Verizon Snags Omnia Smartphone

With integrated Wi-Fi, 3G, 8 GB of memory, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera, the Samsung Omnia gives Verizon another strong touch-screen smartphone.

Samsung Omnia Smartphone

Samsung Omnia Smartphone
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Verizon Wireless is expanding its portfolio of touch-screen smartphones with the addition of the Samsung Omnia.

Unlike the recently released touch-screen BlackBerry Storm, the Omnia is powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. Samsung has also layered its TouchWiz user interface on top, which gives users access to widgets that provide one-touch access to stocks, weather, news, and other Web-based information.

The 3.2-inch screen should provide plenty of real estate, but some may be disappointed with the 400-by-240-pixel resolution. For e-mails and texts, the Omnia has a virtual QWERTY keyboard with haptic feedback. There's also an optical trackpad on the face of the device for navigation.

The Omnia should be a capable handset for mobile professionals, as it has access to multiple corporate e-mail accounts. There's also over-the-air synchronization of contacts, calendars, and task lists with Microsoft Exchange server. Additionally, the Omnia has Office Mobile, so users can manage Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents on the go.

To stay connected, the handset can utilize Verizon's high-speed EV-DO 3G network. Unlike the Storm, the Omnia has integrated Wi-Fi to download attachments and surf the Web with the built-in Opera Mobile browser. There's also a GPS chip that can be used with Verizon's VZ Navigator service for audible turn-by-turn directions.

Users of the Omnia may be able to ditch their digital cameras, as the smartphone packs a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash and zoom. It also can record video, and the camera has face-detecting technology.

For multimedia, the handset can play MP3 files and multiple video codecs including DivX and Xvid movie files. There's 8 GB of internal memory for storing files, and the Omnia also has Bluetooth version 2.0.

The Omnia is scheduled to be available online and in Verizon stores Dec. 8 for $249.99 after rebates and a new two-year contract.