life and brighten up the homescreen.
Sadly, we didn't have much luck with Samsung's second app, Photo Sharing. From what we know, this piece of software lets you upload photos and share them online; however, since we reset the Omnia 7, we've never been able to go beyond the error message "Please insert SIM card" in Photo Sharing (and that's with the original SIM card inserted). So that's that. WP7 has SkyDrive, anyway, so we're not missing too much here.
Last but not least, we have the Omnia 7's 5 megapixel camera. All in all, we're very pleased with how the still shots turned out -- most had accurate color reproduction and just the right amount of sharpness. The one criticism we'll throw in is that regardless of the lighting condition, we've occasionally struggled to get the camera to focus properly, so some patience is required when using the phone's two-stage camera button. Alternatively, troubled owners can also experiment with various settings in the camera app, especially with metering, wide dynamic range, anti-shaking and ISO. In fact, we should point out that apart from metering, the HTC WP7 devices pack none of these useful options in their camera apps, which is a testament to HTC's weakness in camera optics. Anyhow, we'll save the bashing for our other reviews.