If it’s a 5-megapixel cameraphone you’re looking for, there are decidedly cheaper entries on the market — but if only a 5-megapixel WinMo Professional set will do, the Omnia’s just about the best (read: only) deal you’ll find on an American carrier these days. The CDMA translation of the smartphone that Samsung’s been selling in other parts of the world for much of 2008 in GSM form carries over most of its key features, namely Windows Mobile 6.1 with TouchWiz, WiFi, DivX certification, the love-it-or-hate-it optical directional pad, and that beefy cam with flash and autofocus. It also nabs VZ Navigator support, stereo Bluetooth, a 3.2-inch 400 x 240 display, and 8GB of internal memory. Gives pause to that imminent Touch Pro purchase, doesn’t it? Look for it to be available for order this week — a full retail launch is expected come December 8 — for $249.99 after rebate on a two-year contract.
The Gadget: Samsung’s Behold, T-Mobile’s slice of touchscreen feature phone pie with a Korea-style five-megapixel camera and Sammy’s “innovative” TouchWiz UI.
The Verdict: The Behold fills the hole in T-Mobile’s lineup for a not-quite-smart feature phone: It does a lot of the stuff a smartphone will do, like web browsing and email, just you know, not quite as capably as a real smartphone, or even as well as its cousin, the Instinct (even before it got better with its most recent round of updates). The web browser is bleh for anything but mobile sites since T-Mobile does you the favor of translating pages, which tends to butcher more complicated ones, and the email client won’t do standard IMAP or POP. The IM client is slow, though not terrible, but either way, you can’t really install your own apps to rectify the situation.
So what’s good? The touchscreen is one more of the responsive ones that Samsung has put out, a hair better than the Instinct, and the keyboard layout is pretty good too, though I wish the space bar was bigger. The TouchWiz UI is attractive and easy to use, even if it’s only skin deep—once you go past the widget-y “desktop,” you’re dumped into a more generic, though not exactly ugly, cellphone UI.
The 5MP camera, though not miraculous, is better than most of the ones in these kinds of phones by a long shot, with satisfactory noise levels and a decent suite of basic photo editing that’ll let you adjust fundamentals like contrast and color, crop or add crazy effects. I wish the flash were a little stronger and the autofocus were a little faster, though.
Overall, it’s what you’d expect out of a feature phone—it’ll do a lot of things, just none of them amazingly. If you’re a T-Mobile customer, for the money, I’d go with a G1—it lacks polish in some places, and the hardware isn’t nearly as tight as the Behold’s, but you’ll get more out of it.
Red is frenzied over that other phone today, but those with a soft spot for Windows Mobile 6.1 may want to give this one a bit of attention. You know the highlight s
pecs by now — a 5-megapixel camera / camcorder, full HTML browser and an expansive touchscreen
— but the nitty-gritty details are still being withheld. As of now, the link on Samsung’s website tunnels straight to an error page, forcing us to be content with the knowledge that somehow, someday, this phone is destined for a life on VZW’s shelves. Enlarged screengrab is after the jump.
We can think of exactly one reason Samsung still won’t dish out a price on its completely mind-melting 256GB FlashSSD: because those that have to know, can’t afford. The drive, which was announced way back in May of the year two-thousand and eight, doubles the performance rates of the firm’s 64GB and 128GB SSDs. More specifically, we’re looking at sequential read rates of 220MB/sec and sequential write rates of 200MB/sec, and in layman’s terms, it’s quick enough to store 25 HD movies in 21 minutes and open basic applications 10 times faster than the quickest 7,200RPM notebook drive. In other words, you want.